PF Blog

Ken Gatchel, former AESF President, Passes

2. January 2017


Ken Gatchel, former ASEF president who also presided over the NASF Sur/Fin Technical Conference and Exhibition, passed away Dec. 10 in Michigan.


He was the AESF national president in 1997-98, the third to be elected from the Grand Rapids Branch since the society's founding in 1909. Gatchel served 10 years on the AESF national board of directors, and returned to national office 2004 when he was elected to a three-year term as their treasurer. He was an emeritus member of the American Chemical Society, joining in 1959.


Gatchel was a graduate of Beloit High School in Beloit, Wisconsin. He served in the army for two years with his major duty in Korea during and after the war. Gatchel doubled majored in chemistry and physics for his bachelor of science degree at Beloit College, and was employed as a chemist at National Lock Co., Rockford, Illinois, where he met his future wife, Denise, whom he was married for 54 years.


Gatchel joined Hanson, VanWinkle, Munning Co., in Matawan, New Jersey, and they transferred him to their Grand Rapids plant. The company was sold to M&T Chemicals in Rahway, New Jersey, but he remained at the Grand Rapids plant. Gatchel subsequently became a research chemist and later a product manager. When his product line was sold to Lea Manufacturing in Waterbury, Connecticut, he was named a sales manager for their Michigan division and later its technical director. Upon retirement, he became a consultant.


Gatchel is survived by his wife, Denise, six children, 19 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren. He was a strong believer in education, and was a trustee of the Kentwood Public Schools Educational Foundation for seven years and served four of those years as its president. He was a member and fourth degree knight in the Knights of Columbus, a member of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church and very active in his many hobbies.


See more HERE

Florida Finishers Mid-Winter Conference Features Lockheed Martin Tour

28. December 2016


For those attending the 7th annual Florida Finishers Corp. Mid-Winter Conference & Exposition in St. Petersburg, Florida, a tour of the Lockheed Martin facility in Pinellas Park has been arranged for Wednesday, Feb 1. 


Pre-registration is required. This tour is limited to the first 40 people to register.  CLICK HERE for more information.


The tour will start that day by meeting in one of the conference rooms in B2 to review a facility overview presentation and then we will tour both manufacturing buildings on the property.


The Mid-Winter Conference and Exposition has made some changes in the speaker schedule as well.  CLICK HERE for the updated schedule.


MAMF To Celebrate 100th Anniversary in April

23. December 2016

MAM members at a recent meeting.


The Masters Association of Metal Finishers, which consists of finishing shops in the New York and New Jersey area, will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a Centennial Celebration on Saturday, April 8. The organization is gearing up for the celebration, highlighting 100 years of service to its community of industrial finishers.


Donna-Jean Plante, MAMF executive director, says the celebration will be held at the Chart House in Weejawken, New Jersey. Attendees will hear a presentation on the history of the MAMF and other significant contributions to the finishing industry.


The MAMF was formed in 1917 and is one of the oldest surface finishing associations in the U.S., formed shortly after American Electroplaters Society formed in 1913. The organization works to educate, and promote the metal finishing industry and supports local and federal regulations governing environmental and worker protection policies.


Serving as an affiliate of the National Association of Surface Finishers (NASF), the MAMF operates to provide a localized voice and serve as an advocate on issues impacting the Metal Finishing industry.


For more information, visit

Winners of BASF Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment Los Angeles

21. December 2016


John Frye, a principal designer and digital modeling group leader for Honda R&D Americas, Inc., was named the winner of the Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment Los Angeles, presented by BASF.


Known as the “Fight Night of Design,” the Sketchbattle experiments, which originated in Detroit, are held to help identify emerging automotive design talent.


The Los Angeles event, which marked the first time the Sketchbattle was held outside of Detroit, coincided with the Los Angeles Auto Show. Seventeen contestants competed in the automotive sketch battle, which was held in a high-pressure format in front of a live audience.


“The Sketchbattle competitions not only emphasize the skill and creativity of future talent, they also offer an energizing platform to help build enthusiasm for the automotive design community,” says Paul Czornij, head of design for the BASF Color Excellence Group and one of the event judges. “As a leader in color design for the auto industry, we enjoy supporting such a creative and thrilling event.”


