Category Archives: News

HK Research Revolutionizes the Marine Industry with Vibrant and Lasting Color Gel Coats

High-end bass boat buyers demand performance and personalization. Equally important to being first to their fishing spot is the ability to customize their boats with the options and eyeappeal they desire, including dramatic color and shine. “It’s imperative,” according to Teresa Johnson, COO and co-founder of Phoenix Bass Boats, a premium manufacturer based in Winchester, Tennessee. “Our customers have high expectations. They are looking for perfection in the finish of a boat.”

This is the very reason that Phoenix sought out HK Research, America’s leading gel coat company, seven years ago. Today, HK’s extremely durable high-definition HD® Gel Coats are exclusively on Phoenix boats. Phoenix has high standards for every material used in each boat manufactured at its 75,000-square-foot facility in Tennessee. “The gel coat products in the boat should be as good as everything else about it,” Johnson explained. What does Phoenix appreciate about HK Research and its products? Greg Strahm, Phoenix’s director of engineering said, “It’s pretty much everything: their willingness to work with us on color matching, the product makeup, ease of application, the shine, the vibrant finish. If there is a technical issue, it’s a phone call and they are here immediately.” Our customer’s ability to choose a variety of color combinations when customizing their boat has proven to be a significant selling point for Phoenix, according to Johnson and Strahm. David Higgins, vice president of sales for HK Research, said, “10 years ago, if you looked at most of the boats being sold in the United States, they were white. They might have a small stripe of color on them. Now, white is almost like the striping. Colors are the huge draw.”

HK Research has been integral to helping manufacturers like Phoenix add durable and vibrant colors to their boat finishes. HK invested time with Phoenix to hone its application of the HD Gel Coats and was great to work with, according to Johnson and Strahm. “They’re good people to work with and they take care of us,” Strahm added. “Color gel coats can be difficult for manufacturers to apply. Through our innovation and technology, HK has developed very easy-to-use colors that also are high quality for longevity,” Higgins said. HK is highly focused on innovation and research. “Twenty-five percent of our employees work in our R & D laboratory, developing new and better products. HK is the only gel-coatspecific manufacturer and because of that, we innovate to set ourselves apart.”

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HK Research Announces Alliance with Scott Bader

HK Research Announces Alliance with Scott Bader

Hickory, NC – HK Research Corporation, America’s leading gel coat expert, announces a Strategic Cooperation agreement with Scott Bader. Through this partnership, the companies plan to explore mutual interests in various markets, technologies and manufacturing areas to further strengthen their respective leading positions in the European and American gel coat markets.

“HK Research Corporation is pleased to work with a company that has an innovative and outstanding reputation in the world polymer market place,” said Richard Higgins, HK Research, President. 

“Scott Bader is delighted to be able to cooperate with a company so focused on customer service, innovation and quality as HK Research,” said Jean-Claude Pierre, CEO of Scott Bader. “I am convinced that this new relationship will soon bear fruits to bring new innovative solutions to the gel coat markets our companies serve or target.”

About HK Research

As the industry’s leading gel coat technology expert, HK Research incorporates the best in new technology, productivity and efficiency to meet the U.S.’s growing demand for gel coats. For more information, please visit www.hkresearch.com

About Scott Bader

Scott Bader is a global manufacturer of adhesives, resins, gel coats and Specialty Polymer market. For more information please visit http://www.scottbader.com/

For More Details, Contact:

David Higgins, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing
HK Research Corporation
908 Old Lenoir Rd.
Hickory, NC 28601
Phone: 800-334-5975
Email: dhiggins@hkresearch.com

HK Research Names New Florida Technical Sales Representative

Mark_SalemiHICKORY, NC — HK Research, America’s leading gel coat expert, has announced that it has hired Mark Salemi as its new Technical Sales Representative in Florida. The majority of Mark’s emphasis will be working with Florida composites manufacturers, but the benefit of his knowledge will be an asset to HK Research nation
wide.

