Additives for Polymers (v.2008, #2)

Honeywell Specialty Additives, part of Honeywell International, has recently commercialized a range of high-performance speciality lubricants for PVC processing in Europe. The company says that the new products provide PVC producers with a viable solution as lead formulations are phased out in Europe.

Evonik's Goldschmidt Industrial Specialties business has developed a new antiscratch additive for polypropylene talc compounds, Tegomer® AntiScratch 100. The product is based on organic modified siloxanes and has been developed in particular to impart scratch resistance during automotive manufacturing.

Germany's Merck KGaA has introduced three new effect pigments: Miraval® 5320 Scenic Gold, Miraval 5321 Scenic Copper and Miraval 5325 Scenic Turquoise. The three are based on synthetic borosilicate flakes with a particle size of 10–100 μm.

Tyre recycler CBp Carbon Industries Inc has reported the successful test production of CBp Carbon Green, its ‘breakthrough’ substitute for virgin carbon black, at the production plant of its wholly owned Hungarian subsidiary, CBp Carbon Hungary Kft.

Effect pigment specialist Eckart GmbH, part of the Altana group, has developed Lasersafe, a heavy metal-free laser-marking innovation. The new product was introduced at the K 2007 show last October.

Italy's Viba Group has developed several masterbatches to meet the growing market for the biopolymer polylactic acid (PLA) in packaging. These new offerings include Vibatan PLA Nucleating Agent 03413 and Vibatan Blue Antiox 97838.

NaturalNano, Inc of Rochester, NY, USA has announced that its Pleximer-N™ additive, the first in a planned suite of Pleximer nanomaterial products [ADPO, January 2007], is now available for purchase. The additive, which comprises naturally occurring halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) in a nylon carrier, is said to improve the strength, durability and flexibility of nylon and other polymer-based products.

The board of additives major Chemtura Corp has authorized the company's management to consider a wide range of strategic alternatives available to the company ‘to enhance shareholder value’. Merrill Lynch has been appointed as financial advisor to assist in the process.

Clariant Masterbatches has developed new colour masterbatches within its Renol® range that offer in-built flame retardance. Designed specifically for polycarbonate/ABS alloys used to produce consumer electronics products, all colours in the range achieve UL 94 V-0 at 1.5 mm, with no appreciable effect on mechanical properties such as impact strength or on processing characteristics, the company reports. The required colour and additive effectiveness are achieved at addition rates as low as 3%, it says.

US flame retardants major Albemarle Corp is to open a new production unit in Nanjing, China, for one of its best-performing phosphorus-based products, NcendX® P-30. Operations at the new plant are scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2008.

Chemicals giant BASF AG is expanding production capacity at its integrated Ludwigshafen site in Germany both for higher oxo alcohols, used in plasticizer manufacture, and for plasticizers themselves. The expansions are in response to strong demand from customers throughout Europe for PVC plasticizers based on C9 and C10 alcohols, the company says.

Clariant's Masterbatches division has invested in expansions to its operations in both Latin America and Europe. The company has acquired a Colombian masterbatch producer and expanded plants in Brazil, Belgium, Spain and France.

Spanish ultramarine pigment manufacturer Nubiola is increasing its production capacity by 25%. The company adds that the ultramarine blue and violet pigment market is undergoing significant change and it sees an opportunity to increase overall production capacity to 16 000 tonnes per annum by mid 2008.

Austrian stabilizer manufacturer Chemson Polymer-Additive AG is expanding production capacity for its calcium-zinc-based one-pack stabilizers for PVC at its Philadelphia site in the USA. The company says the move is in response to the growing demand for calcium-zinc stabilizers.

Continuously rising raw material, freight and energy costs have again triggered a spate of worldwide price increases from additives producers.

For the first nine months of 2007, Essen-based Evonik (formerly Degussa) reported a 2% rise in sales to €10.769 billion. Adjusted for acquisitions and divestments, sales were 6% higher. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose 21% in the first nine months to €1.074 billion from €888 million for the same period in 2006, while group net income increased 3% to €951 million.

In its latest financial results, which were published before the strategic review was announced (see p.5), Connecticut-based Chemtura Corp reported net earnings on a GAAP basis of US$2 million for the third quarter of 2007. Net sales for the quarter were up 9% to $950 million while operating profit, on a GAAP basis, totalled $27 million compared to a loss of $56 million for 3Q 2006.

BSI British Standards, the UK's national standards organization, is launching a series of standards and guides explaining nanoscience and nanotechnology. The first guidance was published in January 2008, comprising three guides and six standards dealing with different aspects of nanotechnologies terminology.

Ohio-based Ferro Corp announced sales of US$551 million for the quarter ended 30 September 2007, up 10% from $501 million in 3Q 2006. Income from continuing operations was $5.6 million for the quarter, up 2.2%.