SOUTH BEND, INDIANA: February 1, 2019 – TRION COATINGS, LLC (TRION) announcedtoday that Governor Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania, has agreed to serve on its Board.
Trion Coatings, LLC, incubated at Notre Dame’s IDEA Center, has now completed its independent third-party validation tests and is poised to enter several markets in 2019, including transportation, aerospace, Oil & Gas.
Trion was formed for the purpose of developing an environmentally friendly alternative to the hexavalent chromium electroplating process. Developing a safe alternative to hexavalent chromium presents advantages in the market as the global regulatory environment becomesmore stringent.
Trion Coatings’ proprietary process uses trivalent chromium and an ionic liquid-based solution that offers faster electroplating speeds and improved wear resistance over traditional hexavalent chrome, while offering an excellent health and safety profile.
“During my time as governor, I was proud to help foster investment in innovative American technology, founded through great U.S. research universities and deployed through the unique entrepreneurial culture that we, as a nation, value so highly. Trion represents all of these and is poised to have a major impact on enabling American steel to adopt an environmentally friendly chrome finishing option. Trion’s technology will serve as a major enhancement to the competitive standing of American steel.”
Following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Tom Ridge became the first Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and, on January 24, 2003, became the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The creation of the country’s 15th Cabinet Department marked the largest reorganization of government since the Truman administration and another call to service for the former soldier, congressman and governor of Pennsylvania. Today, Gov. Ridge is Chairman of Ridge Global, where he provides clients with solutions to cyber security, international security and risk management issues.
Doug Morrison, president and Co-Founder of Trion Coatings, says the new technology willfundamentally change the surface finishing industry by allowing chrome-plated steel to be produced in a way that is energy efficient, environmentally friendly and safe for workers. He notes that Gov. Ridge’s arrival on the Board comes at an important time for the company. “The industry has worked carefully and responsibly over the years with hexavalent chrome, but the core carcinogenic characteristics of this process has been a concern for chrome platers and safety regulators for decades,” said Morrison. “Trion’s Trivalent (Cr3) process is a welcome game changer that aligns with the safety vision of regulatory agencies across the globe, while also maintaining the strength and performance of the coating for its products.”
Dr. Mauricio Quiroz-Guzman, Co-Founder and former postdoctoral researcher at the University of Notre Dame and now chief scientist at Trion Coatings and Patrick Benaben, a noted international electrochemistry expert serve as the core technical team for developing the technology for commercial viability.
Middleburg Capital Development is a family office that manages the Sutherland family trusts, and is the majority owner of ILS-Trion, LLC, the parent company of Trion. ILS-Trion has also sold a minority equity position in ILS-Trion to Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE). As part of its investment, Nucor will work with Trion Coatings to commercialize the technology by building the first commercial facility for the plating process at Nucor Fastener in St. Joe, Indiana. As part of the agreement, Nucor will hold exclusive worldwide license agreement rights for the technology as applied to long steel products.
Nucor and its affiliates are manufacturers of steel products, with operating facilities primarily in the U.S. and Canada. Products produced include: carbon and alloy steel — in bars, beams, sheet and plate; hollow structural section tubing; electrical conduit; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; steel fasteners; metal building systems; steel grating; and wire and wire mesh. Nucor, through The David J. Joseph Company, also brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron and HBI/DRI; supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap. Nucor is North America’s largest recycler.