“Mark is an expert in polyester coatings used in the manufacture of various recreational and architectural products,” said Richard Higgins, President, HK Research. “His proven ability to project market needs, develop products to improve profits, increase sales and extend market penetration will go a long way toward helping us better serve the growing needs of our customer base.”

Mr. Salemi has more than 30 years of experience in the composites industry. Prior to joining HK Research, he spent 6 years as a technical sales representative for a composites equipment manufacturer, 8 years as a technical service specialist for an unsaturated polyester coatings and resins manufacturer, and 7 years as plant manager at a gel coat blending facility. Prior to this time he was employed for more than five years at a marine manufacturer working in various roles including lamination supervisor, quality control manager, gel coating operation supervisor, and pre-finish supervisor. Mark’s experience and extensive knowledge of composite equipment and manufacturing processes will enable him to assist his customers in all areas of their operations.

He has an Associates of Arts degree from Brevard Community College in Cocoa, Florida; a BA in Civil Engineering from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida; and is also a CFA-certified composite technician.

Based in Hickory, North Carolina, HK Research has the largest facility in North America designed exclusively for premium polymer coating manufacturing. HK Research’s fully automated facility produces the world’s most advanced, consistently reproducible coating products for marine, aerospace, transportation and pool and spa industries. Barrel to barrel, HK Research’s coatings deliver superior protection that lasts, maintains a new appearance longer, and adapts easily to the production process, saving time and money on every run.

For more information on HK Research or their products, visit their new website http://www.hkresearch.com or call (800) 334-5975. Look for additional personnel announcements as HK Research continues to expand its footprint in the composites industry.

HK Research Expands Production Facility

Aerial-newHICKORY, NC — HK Research Corporation, America’s leading gel coat expert, has announced that due to a significant increase in demand for the quality products they manufacture, they recently completed an expansion of their Hickory, NC, production facility.

“While efficiently manufacturing large quantities of whites and other bases has never been an issue, the current marine market demands have increased the need for custom tinted gel coats. The expansion of our plant has enabled us to make a significant increase in our production capacity to keep up with growing customer demand for custom colors in random quantities,” explained David Higgins, VP of Marketing and Sales, HK Research. “Increasing our batch production capabilities by over 100% allows us to shorten our lead times, while offering greater flexibility in the gel coats we produce.”

The expansion increased floor space dedicated to gel coat production by a factor of more than 50%. The company added ten new state of the art variable speed large tank mixers, eight variable speed multi-drum mixers and two powerful grind/shear mixers as part of the expansion. Also six custom stainless steel mixing vessels were designed and purchased specifically for the custom color operation for batch sizes up to 13-drum quantities. Several modern high-capacity precision scales were also added so these gel coats can be compounded with superior accuracy. These additions give HK Research the ability to produce a greater volume of its gel coats on a daily basis. The company also recently purchased land adjacent to its production facility, where it plans to build a material warehousing site in the future.

Based in Hickory, North Carolina, HK Research has the largest facility in North America designed exclusively for premium polymer coating manufacturing. HK Research’s fully automated facility produces the world’s most advanced, consistently reproducible coating products for marine, aerospace, transportation and pool and spa industries. Barrel to barrel, HK Research’s coatings deliver
superior protection that lasts, maintains a new appearance longer, and adapts easily to the production process, saving time and money on every run.

For more information on HK Research or their products, visit their new website at www.hkresearch.com or call (800) 334-5975.

# # # #

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
David Higgins, VP – Sales and Marketing, HK Research Corporation
908 Old Lenoir Road, P.O. Box 1809, Hickory, NC 28601
(800) 334-5975 • (828) 328-1721
www.hkresearch.com

HK Research Names New Technical Director

Brannon-Pittman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
David Higgins, VP – Sales and Marketing, HK Research
908 Old Lenoir Road, P.O. Box 1809, Hickory, NC 28601
(800) 334-5975 • (828) 328-1721
www.hkresearch.com

HICKORY, NC — HK Research, America’s leading gel coat expert, has announced that it has promoted Brannon Pittman to the position of Technical Director.

