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News ReleaseAir Products, Surface Combustion Announce Joint Marketing Strategy

Expanded Portfolio and Offerings Available to North American Metals Processing Customers

December 21, 2004 Lehigh Valley, Pa.

Air Products (NYSE: APD) announced today it is entering into a marketing agreement with Surface Combustion, Inc. in which both companies will jointly market a newly-integrated portfolio to the metals processing industry. The agreement leverages each company's respective leadership position in the industry while diversifying its product offerings.

The complementary mix of offerings includes a variety of industrial gases, services, technology and atmosphere generating equipment. It is a unique, one-stop solution for metals customers aiming to reduce overall production costs while improving product quality.

Surface Combustion is a leading manufacturer of thermal systems equipment used in metals processing and heat treating. Since 1915, the company has installed more than 250,000 thermal systems worldwide, in all areas of the metalworking industry. Air Products has supplied the industrial gases to customers who use this equipment through its PURIFIRE® atmosphere systems for more than 50 years.

"The bottom line is that a joint marketing approach allows both companies to better serve our mutual customers," explained Meri Lazar, Air Products' Metals Market manager. "For Air Products, this means we are now in a unique situation to offer a broad range of solutions and technologies to a broader base of metals customers."

"Many times our customers require a combination of industrial gas and generated atmosphere for their specific metallurgical application or for economic reasons. This relationship allows Surface Combustion to offer the best approach taking these factors into account," says Daniel E. Goodman, vice president, Sales at Surface Combustion.

Air Products currently supplies nearly 35% of the worldwide market of industrial gases used in the metals processing industries. Among the products supplied are bulk and gaseous nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, argon and helium. Air Products also provides complementary equipment and technologies to the industry. Maumee, Ohio-based Surface Combustion has the industry's widest product offering for endothermic and exothermic gas generators.

The metals industry is faced with heightened competitive pressure brought up by the global economy. Currently in the U.S., the metals treatment industry is mature and very competitive, with an estimated value of $20 billion. For metals treatment facilities—those serving the automotive sector, for instance—profitability is centered on product or process improvements that increase quality and yields while reducing scrap and defects.

Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in technology, energy, healthcare and industrial markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of products, services and solutions, providing atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials and chemical intermediates. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment and is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE4Good Indices. The company has annual revenues of $7.4 billion, operations in over 30 countries, and nearly 20,000 employees around the globe. For more information, visit

***NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary materially, due to changes in current expectations.

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  • Investor Contact
    Simon Moore
    (610) 481-7461
    Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    7201 Hamilton Boulevard
    Allentown, PA 18195-1501
    (610) 481-2729
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