Additives for Polymers (v.2008, #12)

UK-based Croda International has introduced a range of UV absorbers for use in plastic articles. Based on ultrafine zinc and titanium oxides, the ‘unique patented technology’ of the Solasorb™ range provides greater dispersion and clarity as well as superior UV absorption than previously obtainable with metal oxide powders, the company says.

Leverkusen-based Lanxess AG has introduced an innovative new biocidal product that is said to significantly increase the lifespan of wood plastic composites (WPCs). Preventol MPT 11 is based on a careful combination of materials that provides the organic material with effective protection from the fungi that can cause discoloration and damage, the company says.

Minnesota-based RTP Company has extended its long glass fibre thermoplastic (LFT) product line by commercializing a new polypropylene LFT concentrate designed to meet demanding automotive specifications. Designated RTP 199 × 118012, the melt-impregnated LFT concentrate combines 60% by weight very long glass fibre reinforcement and masterbatch additives into a single pellet, allowing processors to easily blend it with neat PP resin at the press, according to the company.

Honeywell Specialty Materials has fully commercialized a novel low-global-warming-potential (GWP) blowing agent for one-component foam and aerosol applications in Europe. Hydrofluoroolefin HFO-1234ze has zero ozone-depletion potential and meets European Union regulatory requirements for reducing the use of high GWP substances, the company says.

In the USA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Ciba® Irgaclear® XT 386, a clarifier for polypropylene, for use at a new, higher concentration of up to 250 ppm in PP random copolymers and homopolymers. The extended upper limit applies to all conditions of use from high to low temperature, as well as to all food contact applications. Ciba says that, with its ultra-low migratory system, Irgaclear XT 386 is recommended in amounts as small as 150–200 ppm. The 250 ppm extended upper limit therefore more than adequately allows for qualification of clarified polypropylene for FDA-approved food contact applications.

US-based Ampacet Corp has introduced Brushed Brilliance™ Masterbatch, which the company says offers ‘an upscale, trendy alternative’ to brushed aluminium that captures the lustre, visual presentation and textural nuances of the metal but at a fraction of the cost.

Netherlands-based Transmare Compounding BV has launched a range of new products reinforced with fibres from 100% renewable raw materials. The new compounds, which carry the Transmare® brand, are based on polypropylene (PP) and biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) and utilize bamboo fibre reinforcement. Bamboo fibre, as a renewable resource, provides moulders and OEMs with a greener alternative to traditional reinforcements.

Ohio-based Lubrizol Advanced Materials, a subsidiary of Lubrizol Corp, has introduced masterbatches from its Estane® thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) line. According to the company, the masterbatches improve performance and are compatible with both polyester- and polyether-based TPUs.

In Turkey, Rohm and Haas Co has officially opened its new manufacturing facility in Gebze for the production of acrylic impact modifiers and processing aids for plastics. The opening took place just a year after groundbreaking at the site [ADPO, December 2007].

Italy's Polynt SpA has acquired the entire share capital of Chemial Group SpA from former owner 3i Group. Chemial produces intermediate chemical products such as high-purity organic esters used in numerous industrial applications, including the production of plasticizers.

Effective from the beginning of October 2008, the plastic additives, benzoic acid and derivatives business of Illinois-based Velsicol Chemical Corp will be known as Genovique Specialties Corp. The company says the re-branding of the business is the final stage of the culture shift that started three years ago when Velsicol was acquired by Arsenal Capital.

The increases in the costs of raw materials, energy and transportation are unremitting and continue to force manufacturers of polymer additives and pigments to raise their product prices in turn in order to counter the adverse effects on their profitability. Unless otherwise noted, all listed pricing changes are subject to existing contracts.

Silicone-based materials manufacturer NuSil Technology and Ciba, in its capacity as a worldwide provider of turnkey antimicrobial solutions for medical devices, have signed an agreement to jointly provide antimicrobial solutions for use in medical device and healthcare-related silicone products.

For the third quarter of 2008, New Jersey-based Cytec Industries Inc reported net earnings of US$46.3 million on net sales of $963.0 million. This represents a 12% decline in net earnings year on year, from $52.4 million in 3Q 2007, but a 10% increase in sales from $875.1 million a year earlier. Excluding special items, net earnings for the two periods were virtually level at about $51.2 million.

Louisiana-based Albemarle Corp posted net sales of US$660.5 million for the third quarter of 2008, up 13% year on year from $584.0 million in 3Q 007, and up 6% sequentially. Quarterly sales by the Polymer Additives segment were at record levels of $261.7 million, up 12% from $232.7 million in 3Q 2007 supported by strong brominated flame retardant volumes.

AkzoNobel reported a 3% revenue increase for the third quarter of 2008, up from €3.715 billion on a pro forma basis in 3Q 2007 to €3.82 billion this year. This represents an 8% increase at constant currencies. All business areas delivered resilient EBITDA performance, the company says, although net income was down 23% to €157 million as a result of one-off items including incidental charges totalling €79 million before tax.

Published in the UK by Woodhead Publishing Ltd, Advances in Fire Retardant Materials edited by Richard Horrocks and Dennis Price provides a comprehensive account of the advances that have occurred in fire science in relation to a broad range of materials. The book is an updated addition to the authors’ previous joint publication, the technical textbook Fire Retardant Materials published in 2001, and will be ‘an essential reference for producers, manufacturers, retailers and all those wishing to improve fire retardancy in materials’, the publisher says.