“Brannon’s responsibilities will include the development of the products and the technologies that will keep us well ahead of our competition and continue our leadership in the industry,” said Richard Higgins, President, HK Research. “He will also be responsible to assist with improving our overall efficiencies as well as well as direct product improvement.”

As Technical Director, Mr. Pittman will be responsible for the direction and leadership of new product and new technologies development in the R&D and color laboratories, existing product improvements and quality control of incoming raw materials and outgoing products. He will also assist production to achieve better efficiencies while improving quality and will lead the Technical Service Team.

Prior to being promoted to Technical Director, Mr. Pittman was the Technical Services Manager for HK Research. He has a degree in chemistry from Middle Tennessee State University and worked five years as the Quality Control/Environmental Manager for a fiberglass boat facility. In 1998, Mr. Pittman joined HK Research as a chemist/laboratory technician and, within a few years, was added to the Technical Service team while still working in the lab.
He mentored under former Technical Director Glen Wigington for more than 12 years, then was promoted to Technical Service Manager in March 2012.

Based in Hickory, North Carolina, HK Research has the largest facility in North America designed exclusively for premium polymer coating manufacturing.
HK Research’s fully automated facility produces the world’s most advanced, consistently reproducible coating products for marine, aerospace, transportation and pool and spa industries. Barrel to barrel, HK Research’s coatings deliver superior protection that lasts, maintains a new appearance longer, and adapt easily to the production process, saving time and money on every run.

For more information on HK Research or their products, visit their new website www.hkresearch.com or call (800) 334-5975. Visit www.hkresearch.com for additional personnel announcements as HK Research continues to expand its footprint in the composites industry.

HK Research ReFlex Gel Coat Polymer Brings Pure Protection To The Marine Industry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HICKORY, NC — HK Research, America’s leading gel coat expert, brings the marine industry unmatched protection with its new ReFlexTM polymer gel coats. ReFlex is one of HK Research’s Revolution® series of gel coat polymers, which represents one of the biggest innovations in marine coatings in over 70 years.

“What makes ReFlex and all our Revolution polymers so different is their ability to ‘flex’ due to the elasticity in their molecular structure,” explained David Higgins, VP of Marketing and Sales, HK Research. “While providing outstanding in-shop application properties, the ReFlex Revolution polymer offers tremendous weathering properties and water resistance — all at a price competitive with traditional gel coats.”

Using a proprietary grafting technique, HK Research has completely re-engineered the polymer’s molecular makeup to produce its Revolution series of gel coats. Flexible molecular crosslinks enable ReFlex to resist cracking while under pressure while delivering outstanding water and UV resistance. And, like all HK products, Revolution gel coat polymers are specially engineered to deliver outstanding performance in the shop and in the field.

Although it is available in a variety of other colors, ReFlex is most often applied in its pure white form.

Based in Hickory, North Carolina, HK Research has the largest facility in North America designed exclusively for premium polymer coating manufacturing. HK Research’s fully automated facility produces the world’s most advanced, consistently reproducible coating products for marine, aerospace, transportation and pool and spa industries. Barrel to barrel, HK Research’s coatings deliver superior protection that lasts, maintains a new appearance longer, and adapts easily to the production process, saving time and money on every run.

For more information on HK Research or their products, visit their website www.hkresearch.com or call (800) 334-5975.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
David Higgins, VP – Sales and Marketing, HK Research
908 Old Lenoir Rd, P.O. Box 1809, Hickory, NC
(800) 334-5975 • (828) 328-1721
www.hkresearch.com

HK Research’s MetalFlex Marine Gel Coat Polymer Delivers a Sparkling Performance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HICKORY, NC — HK Research, America’s leading gel coat expert, brings new depths of protection and brilliant color to the marine industry with its MetalFlex™ polymer gel coats. MetalFlex is one of HK Research’s Revolution® series of gel coat polymers, which are an engineering of the polymer’s molecular makeup using a proprietary grafting technique to give it flexibility while under pressure.

