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Author: Rakem Group

Rakem Group working with Woellner Chemie


At the Rakem Group we’re not just a business, we’re a family. One of our core values, ‘Family’ runs deep, shaping our culture and guiding our every interaction.

From our dedicated team members who support one another like family, to our customers who are part of our extended family, we believe in creating a warm and inclusive environment where everyone feels at home.

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New Stain Blocking Sealer Paint from Maker Products


The Problem

Paint refurbishment jobs can be hindered by old stains on existing surfaces. In this situation, water or oil-based stains can migrate through freshly painted surfaces to reveal unwanted discolouration on the final painted surface. This wastes a significant amount of money in terms of time and paint materials and leaves the consumer with an inferior result or the prospect of repeating the paint job.

To mitigate this issue, the application of a stain blocking sealer is a sensible choice for DIY and trade decorators to ensure excellent results with fast turnaround times.

Stain Blocking Primers

Stain blocking primers work by hindering the diffusion of water or oil soluble compounds that would otherwise produce unwanted stains on visible surfaces. Traditional primers that contain high amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) are effective, however, they can have a detrimental effect on human health by reducing indoor air quality and are generally considered worse for the environment. Water-based primers are often viewed as a safer alternative due to their inherent lower VOC levels when compared to solvent-based paints. To boost performance of some aqueous primers, formulators can include Zinc Oxide as an additional stain blocking ingredient, however it should be noted that this metal oxide has significant issues in terms of its’ toxicity to aquatic organisms.

A New Option From Maker

A new primer is available from Maker Products Ltd that provides superior stain-blocking performance with favorable environmental and toxicological profiles. This primer utilizes a new acrylic polymer that has very low temperature film coalescence behavior meaning VOC levels are small compared to similar commercial products. Additionally, due to the tailored polymer chemistry with the binder we have chosen, our primer does not need Zinc Oxide to achieve industry leading stain-killing performance. A recent study conducted at a 3rd party laboratory found our primer to give similar performance to a commercially available, market-leading stain-blocking primer. For more information, please contact sales@rakem.co.uk

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The World of TIO2


The Rakem Group would like to welcome you to the world of Titanium Dioxide (TiO2). TiO2 is an inorganic material that is widely used in the paints and coatings industry as a high quality pigment and opacifier. In fact, TiO2 is used in a huge range of applications, including cosmetics, plastics, construction and paper.

Why use TiO2?
Of all of the known white pigments, none are whiter or brighter than TiO2. TiO2 also produces coatings with very high opacity (hiding power), meaning that coatings based on TiO2 can be applied in thinner or even potentially single coats. In specific coatings formulations, TiO2 can be used as a photocatalyst to decompose environmental pollutants. TiO2 is a multifunctional raw material in a wide range of applications.
 
Can TiO2 be replaced?
No. There is no complete replacement for TiO2 in coatings, but there are a range of products which can be used to partially replace (or extend) the TiO2. These partial replacement raw materials (functional extenders/fillers) can be used to lower formulation costs or bring additional properties to an end-coating formulation.
 
TiO2 Optimisation
In actual fact, if TiO2 was used in a white paint without the addition of functional fillers/extenders then the resulting paint would not be an effective, efficient, economical or practical use of the TiO2. Using the correct package of functional fillers/extenders can optimally space the TiO2 particles within a coating formulation. By combining the TiO2 with the correct size filler particles at the correct dosage, industries can obtain optimum TiO2 pigment hiding power and whiteness. Depending on PVC and other factors, generally 0.3µm – 0.9µm filler particles can optimally space TiO2 particles and give improved opacity and whiteness.

The Rakem Group are able to supply a full suite of functional extender/fillers.
Synthetic Barium Sulphate
Natural Barium Sulphate
Calcined Clays
High Purity Ground Calcium Carbonate
Precipitated Calcium Carbonate
Synthetic Zinc Sulphide
Lithopone
Orgawhite 2000 (Opacifying Polymer)
 
The Orgawhite 2000 opacifying polymer is an excellent additional product in the TiO2 optimisation armoury. The Orgawhite 2000 opaque polymer has a specifically created hollow-sphere structure, which provides a controlled and consistent level of air void hiding in paint through the refractive index differential between the internal air void and the outer polymer shell.
 
With over 25 years of supplying TiO2 to a wide range of industries, including coatings, inks and plastics, Rakem Group is ideally placed to support your TiO2 needs. Contact sales@rakem.co.uk for more information on the range of TiO2 and functional extenders/fillers that we have available. Please visit The Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association if you would like more information about the uses of TiO2.

