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Revised approaches required
For the past two decades, most titanium dioxide producers have offered the U.S. market a minimum of eight to 12 dry grades for coatings. The marketing emphasis was on special products for real or contrived end uses, sending competitors scrambling for alternative offerings.
Formulation chemists evaluated and selected a grade ostensibly for a specific coating. It was not unusual for purchasing to manage an economical in-stock position of five to seven distinctively different Ti[O.sub.2] grades or offsets. With "peak season" and "just-in-time" raw material management over-shadowed by cyclic Ti[O.sub.2]-grade production, the purchasing director faced a difficult stock situation at best.
Recent marketing and technical wizardry has evolved a true, single universal Ti[O.sub.2] grade that can replace enamel, general-purpose and flat grades. This universal product can meet stringent interior and exterior requirements in paint systems ranging from low to high PVC as the direct result of advances in specific surface-treatment chemistry.
Treatment varies among suppliers; most use either zirconia, silica and alumina, or combinations of treatments. Inventory reduction from multiple Ti[O.sub.2] grades and the simplified delivery …