Additives for Polymers (v.2007, #12)

Swiss company Clariant used the K 2007 show to present two new additions to its PV Fast® Pigments series of high-performance organic pigments: PV Fast Red D3GW and PV Fast Red HGR. Both are suitable for colouring numerous polymers, the company says.

Antimicrobial specialist Sanitized AG of Burgdorf, Switzerland, has developed Sanitized® PL 25-33 to protect PVC plastisols against mould-fungi attacks. Such attacks can affect both the functionality and aesthetics of PVC-coated textiles for outdoor use. The new additive was presented at the recent K 2007 show.

Chemtura Corp, headquartered in Middlebury, CT, USA, launched a cost-effective, ‘greener’ alternative to industry-standard secondary antioxidant tris(nonylphenyl) phosphite (TNPP) at K 2007. Weston® NPF 705 phosphite stabilizer is 100% nonylphenol-free and can not break down to form nonylphenol, the firm says. The use of nonylphenol and its derivatives is in the process of being phased out in the European Union and a number of other countries as they are persistent in the environment and suspected of being endocrine disrupters.

New Jersey-based masterbatch manufacturer Polyvel Inc has introduced VF152 Antifog masterbatch for low-density polyethylene (LDPE) film applications.

A new product from US masterbatch supplier Ampacet Corp gives clear PET bottles a unique blue halo around their periphery. The Blue Edge™ masterbatch is also said to enhance bottle brightness and give bottles a soft glow in UV light.

Germany's Sachtleben Chemie, a subsidiary of Rockwood Holdings, introduced two new grades of titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigments, targeting applications in PVC and PET, at October's K show.

Connecticut-based speciality materials firm Momentive Performance Materials has introduced e-free 189 silane, a new coupling agent with the potential to enhance the manufacturing process for rubber goods by eliminating most ethanol emissions and by reducing production costs, the company says. The new material is claimed to offer excellent overall performance, while typically improving processing characteristics such as reduced viscosity and faster cure with adequate scorch protection.

US-based Teknor Color Co has introduced new custom-formulated concentrates that are said to provide dramatic colour-shift effects for beauty product packaging.

Philadelphia-based Rohm and Haas has broken ground for an acrylic impact modifier and processing aids manufacturing facility at a chemical industrial estate in Gebze, Turkey, the company's first new plastics additives plant to be built in 25 years. The facility will serve the Turkish market, but will also be used as an export platform to both Central and Eastern European countries and the Middle East.

Minnesota-based RTP Company has extended its portfolio to include engineered long fibre thermoplastic (LFT) compounds with the introduction of long-cut additives. The long-cut masterbatches are available as cube blends with RTP's line of LFT products.

Flame retardants, fillers, antioxidants and pigments are among the additive products subject to further recent price increases from a wide range of companies.

Munich-based Süd-Chemie AG has sold its Nanofil® nanoclay polymer additives business to Rockwood Clay Additives GmbH, the German subsidiary of US-based Rockwood Specialties Group, for an undisclosed sum. The deal, which had already been cleared by the German Federal Anti-Trust Commission, includes all the technologies and brand rights associated with the Nanofil product line, as well as key employees located in Germany.

Italy's Polynt Group, through its subsidiary Polynt Hong Kong Co Ltd, has acquired the speciality plasticizers business of Chinese company Hinbo International Industrial Co Ltd. The company says the acquisition is in line with its strategy of growth in Asia.

Albemarle Corp, headquartered in Richmond, VA, USA, reported third quarter 2007 net income of US$59.1 million on net sales of $584 million. In 3Q 2006, net income was $2.3 million; however, excluding the charge related to the divestiture of the Thann facility in France, net income for the 2006 quarter was $60.7 million. 3Q net sales were down 4.1% year on year from $608 million in 3Q 2006. Strong performance in the Catalysts and Fine Chemicals business segments was offset by margin declines in Polymer Additives, the company says. R&D expenses in the third quarter increased $3.9 million, or 34%, from the same period last year.

Cytec Industries Inc, based in West Paterson, NJ, USA, posted net earnings for the third quarter of 2007 of US$52.4 million on net sales of $875 million. Included in the quarter is an after-tax net restructuring charge of $2.2 million – nearly half of which relates to the restructuring of a US polymer additives manufacturing site – and a tax benefit of $3.5 million. For the comparable quarter in 2006, net earnings were $25.1 million on net sales of $863 million.

For the third quarter of 2007, Rohm and Haas Co reported sales of US$2.204 billion, a 7% increase over the same period in 2006. The increase reflects strong performance across all business segments and in all regions outside North America, particularly in rapidly developing economies, the company says. 3Q 2007 earnings from continuing operations were $129 million, down 32% from $189 million in 3Q 2006. The quarter's earnings were affected by charges of about $15 million relating to a recently announced restructuring plan (see below) and a one-time pension charge of $65 million before tax. R&D expenses of $72 million were up about 4% for the period.

In Israel, ICL Industrial Products (ICL-IP) and Japanese joint venture partner Dai-Ichi Kogyo Seiyaku (DKS) have announced plans to increase production capacity for their proprietary flame retardant FR-245 at their Ramat-Hovav plant.

US polymer materials supplier PolyOne Corp has opened a new colour masterbatch manufacturing facility in Kutno, Poland, to serve rapidly growing regional markets in Eastern Europe.

California has become the first US state to legislate against the use of certain phthalates as plasticizers in toys and child-care products. The ban will come into effect 1 January 2009 and will affect a variety of PVC products for children under three, including soft baby books, soft rattles, plastic bath ducks and teething rings.