Additives for Polymers (v.2008, #6)

Ohio-based Americhem has introduced a range of new colour and additive products for synthetic polymer-based fibres. The new offerings include yellow, black and red dispersions and UV stabilizers, each providing new alternatives to traditional products with enhanced performance characteristics, according to the company. All were developed in response to industry demand or based on gaps in current industry solutions, Americhem says.

Swiss speciality chemicals firm Ciba has introduced a new range of pearlescent effects that offer enhanced stabilization. With their anti-yellowing properties, Ciba® XYMARA™ XPS pearlescent effects are claimed to both enhance the appearance and prolong the life of plastic objects. According to the company, the new pigments are suitable for use in a broad range of plastic goods, including cosmetics bottles, jars, containers and many other functional and decorative items.

International polymer materials firm PolyOne Corp used the Düsseldorf-based Interpack 2008 show in April to launch OnCap™ BIO Anti-fog T and OnCap Bio Impact T, the latest additions to its extensive range of additive and colour concentrates for use in biopolymers.

Philadelphia-based speciality materials company Rohm and Haas has unveiled a range of new Paraloid KM impact modifiers for extruded vinyl window profiles. According to the company, the new all-acrylic products optimize different performance aspects of window profiles, enabling users to customize their PVC applications according to specific performance requirements.

Wrexham-based Silvergate Plastics, the colour masterbatch arm of British Vita, is launching a new masterbatch made specifically for polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The company anticipates significant interest from the market in the new product and to meet expected demand has installed a new twin screw line to increase its capacity.

At the recent International PVC Conference, held in Brighton, UK, Honeywell Specialty Materials presented new test results demonstrating the advantages offered to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producers by its newest high-performance lubricants (HPLs). According to the company, the products make the extrusion process more efficient, helping producers ‘meet critical industry challenges’.

Paris-based Arkema used April's International PVC Conference to announce the introduction of a new generation of Durastrength acrylic impact modifiers for rigid PVC window profile applications. The first grade of this new line, Durastrength 360, will allow window profile manufacturers to enhance production efficiency and reduce acrylic impact modifier use-level by up to 15% in PVC window formulations, thus offering improved value-in-use, the company says.

A multi-year strategic supply agreement has been signed between Honeywell and South Korean speciality chemicals manufacturer Gong Myoung Technologies (GMT) under which Honeywell will be the exclusive marketer of GMT's waxes in all markets except South Korea. The supply deal includes high-density polyethylene waxes used in polyvinyl chloride processing as well as in inks, coatings and floor polish.

French firm Eliokem is expanding production capacity for its Wingstay L phenolic antioxidants by 20% at the company's Ningbo plant in China. The expansion, which is scheduled to be completed by June 2008, is in response to fast-increasing demand in Asia, Eliokem says.

Arkema is to cease production of Clearstrength® methacrylic-butadiene-styrene (MBS) impact modifiers at its US facility in Axis, AL. The company will instead consolidate worldwide MBS production at its facility in Vlissingen, the Netherlands. The move is expected to produce cost savings of approximately €3.2 million (US$5 million) in the first year, Arkema says.

Colour and additive masterbatch firm Techmer PM has acquired Accel Corp in a merger that will expand its manufacturing footprint in the USA and boost its product and service offering. The deal makes Accel a wholly owned subsidiary of Techmer PM. Accel operates under the Accel Color brand name and has facilities in Avon, OH, Naperville, IL, Ontario, CA, and Knoxville, TN. Its key management team will remain with the company.

Texas-based IMin Partners has bought the kaolin business unit of Huber Engineered Materials. Renamed KaMin LLC, the company is headquartered in Macon, GA, USA, and supplies high-quality kaolin products worldwide for use in a range of applications including thermoplastics.

Bayer MaterialScience AG (Bayer MS) and Clariant Masterbatches (Deutschland) GmbH have signed a cooperation agreement under which Bayer MS will supply industrial quantities of its Baytubes® carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for use in thermoplastics compounds and masterbatches. The arrangement is described as ‘long term’ with scope for wider collaboration in the CNT sector and other product areas in future.

A number of the world's leading producers of polymer antioxidants have introduced price increases in recent weeks. The companies uniformly cite the ‘unprecedented continuous escalation’ in costs of raw materials, energy, packaging and freight. Some also highlight availability constraints on key intermediates and a change in Chinese tax legislation, which is affecting both the supply of some critical materials from China and the profitability of products manufactured in the country. Without the price increases the companies say they will be unable to ensure product availability, or invest in innovation and increased capacity to meet growing demand for antioxidants.

UK-based additives producer Akcros Chemicals Ltd has signed a licensing agreement with ALA Chemicals PVT Ltd, a leading Indian manufacturer of PVC stabilizers. The deal allows ALA Chemicals to produce and manufacture for the Indian market a range of stabilizer products including barium-zinc and calcium-zinc liquid stabilizers, calcium-zinc solids and pastes, potassium-zinc kickers and a range of organotin maleates and polymer plasticizers. The products will be sold under the ALA brand into both flexible and rigid PVC processing markets in India.

For the first quarter of 2008, Albemarle Corp reported record quarterly net sales of US$668.2 million, up 13.4% from $589 million in 1Q 2007 and 11.5% sequentially. Net income of $65.4 million, excluding special items, was also a record for the company, up 12.5% from $58.1 million in 1Q 2007. Including $2.1 million of after-tax special item charges related to severance, net income for 1Q 2008 was $63.3 million, up from $58.1 million a year earlier. Operating profit increased to $83.8 million as performance in Albemarle's Catalysts business segment was partially offset by declines in the Polymer Additives and Fine Chemicals business segments.

The Additives & Colors Europe Division (ACE) of the Society of Plastics Engineers Europe is organizing the 6th European Additives & Colors Conference and has issued a call for papers. The event will be held in Antwerp, Belgium, on 11–12 March 2009.

New Jersey-based Cytec Industries Inc posted net earnings for the first quarter of 2008 of US$49.1 million on net sales of $973 million. Included in the quarter are several special items that total $3.4 million expense after-tax. Excluding these special items, net earnings were $52.5 million.