Girish C. Dubey Is Inspired by Sealcoating. It Explains a Lot About His Products.

STAR, Inc.
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

As winter comes to an end, many of us are thinking about spring maintenance around our properties, including driveways and other paved surfaces. And few people understand the importance of sealcoating and keeping ahead of potential problems better than Girish C. Dubey. You could call it his passion.

Years before founding Specialty Technology and Research, Inc.—better known to its many customers as STAR—Dubey earned his master’s degree in inorganic chemistry from Gorakhpur University in India, later pursuing chemistry at Ohio’s Wright State University. This led to a position at Denmark-founded and based Hempel, one of the foremost global manufacturers of sustainable coatings used in marine containers, oil and gas, industrial, infrastructure, yachts, and other sectors.

Inspired by his experience at Hempel and seeing a need in the sealcoating market, Dubey created STAR Inc. in 1986.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, STAR has grown to 15 plants across the United States and three international manufacturing facilities in India, Australia, and China.

“We’re always looking for new territories, and there are some interesting candidates,” says Dubey. “Generally speaking, we’re looking to expand on the West Coast and in Canada, and we’re diligently exploring certain areas on the Eastern Seaboard.”

Developing new and exciting products over the years has led STAR to offer customers four major lines of sealcoating, with each sealcoating having three or four variations. The company is also behind other established lines of products including primers, traffic paint, additives, crack fillers, and many more.

“We are always expanding our product lines, the most recent being one that was introduced last year,” says Dubey. “This is an additive called STAR LTCA: Low-Temperature Cure Additive.”

For years, one of the biggest challenges for customers was cold weather. But thanks to STAR LTCA, the sealcoating season has been extended.

Sealcoatings can be applied at temperatures below 50°F (10°C)—from around 40°F (4.5°C) to 45°F (7°C)—but not below freezing, which is the cut-off. Specifically formulated and manufactured for optimal curing at cooler temperatures, STAR LTCA extends the season for sealcoating application by about four or five weeks in both early spring and late fall.

Drying and curing at lower temperatures, STAR LTCA provides a durable coating and is ideal for applications ranging from apartment buildings and office complexes to gas stations. “This product has been very successful, and is well-liked by sealcoating customers,” says Dubey, “and we’re starting an ad campaign for it.”

STAR LTCA is available from all STAR plant locations and comes in five-gallon plastic pails, 55-gallon drums, and 275-gallon plastic totes for projects of all sizes.

Along with STAR LTCA, the company is actively promoting STAR® RUST ARREST™. A unique rust-inhibiting specialty primer/coating, STAR RUST ARREST is well suited to addressing unsightly and destructive rust spots and streaks caused by pyrites (iron sulfite minerals) in pavement.

Freshly laid asphalt is black, and if anything is wrong at first, customers cannot see it. As it oxidizes, the color bleaches and after about a year turns slate grey. Unless addressed, these rusting areas will show through the pavement, allowing rain, snow, and salt to penetrate, creating cracks and potholes. “If the aggregate contains pyrites—which is fairly common—as a pavement is laid down, it will start oxidizing. Those iron ore contaminations start turning to rust and become very visible on the new pavement,” Dubey explains.

“Sometimes you will see all kinds of rust coming through on pavement that’s just a year old. You have to address the rust; it’s not only unsightly, but it damages the pavement. This primer and coating is water-based, and once applied, it stops rust from starting. It creates a barrier coat that reduces the oxidative reactions to rust in the pavement.”

Made for asphalt surfaces, STAR RUST ARREST creates a black satin finish as it dries, protecting and beautifying the asphalt surfaces found in airports, parking lots, schools, home driveways, and other areas. Once the pavement is swept, cleaned, power washed, and dried, just a single application is needed. “You don’t have to even apply another coat. Just one coat of RUST ARREST gives a beautiful black finish to the pavement,” says Dubey.

Safe, simple to use, and easy to clean with water, the product dries in just 30 minutes and cures in as little as two to four hours.

Made for ease of use and formulated for longevity, STAR Inc.’s product lineup includes STAR-TRITON®—which can extend pavement longevity by approximately 300 percent—durable and colorfast STAR SPECTRUM® coating products, and many more. For the protection of concrete surfaces, STAR’s MACRO-DECK® safeguards against the destruction caused by water, salt, and chemicals.

Operating with a licensee model, STAR has an “Own a Star Seal Plant” section dedicated to entrepreneurs on its website at Providing all the tools needed for success, from technical expertise to research and product development, to sales and marketing support, STAR helps licensed plants across America grow and thrive through its unique, cost-effective program. Best of all, becoming part of the growing STAR family often saves more than the cost of start-up fees when compared to starting a manufacturing operation on your own.

All STAR products are carefully crafted and made to last. From concept to product development and commercialization, it often takes two to three years for a product to come to market—and Dubey wouldn’t have it any other way.

With the company refusing to take shortcuts, all new products are tested, manufactured, and subjected to field trials at several plant locations, where they are applied on pavement and observed. “It’s very important that the product goes through at least one cycle of freeze and thaw,” says Dubey.

Usually applied in late fall, the product and its performance are observed and recorded during the winter and spring. Only when a product successfully meets its benchmarks is it made available. Sometimes, new sealcoating products undergo third-party testing if required.

Sealcoatings, primers, traffic paint, crack fillers, and other STAR products are made to work under all weather conditions, and STAR’s President Girish Dubey warns potential customers of the risks of using other, less expensive, products. These typically contain excessive amounts of water, compromising the coating and resulting in a much shorter service life.

“To safeguard against that, it’s extremely important that you check the differences and talk to property owners for whom the contractor has done the job,” he says. “Check with suppliers and ask questions. Some contractors have even said they are using STAR Seal but are in fact using other products. It’s important to check references.”

STAR dedicates itself to providing a superior product with consistent performance, excellent value, and the highest quality—and it shows.



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