wyandotte chemicals dedicates new research laboratory

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  • Wyandotte Chemicals Dedicates New Research Laboratory

    Building designed to minimize maintenance, achieve lowest cost over 20-year period


    Alchemists' symbols on lab entrance depict company's basic materials (top row ), process, and products ( bottom row )

    npHE new research laboratories just * opened by Wyandotte Chemicals Corp.

    on the grounds of its Norwi Plant, Wyandotte, Mich., bring together under one roof a research stafiE of more than 2O0 people that were scattered among 19 loca-tions in 13 different buildings. The new laboratory, of two-story, brick construc-tion with full basement, is T-shaped. De-partment offices are placed at the points of entry to their respective wings, near the central core, facilitating interdepart-mental liaison.

    In designing the building, a principal

    objective was to achieve minimum cost over a period of 20 years, according to Thomas H. Vaughn, vice president for re-search and development. In many cases this has resulted in a great initial cost, but this will be offset by lower maintenance cost over the longer period. Corridor walls for instance, are tiled; paint is considered unsatisfactory in a laboratory building.

    The entire building is supplied with conditioned air that is washed, filtered, and passed through electrostatic precipi-tators to reduce the amount of dust enter-ing the building. "We cleaned out the building when w e moved in," says Dr. Vaughn, "and w e don't expect to have to wash the walls again for 5 to 10 years."

    The air conditioning system provides heat in winter, cooling in summer; air is 100% fresh with no recirculation. The system is zoned to compensate for sun heat. Double glazed windows throughout reduce heating and cooling costs. Ac-coustical ceilings reduce noise and nerve strain.

    To achieve maximum convenience and flexibility, modular construction and mov-able partitions are used. Modular unit is 10 feet, with two exterior windows, two air-conditioning units, and a pair of floor service slots per module. Most of the rooms are at least two modules wide. Serv-ices are made easily accessible in 5-foot space between floors for effecting repairs and shifts in laboratory arrangements.

    Possibility for future expansion is pro-vided by having all corridors and piping run to the ends of the wings; extensions may be added without interrupting other work.

    The laboratory is particularly well equipped for research on applications for the company's products, which include alkalies and chlorine ( 6 0 % ) , detergents (30%) , and organics ( 1 0 % ) . Present re-search points to the development of new solvents, polymers, germicides, detergents, and reactive intermediates, says Dr. Vaughn. Extent of the company's de-pendence on research is reflected b y the fact that half its current sales of cleaners for business and industry are in new and improved products developed during the past 15 years.

    The new laboratories, together with the pilot plant, high pressure laboratory, and the Clark St. Building where the company has an extensive program of research for the Government, comprise the Wyandotte Chemicals Research Center.

    Above. Products are tested here for use in paper and paint. Other labs are devoted to rubber, textiles, and food technology. Below. Electroplating lab has 18 plating units

    2402 C H E M I C A L A N D E N G I N E E R I N G N E W S


    Building is 322 feet long with central wing extending back 176 feet. Floor area is 76,000 square feet. Small wing on left houses meeting room (wi th outside doors) administrative offices, library, and patent and market development departments

    Any type washing cycle may be duplicated in this flexible, 7-spray, industrial-type washer to solve metal cleaning problems

    Radioisotopes are sensitive tools for judging detergent effective- Low desks (28 inches) are custom styled for comfort to put ness. Special methods for depositing standard soil containing personnel on top of work. Bench between desks at window tracers prior to cleaning tests are employed in nucleonics lab end of laboratory provides writing space for technicians


    Typical two-man organic lab has closed cupboards, free wall space for tall equip-ment, racks over sink for drying glassware

    H o o d on low speed vents air from lab, keeps hall fume-free. Switch to high speed turns on secondary air system

    Hallway for evaluating detergents and waxes has 14 different surfaces. Traffic on each will be counted electronically

    V O L U M E 3 1, N O . 2 3 J U N E 8, 1 9 5 3 2403

    Wyandotte Chemicals Dedicates New Research Laboratory


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