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January: Charity Lunch


And that’s a wrap on our first Charity Lunch of 2024!
This month, we had the theme of ‘Hospice Month’, and we were proud to share the money between two great hospices, Bury Hospice and Forrest Holme.
Bury Hospice is very near and dear to our hearts at Rakem Group, and we’re proud to continuously support them. We were also happy to have their Corporate Fundraiser and Director of Income Generation to join us and explain what the money will go to and who it will benefit. Always great to see you, Nina and Laura!
We also donated this month to Forrest Holme. Located in Poole and nominated by our IT Technician, Nick Winfield, this one was great to show that no charity initiative is too far away.
Thank you to everyone for coming down, and we can’t wait to continue the charity initiative through out 2024!

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Charity Lunch: December


It’s been a while, and we hope everyone has had a great Christmas and New Years! Before our break, we had our final Charity Lunch of the Year! We were happy to donate to three great charities, nominated by this months’ Charity Committee.

First, we donated to Pheonix RDA, a registered charity who welcome guests of all ages with physical and mental disabilities and give them the experience of horse riding. Pheonix RDA are ran by volunteers and all income is from donations, and we are always happy to see what our donation goes towards. Our donation paid for the installation and service pack for a hoist so they can now help even more people correctly and safely.

Our second charity is a charity who we’re proud to support regularly, Bolton Lads and Girls Club. Based in Bolton and founded in 1889, BLGC has something for all young people in Bolton, including sports, art, mentoring, and community outreach work for those who need it the most.

Finally, we were happy to invite in Laura from Laura’s Wish. Laura’s Wish was one of the first charities we donated to when we first started our charity initiative, and we were more than happy to invite her in to donate again. Laura has Cerebral Palsy, and our donation will be going towards Laura and other people with disabilities access treatment and equipment not provided by the NHS.

Everyone at The Rakem Group is so proud of the work we have done in 2023 and can’t wait to see what we can do in the next 12 months!

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Charity Lunch: November


Another fantastic month for our Rakem Group charity lunch! This month we split the money between three different causes, all nominated by our Charity Committee!

Our first cause was Maggie’s Tots, a playgroup held every Tuesday at a church in Heywood. The playgroup is run by a group of volunteers who were overjoyed by the donation and plan to spend it on brand-new toys for all of the children who attend.

Our second charity was Avid’s Angels Cat Rescue, a Bolton-based charity that helps cats all around the Northwest. Avid’s Angels provide a safe and nurturing environment for every cat and kitten that comes into their care. Their team of passionate volunteers works tirelessly to ensure that each cat receives the love and attention they deserve. Founder Katie even brought in a special guest – Willam!

The third charity for the month is Trust House Bury. As the holiday season approaches, our Charity Committee, Scott Tilley decided to nominate Trust House Bury as the recipient of some of the money this month. Trust House Bury is an organisation that supports the community by offering a community cafe, a food pantry, advice and guidance, and holistic support to all of those who need it.

The food pantry is a small shop on the premises, where those who need to use it can do their shopping, take things they need, and fill up a bag with up to £20 worth of shopping for just £2.

Tyler Wilson from our Marketing department and Chief Chemist Scott Tilley from our technical team had the opportunity to visit Trust House in Bury, where centre manager Katie Jenkins gave them both a tour, and explained how the money we donated will be going towards food packages for everyone who uses the food pantry, to make sure they get a special Christmas care package so they can still have a hot Christmas Dinner for Christmas Day!

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A Year of Making a Difference


As we approach the end of the year, Rakem Group, a global distributor of specialty chemicals, takes great pride in reflecting on the team’s charity initiative in 2023. Everyone at Rakem has taken part and we have made a significant impact on various local communities, embodying our commitment to corporate social responsibility. We have again, donated nearly £100,000 in funding, equipment, and volunteer work. We will continue to do this in 2024.

Our approach to charity is to be as diverse as possible, addressing a wide range of challenges faced by individuals and our local communities. The team nominates charitable causes close to their heart and that is important to them. We have had many presentations from these deserving causes throughout the year at our monthly lunch. We support initiatives in healthcare, education, arts, culture, and more, with the aim to foster unity and collective well-being among the communities we serve.

One of our main partners is Bury Hospice, where we not only provide financial support but also donate equipment. Recognizing the importance of creating uplifting environments, the company went a step further by supplying materials for local students to paint a vibrant mural within the hospice premises, fostering a positive atmosphere for patients and their families. It is our intention to continue to support this fantastic facility which provides a vital service to our community.

