Principals of Baltimore-based Atlantic Trading Co. have formed a joint venture with a Canadian research and development firm to become the first local commercial manufacturer of Ecolyte -- a photo-biodegradable plastic that disintegrates over time in reaction to sunlight.

The group, Ecolyte Atlantic Inc., plans to manufacture and sell Ecolyte worldwide from a plant in the Port of Baltimore's Foreign Trade Zone that is operated by Atlantic Trading.

Ecolyte products contain photo-biodegradable resins that disintegrate when they are exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Ecolyte disappears within 90 days when exposed to the sun, according to John A. Braun III, a spokesman for Ecolyte Atlantic Inc.

Safeway stores in Canada are using Ecolyte in plastic grocery bags, according to Ecolyte Atlantic, and the company said Coca-Cola Co. plans to use the product in plastic cups to be distributed at the Winter Olympics in Calgary. The product is being produced by Eco Corp. of Toronto in a pilot plant there, Braun said.

UNC Inc. of Annapolis, a high-technology firm that specializes in aerospace, aviation, telecommunications and defense, has acquired Tri Industries Inc. of Terre Haute, Ind., for an undisclosed amount.

Tri is one of the world's largest manufacturers of honeycomb seals used in the original equipment, replacement parts and repair markets of commercial and military turbine engine programs.

"Tri will be an important addition to UNC and will enhance our position as we broaden our commitment to the aerospace/aviation business," said Dan Colussy, UNC's president. Vernon Hux, Tri's founder and chairman, will continue to run the company, Colussy said.

Williams & Wilkins, the publishing division of Waverly Press of Baltimore, has acquired the publishing assets of Rynd Communications of Owings Mills, Md., for an undisclosed amount. Rynd Communications will now be known as National Health Publishing, a division of Williams & Wilkins, and will remain in Owings Mills.

The purchase of Rynd is the most significant to date under Williams & Wilkins' corporate acquisitions program, a spokeswoman for the company said. The acquisition is designed to diversify the company beyond clinical medicine and into the areas of health administration and long-term care.

Jacqueline Karkos, former vice president and general manager of Rynd, was named president of the National Health Publishing division.

Metters Industries Inc., an Arlington-based systems engineering firm, will provide foreign military sales technical and systems engineering support to the Naval Air Systems Command in Arlington and to other offices under a five-year, $23.1 million contract from the Navy.

The contract is the largest so far received by Metters and represents a significant increase in the company's defense-related business, said Samuel Metters, president of the firm.

Metters said the contract also is the largest foreign military sales contract awarded by the Navy to a minority-owned firm.

The contract is for a base year and has four one-year options, with an initial value of $796,000.

A new publication aimed at companies that provide psychiatric and chemical dependency services -- such as crisis management, insured mental health plans, employee assistance, specialty hospitals and alternative outpatient treatment programs -- will be available this month.

"Open Minds, The Behavioral Health Industry Analyst," is being published in Washington by John Krizay and Monica E. Oss. Krizay is an economic consultant to the American Psychiatric Association and Oss is president of Summit Corp., a health care marketing company.

"We intend to provide the facts on what's happening on the business side of mental health," Oss said.

The monthly newsletter will provide: financial performance data for companies in the industry; inpatient and outpatient service costs across the country, and information on investments, mergers and joint ventures, Oss said.

Contel Tenant Services Inc. of St. Louis, a division of Atlanta-based Contel Corp., has agreed to acquire RealCom Communications Corp. of McLean for an undisclosed amount. Under the agreement, Contel will purchase all outstanding shares of RealCom stock for cash. The transaction is expected to be completed in 60 days.

Contel Tenant Services is a division of Contel's telephone operations sector and serves customers in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Seattle and Portland.

RealCom, a subsidiary of IBM, provides telecommunications services to tenants in office buildings and developments.

Contel telephone operations sector President James L. Carroll said the tenant services division is a high-growth component in Contel's plan.

"Our successes in three years of operation position us well in the tenant services marketplace," Carroll said.

"The acquisition of RealCom enhances that position and allows us to accelerate the marketing effort."Announcements of news and developments affecting Washington area companies should be sent to Pamela Babcock, Researcher, Business News Department, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Information must be received the Monday before publication to be considered for inclusion in Washington Business.