Since opening its doors in 2006, Dynamix Inc. of Markham, Ontario, has supplied custom surface-finish coating chemicals mainly used by Canadian and other North American fabricators who supply diverse industries ranging from oil and gas to aerospace. The company also has distributors as far afield as Europe, Mexico, and China.
“We are known for going the extra mile to reformulate and make new products,” says Michael Black, Marketing Manager. “We provide clients with commodity chemicals, proprietary chemicals, technical support, and laboratory analysis to keep their processes running.”
With thickness, durability, porosity, and sheen all influencing the longevity and performance of the company’s products, research and development is a large and crucial part of this team’s offering. Customers benefit from the wealth of product and industry knowledge the team has, enabling them to develop chemicals that perform the way customers need them to. Dynamix products thus feature in a vast array of goods, including everything from airplane landing gear and nuclear reactors to display windows, respiratory devices, brake pads and shock absorbers, seatbelt buckles, and more.
Some of the company’s largest markets are in metal finishing process chemistry like zinc electro-plating, high-sheen and matte nickel, and chrome. Although the aesthetic of modern cars is sleek and pared-down in contrast to the chrome-heavy glamour of classics such as the 1952 Pontiac Chieftain, a surprisingly large amount of chrome still goes into modern electric vehicles, the popular, protective application protecting the metal beneath from oxidation.
Dynamix also supplies undercoat paint adhesion chemicals that improve the gripping and staying power of powder coatings and the like, as well as water- and solvent-based lacquer finishes that are typically fired onto coated metal substrates. There are also copper and brass finishes and chemicals that enable oxidation and heavy patina effects on products like faucets and other metal bathroom fittings or doorknobs. In addition to all these finish-related chemicals, the company also offers products used in pre-treatment processes, electro-polishing and plating, stripping agents, and wastewater treatment products.
Dynamix is proud of its close relationship with its customers. Its laboratory team works to minimize any unforeseen events for customers, such as downtime. As expert troubleshooters, this research team is also well-versed in spotting and mitigating potential issues, saving clients time and money in reworking products.
“We are at the forefront of technological advancements, and we are proactive with our customers. As regulations change or process improvements are [made,] we work with our customers to [ensure] they benefit as much as possible,” explains Black.
Indeed, an interesting aspect of the company’s research and development function is keeping up with regulations. The result is continuous innovation and finding new ways of delivering the quality and performance of old-fashioned chemicals—but in modern formulations that are less damaging to the environment.
“Hexavalent chromium-free passivates and plating processes; non-cyanide zinc, cadmium, silver, and black nickel processes; phosphate-free pre-treatments before painting; and citric acid passivation of stainless steels, just to name a few. We presently offer products in all of these areas,” says Stewart Tymchuk, Co-President.
“Quality is our legacy and our future. Our products are very important, yet they are often overlooked by the outside observer who does not understand our business,” he says.
Dynamix’s commitment to excellence ensured that it came out on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis stronger than it had entered. The company’s growth has been consistent due to the sincere partnerships it has built up with customers over the years, and its goal is to continue on this path. Today, its drive for achieving the impossible persists.
“We are known for taking the time to understand a customer’s wants and needs and finding or developing a product that helps them achieve what they want. Our customization abilities and willingness to help the customer are endless,” says Tymchuk.
In tandem with this ongoing research and development effort, a constant stream of new customer projects demands fresh thinking to keep the company’s formulations on the leading edge. To this end, Dynamix has an impressive array of technology that most competitors don’t have at their facilities, such as a high-intensity x-ray machine and other modern tools for more environmentally responsible electroless nickel plating processes typically used in EV batteries and other parts. The company also offers silicone-free wastewater de-foaming agents and phosphate-free pre-treatment processes for pre-paint applications.
Growing interest in super-tough, high-velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF) thermal-spray plasma coatings, mainly used in the oil and gas and aerospace industries, has inspired the company to develop a formulation that strips old coatings. This is quite popular, especially with equipment resellers, and it is the first of its kind available to the market. These coatings are favoured for the tremendous durability and protection they provide on expensive components as they melt into the metal, and the company feels there will only be increased demand for the stripping product as the coatings themselves see more widespread adoption.
A salt-spray cabinet tests how well finishes will protect the metal beneath from the relentless onslaught of accelerated corrosion. Rust and oxides are evaluated after a predetermined amount of time. Positive results mean that products can be salt-spray certified with a customer guarantee on the anti-corrosion performance of the finish. In some applications finished aluminum would need to pass up to 3000 hours and an interior automotive component, like a nickel- and chrome-plated seat belt buckle, would only need to be certified for 24 hours. An interesting standard benchmark is that 200 hours of salt-spray exposure is believed to equate to ten years of atmospheric exposure in the city of Detroit, Michigan.
After a recent expansion, the company’s 23,000-square-foot facility now features revamped finished goods and raw material storage sections alongside its fabrication outfit. Growing from a single unit in an industrial complex, the business has trebled its footprint over the past seventeen years. To mark the auspicious event, the company threw a lavish party in 2021, celebrating its first fifteen years in business. The fun included a managers’ dinner and a Maple Leafs’ game from the luxury of a gondola suits at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena.
This is a happy and diverse group of 22 people who enjoy camaraderie and the challenges the field provides; most have been with the firm for many years. Part of the company’s contribution to its enthusiastic team spirit is proper remuneration. “We pay our staff well but mostly, we treat them right,” says Tymchuk.
In addition, the company provides a delicious staff lunch—typically around the barbecue in summer—on Fridays. There is also a complete benefits package, a profit-sharing agreement, and an extra two-week vacation during the festive season over and above standard vacation allocations.
Thanks to its light-hearted office spirit, the company takes calamity in its stride. Once, the facility and two neighbours were flooded over a long weekend as the result of a defunct component on a deionization unit. After a three-day deluge, arriving at a drenched site was a bit of an unwelcome surprise, but everyone pulled together and sorted the problem in no time at all.
Dynamix Inc. is also a proud supporter of its favourite student hockey team: the University of Windsor Lancers. As of 2021, the company has ensured that all qualifying student-athletes receive a fixed allowance, as only a handful of them received financial aid in the past.
In addition to supporting the community, the company is also committed to doing its best to protect the natural environment from harmful chemicals. To this end, it reports to Environment Canada annually with detailed information on its waste production. It also reports to the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI), which requires that the company detail its waste and how it prevents it from leaking into the natural environment. Being as strictly controlled as it is, especially when it comes to wastewater treatment, the plating industry is one of the most conscious industries with regard to ecological responsibility, these leaders feel.
At present, the Canadian surface finishing industry is worth around $3.5 billion and has over 47,000 employees. Its gross domestic product value is estimated at more than $1.2 billion, nearly 90 percent of which is believed to be generated in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta. Employment opportunities and production naturally follow. Against the backdrop of the evolving nuclear, food, and medical industries, the Dynamix Inc. team is sparing no effort to continue producing quality surface finishing chemistry.