To support children facing life-limiting conditions, Rakem Group donated £3000 to Derian House Children’s Hospice. This heartfelt contribution reflects our dedication to making a meaningful difference in the lives of those who need it most. We also continue to support the Barrie Wells Trust which provides once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to attend events at sports and entertainment venues in corporate boxes where they feel special.

In memory of our cherished contractor, Joe Mitchell, we purchased a memorial bench at Edenfield Cricket Club. This heartfelt gesture serves as a tribute to Joe and provides a lasting space for reflection within our community.

Recognizing the invaluable service of retired service animals, Rakem Group extended its support to The National Foundation for Retired Service Animals. Our donation aids in ensuring the well-being of these dedicated animals after their years of service.

Furthermore, Rakem Group organized and donated to art and crafts workshops for a local homeless charity, Red Door. These initiatives aimed to provide therapeutic and creative outlets for those facing challenging circumstances.

We proudly sponsored Burrs Live, a local small music festival, demonstrating our commitment to the cultural vibrancy of our community. This support not only fosters artistic expression but also strengthens the local cultural landscape. Rakem Group have become The Met’s first-ever Platinum Sponsor, showcasing our dedication to supporting the arts and cultural institutions within our community.

This series of charitable initiatives have not gone unnoticed, as we have recently been honoured with the prestigious Manchester Chamber of Commerce Charity Initiative of The Year Award. This recognition is a testament to our commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of individuals and communities.

We have also extended our support throughout the year to other charities and organizations such as:

•              Age UK

•              Dementia UK

•              Breaking Barriers Bolton

•              Brinsworth Manor Junior School

•              Bury Cancer Support Centre

•              UK-MED

•              The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

•              SafeNet Domestic Abuse Services

•              Dr Kershaw’s Hospice.

•              Macmillan Cancer Support

•              Young Carers through Barnardo’s

•              Stronger Together

•              Young Lives Vs Cancer

•              New Beginnings Rescue For Romanian Dogs And Cats.

•              Early Break

•              The Glitter Ball in Association with World Prematurity Day

Looking ahead, Rakem Group is filled with enthusiasm as we continue our initiative in 2024 and beyond. Our charity work reflects our values and it is the commitment and dedication of our team that makes this possible.

at home.

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Rakem Group supports Bury Hospice


This week we heard some bad news from a local charity we regularly support, Bury Hospice. Unfortunately, Bury Hospice have been robbed, and four sets of outdoor furniture, which patients can use to relax in their Japanese garden, have been stolen.

Chief Executive Helen Lockwood has said “on behalf of our staff patients and community who contribute tirelessly to the running of this hospice, I am devastated that some people find it acceptable to take these away from our patients and their families at the most difficult of times.”

Thankfully, the community have managed to replace the garden furniture, and we have also decided to donate £1,000 to buy a mattress for the Hospice.

We’d like to invite all other local companies in our district to help them get to the 7 other mattresses to reach their goal! To help, contact Nina at ninacamplin@buryhospice.org.uk!

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Health and Safety Culture


The well-being of our team members, customers, and partners is non-negotiable. We believe that a safe environment fosters not only productivity but also a culture of care and respect. 

From stringent safety protocols to continuous training and open communication, we ensure that everyone steps into a workspace where their health is safeguarded and their peace of mind is assured. When you know you’re safe, you can focus on doing your best work and pursuing your work with confidence.

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Charity Lunch • September


Another month, another opportunity to make a positive impact through our Charity Lunch initiative! This September, we are excited to support not two, but three incredible causes that are close to our hearts. This month, we went with the theme “Care for Carers” as an opportunity to come together as a community and extend our support to those who devote their lives to caring for others.

Stronger Together
We were proud to donate to Stronger Together. Stronger Together is a new, small, local, registered charity, established with the purpose of helping those who are socially isolated or at risk of becoming so. This could be anyone and includes carers, people living with dementia, people living through a major life event or people in ill health, physical or mental. Founded and run by 2 experienced carers, and supported by wonderful volunteers, they are entirely a voluntary organisation, making no profit at all.

Supporting Young Carers through Barnardo’s
We also took this opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of young carers through our contribution to Barnardo’s Young Carers program. The selfless dedication of young carers deserves recognition and support, and we are delighted to play a part in this.

Walking Milestones for a Worthy Cause
Michelle Taylor has embarked on a remarkable journey this month. She has pledged to walk a mile a day in support of Dementia UK. Michelle’s dedication to this cause is truly inspiring, and we are wholeheartedly supporting her in her mission to raise awareness and funds for Dementia UK. Every step she takes is a step closer to making a difference in the lives of those affected by dementia, and we were proud to present a donation to help her on her journey.

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