The Sketchbattle competitions consist of three rounds, with each round themed differently. Approximately half the contestants are eliminated in each round as their sketches are judged by a panel of automotive design experts.


Judges for the LA event included chief judge Chris Benjamin, head of interior design at Fiat Chrysler North America, Bryan Thompson of Bryan Thompson Design and Paul Czornij. Additional special guest judges for each round included Michael DiTullo, chief of design for Sound United / Polk Audio, Scott Robertson of Design Press, and designer Camilo Pardo.


For the final round, the four remaining contestants were asked to incorporate BASF’s 2017 Color of the Year–Reflexion Nebula, a color that transitions from blue to gray depending on the vantage point–into their sketches. The four finalists were Frye, defending Sketchbattle champion Omar Gonzales, Rodrigo Galdino, a designer at Karma, and Chris Lah, a student at the Art Center College of Design.


“During the final round, I didn't have a specific plan other than using the BASF blue on something like a hot rod – adding future thinking to a reinterpretation of classic proportion,” Frye says, who also studied at the Art Center College of Design before starting his career. “Winning the Sketchbattle was stunning and energizing for me. I feel the experience is an endorsement of the skills and encouragement from the teachers and supportive people in my life. As designers, we do not evolve in a vacuum, we owe a lot to those who teach us and mold our creativity.”



AAC Announces 2016 Winners for Student Research Poster Contest

By: Hannah Coombs 19. December 2016



(From left to right) AAC Academic Outreach Chair, John Thornton; Burcin Bilici from Istanbul Technical University; Abby Koczera from the University of New Hampshire; Flemming Jensen from Technical University of Denmark; and AAC Education Chair, Dr. Jude M. Runge.



The Aluminum Anodizers Council (AAC) held its third Student Poster Session at the 25th Annual Anodizing Conference and Exposition this fall in Montreal, Canada. Students from around the world presented research projects in materials science, bioengineering, nanotechnology, electrochemical technology, corrosion science, and related engineering disciplines presented their work. 

The posters were presented to the three judges including AAC Education Chair, Jude M. Runge, Ph.D. of CompCote International; AAC Academic Outreach Committee Chair John Thornton of Apple, Inc.; and Mark Jozefowicz, AAC Education Committee Member of Reliant Aluminum Products. Three posters were chosen as equal winners and were each awarded a $500 scholarship.
Burcin Bilici of Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey was commende for her poster, Investigating the Effect of DC Pretreatment on the Corrosion Behavior of Black Colored Anodized Aluminum Film. The focus of the research used AAO to study and control neuronal growth from stem cell precursors, according to the abstract.  
Abby Koczera from the University of New Hampshire was awarded for her poster, The Effects of Carboxylic Acid Additives in Anodic Alumina Coatings on Corrosion Resistance. Koczera’s research focused on stress corrosion cracking (SCC) and hydrogen-induced cracking (HIC) in aluminum alloys. According to the abstract, “the purpose of [the] study is to determine if the scanning vibrating/reference electrode technique (SVET/SRET/SVP) can be used to monitor the coupling current flowing through the solution.”
Flemming Jensen from the Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby, Denmark was awarded for his poster, In-situ Temperature Measurement during High Frequency Pulse Anodising of Aluminium. The poster addressed the search for an environmentally friendly anodizing process for magnesium alloys. “Nitric acid etching was extensively studied, influence of various operating parameters being clarified through a kinetic and thermodynamic study. Our study allowed predicting the etching rate and to clarify the different reactions occurring during pickling. Then an innovative anodizing process, performed in [an] acidic and environment-friendly medium, is studied,” the student noted in the abstract.
AAC will soon issue the Call for Student Posters for the 2017 Anodizing Conference and Exposition. The 26th Anodizing Conference and Exposition is scheduled for September 19-21, 2017 at the Westin Westminster in Westminster, (Denver) Colorado. For event information, visit the AAC conference website at

For more information, visit



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