Available in a variety of vibrant colors, MetalFlex can have the brilliance of traditional bass boat metal flake or the subtlety of a soft pearl. What separates it from other gel coats is the depth of color, durability and ease of application.

“Along with its deep metallic glow, what makes MetalFlex and all our Revolution polymers so different is their ability to ‘flex’ due to the elasticity in their molecular structure,” explained David Higgins, VP of Marketing and Sales, HK Research. “The depth of color and vibrancy of MetalFlex gives boats a glowing aura in the showroom and in the water. While providing outstanding in-shop application properties, the MetalFlex Revolution polymer offers the best weathering properties and water resistance — all at a price competitive with traditional gel coats.”

Using a proprietary grafting technique, HK Research has completely re-engineered the polymer’s molecular makeup to produce its Revolution series of gel coats. Flexible molecular crosslinks enable MetalFlex to resist cracking under pressure while delivering outstanding water and UV resistance. And, like all HK products, Revolution gel coat polymers are specially engineered to deliver outstanding performance in the shop and in the field.

Based in Hickory, North Carolina, HK Research has the largest facility in North America designed exclusively for premium polymer coating manufacturing. HK Research’s fully automated facility produces the world’s most advanced, consistently reproducible coating products for marine, aerospace, transportation and pool and spa industries. Barrel to barrel, HK Research’s coatings deliver superior protection that lasts, maintains a new appearance longer, and adapts easily to the production process, saving time and money on every run.

For more information on HK Research or their products, visit their website www.hkresearch.com or call (800) 334-5975.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
David Higgins, VP – Sales and Marketing, HK Research
908 Old Lenoir Rd., P.O. Box 1809, Hickory, NC
(800) 334-5975 • (828) 328-1721
www.hkresearch.com

HK Announces Appointment of Brannon Pittman to Technical Services Manager

We are pleased to announce that Brannon Pittman, veteran of 14 years of Gel Coat development and customer service at HK, has been formally promoted to Technical Service Manager for the company. His responsibilities will include assisting the field representatives where necessary, trial runs of products in composite plants around the country and providing the follow-up laboratory work to assist our current and new customers.

We congratulate Brannon on his new position, a position he has earned with a great deal of hard work and effort.

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HK Research Starts a Revolution in 2012

HICKORY, NC — HK Research, the industry’s gel coat expert, unveiled a new user-friendly, grafted polymer matrix named “Revolution” during the 2012 Composites Exhibition and Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.

HK Research is confident that its new Revolution® polymer will live up to its name. “Polyester gel coat technology has changed very little over the past 70 years. Until now,” explained David Higgins, VP of Marketing and Sales, HK Research. “What makes Revolution different is its ability to ‘flex’ due to the changes in its molecular structure. Revolution has multiple reactive sites that allow superior cross-link density and inherent flexibility. While providing outstanding in-shop application properties, Revolution Polymer offers the best weathering properties and water -resistance — all at a price competitive with traditional gel coats.”

Using a proprietary grafting technique, HK Research completely re-engineered the polymer’s molecular makeup. As a result of this molecular re-engineering, Revolution features modified resin backbones, grafted polymer chains, controlled uniform molecular weights and flexible cross-links. Ordered monomer grafting minimizes UV degradation, maximizes application characteristics, increases transfer efficiency and reduces water permeation through a polymer network. And, like all HK products, Revolution Polymer is specially engineered to deliver outstanding performance in the shop and in the field.

Based in Hickory, North Carolina, HK Research has the largest facility in North America designed exclusively for premium polymer coating manufacturing. HK Research’s fully automated facility produces the world’s most advanced, consistently reproducible coating products for marine, aerospace, transportation and pool and spa industries.  Barrel to barrel, HK Research’s coatings deliver superior protection that lasts, maintains a new appearance longer, and adapts easily to the production process, saving time and money on every run.

For more information on HK Research or their products, visit their new website www.hkresearch.com or call (800) 334-5975.

 

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