America’s Leading Gel Coat Company

Richard HigginsFounded in 1980 by Richard and Jan Higgins

The only automated gel coat manufacturing facility

– Computer-controlled production
– 40,000 lbs. per hour capacity

The leader in low-HAP gel coats

Quality and service are our watchwords

Highest R&D to manufacturing ratio in the industry

Quality control operates under laboratory

American owned and operated in Hickory, NC

 

Corporate History

HK Research was founded by Richard and Jan Higgins in 1980 to fill a niche in the FRP and Cultured Marble industries. A gel coat that would perform at the next level was needed. The first ever 100% NPG® Isophthalic gel coats, like our HydroShield®, were an instant success.

In 1995 we opened our new fully-automated plant in Hickory, North Carolina, the only one of its kind in the world. With our climate-controlled raw material storage, HK can accomplish an amazing 40,000 lbs. throughput per hour – 320,000 lbs. per shift.

Working from a central Control Room, HK production managers pump raw materials to a series of high capacity dispersing/mixing vessels, and after a long series of filtration, directly into drums for shipment.

2002 marked the year HK became the second largest producer of gel coat materials in the world. In fact, HK has the capacity to meet all of North America’s gel coat needs, and then some. Today, we are America’s leading gel coat company.

But streamlined production is certainly not our primary goal. It’s just a luxury that allows us to devote more energy to R&D. Look at our record- it speaks for itself.

1980 – First 100% NPG® Isophthalic gel coat.

1982 – Formulated cast syntactic foams for the U.S. Navy allowing previously built attack submarines to return to duty quickly.

1983 – Introduced “reactive” pigment dispersion systems to the cast polymer market.

1985 – Introduced first in-house pigmentation system for making small parts.

1987 – Introduced High Heat Distortion Primer gel coat systems to the automotive-truck body industries that would take high temperature bake cycles.

1987 – Introduced High Heat Distortion Primer gel coat systems to the automotive-truck body industries that would take high temperature bake cycles.

1990 – Began design of laboratories and an automated facility to produce the future products needed by the composites industry. Unique (one-of-a-kind) facility designed to manufacture environmentally-friendly products automatically.

1993 – Construction of fully-automated manufacturing facility began.

1994 – Began move into the new facility–a process that would take more than two years.

1995 – HydroShield® – Amazing blister resistant gel coat for marine hulls.

1995 – Introduced SprayShield® syntactic sprayables to the composite industry.

1996 – SolarShield® – Handles high UV situations on marine decks.

1997 – Introduced the first urethane-vinyl ester tooling systems that provided a 200°C+ HDT (385°F) suitable for injection and vacuum infusion processes in the composites industry.

1998 – Low-HAP (MACT compliant) Cultured Marble Clear gel coats based on a 100% NPG/Isophthalic resin backbone.

1999 – HydroShield® LITE – Low-HAP (MACT Compliant) marine gel coats that surpass the industry standards set with HydroShield®.

2000 – Low-HAP Pigmented gel coats that exhibit little change in 10-year simulated UV-exposure.

2002 – HK Research became the second largest producer of gel coat materials in the world.

2003 – Introduced Low-HAP (Marine MACT Compliant) Deep Tone Colored gel coats.

2003 – Introduced Low-HAP Marine Clear gel coats (surpasses minimum MACT compliant standards).

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1809
Hickory, NC 28603

Shipping Address
908 Old Lenoir Road
Hickory, NC 28601

Telephone
(800) 334-5975
(828) 328-1721

Fax
(828) 328-4572


908 Old Lenoir Road | Hickory, NC 28601 | (800) 334-5975
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