Additives for Polymers (v.2009, #4)

In the US, Arkema Inc's PVC Additives Group has introduced Durastrength® 619 acrylic impact modifier to the polyvinyl chloride market. The company says that its latest impact modifier offers efficiency advantages over existing acrylic modifiers and chlorinated polyethylene (CPE), allowing processors to lower their overall formulation costs.

The Polymer Additives Group of New Jersey-based Cytec Industries Inc has announced that it is accelerating the expansion of its Cyasorb Cynergy Solutions™ range of light stabilizer products. Products for the automotive, construction, coatings and agricultural film markets will now be available starting in 2009, the company says.

Inorganic materials development company Applied NanoWorks (ANW), based in Malta, NY, USA, has launched FlexB™, a boron-based, non-halogenated flame retardant additive for nylon, epoxies and water-based coatings. Material testing is reported to have achieved UL-94 V-0 ratings with FlexB loading levels as low as 3%.

BASF has developed a new brilliant orange pigment that has been listed in the internationally recognized Colour Index (CI) as Pigment Orange 82. BASF will market the inorganic orange pigment under the trade name Sicopal® Orange K 2430 for plastics applications and Sicopal Orange L 2430 for coatings applications.

Netherlands-based lactic acid specialist PURAC has collaborated with AkzoNobel on the development of additives for the production of polylactic acid (PLA). The organic peroxide additives play an important role in controlling the polymerization by which PLA can be processed conveniently in standard, commercial polymer processing equipment.

BASF is taking steps to optimize its structures in order to sharpen the focus on its customer industries. At the same time, the company is laying the foundation for the rapid and efficient integration of Ciba's businesses. In particular, the Performance Products segment is being developed further. The initial organizational changes are effective from 1 April 2009.

Ticona, the engineering polymers business of Celanese Corp, has developed two new grades of its GUR® branded ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) that incorporate vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) as a biocompatible antioxidant. The new materials, GUR 1020-E and 1050-E, are now available for customer testing and sampling in orthopaedic implants.

Colour and additive masterbatch specialist Techmer PM has introduced a new line of colorants to achieve marble and swirl effects in polyolefin products. The Tech-Splatter colorants can be used for injection moulding, profile extrusion and sheet extrusion and are said to be particularly suited for use with polypropylene.

Rhodia and Dow Corning have revealed that the first stage of their recently announced alliance [ADPO, January 2009] will be to develop solutions that allow for the introduction of silica in natural rubber in applications such as truck tyres and selected passenger vehicle tyres.

Lanxess has put together a global package of measures, named Challenge 09, in order to help mitigate the effects of weak demand worldwide and strengthen the speciality chemicals group's position. This package includes a number of technical process improvements as well as measures affecting personnel.

German chemical firm Lehmann & Voss & Co of Hamburg has invested in new ring extruder production technology at its Wandsbek plant. Following extensive trials the new machine has now been put into service. The company believes the innovative technology will open up ‘entirely new opportunities for the production of masterbatches’ and allow it to extend its product portfolio.

German speciality chemicals firm Lanxess reports that it has recently completed de-bottlenecking operations for its non-phthalate Mesamoll plasticizer and other alkyl sulfonic ester derivative plasticizers. Using a continuous production process in a dedicated facility, Mesamoll and its derivatives are produced free of any phthalate contaminants.

A sharp drop in demand in many customer industries – notably plastics and coatings for the automotive and construction industries – late in the fourth quarter of 2008 impacted full-year sales and profits at Swiss speciality chemicals firm Ciba. At CHF5.92 billion (c. €3.9 billion), net sales were 3% lower than 2007 in local currencies and 9% lower in Swiss francs.

For full-year 2008, Muttenz-based Clariant posted net sales of CHF8.1 billion (c. €5.3 billion), a 1% rise in local currencies but a 5% decline in Swiss franc terms compared to net sales of CHF8.5 billion the previous year. The company posted a net loss of CHF37 million, which included a CHF180 million impairment charge for its Textile and Leather division, compared to a net profit of CHF5 million in 2007.

The aircraft and motor industries could become much greener thanks to new research into carbon fibre recycling by engineers at the University of Nottingham in the UK.

International market research firm Ceresana Research, based in Konstanz, Germany, has launched an information portal for the plastics industry. The new !nsight database offers access to useful, fundamental information on plastics, chemicals and additives, the company says.

Polymer specialist publisher ChemTec Publishing of Toronto, Canada, has recently extended its range of titles with the release of PVC Formulary by George Wypych. The book has four chapters, each containing ‘invaluable information’ for PVC formulators, manufacturers, processors and users, says ChemTec.