Additives for Polymers (v.2009, #5)

Heubach GmbH of Langelsheim, Germany, has introduced Vynamon® Red 312201 (CI Pigment Red 122). The new high-performance quinacridone pigment is a magenta or bluish shade of red that is claimed to offer excellent weathering and migratory properties, and outstanding heat stability.

Vancouver, Canada-based Planet Green Bottle and its strategic partner Wells Plastics of the UK have introduced an additive, Reverte™, that is claimed to cause PET bottles to oxo-biodegrade in ten to 20 years.

Masterbatch firm Ampacet has expanded its light diffuser product line to include masterbatches for clear ABS applications. The company says that the new products can be used in clear ABS resin to create a gentle, soft glow for buttons and light indicators on office equipment and computer products.

Ohio-based custom colour and additive firm Americhem Inc has introduced a full line of antimicrobial masterbatches for synthetic fibre applications. This will allow customers to achieve ‘increased efficiencies and produce superior end products’, according to the company.

To address future market needs, Arkema, a major producer of blowing agents for polyurethane and polyisocyanurate insulating foams used in construction, is in the process of developing ‘fourth generation’ hydrofluorolefin (HFO) blowing agents to replace the currently used hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). According to the company, this next generation of blowing agents will enjoy a better environmental performance while maintaining excellent general properties including insulation properties for rigid polyurethane foams.

UK masterbatch manufacturer Silvergate Plastics has launched Brand Protector, an additive masterbatch capable of providing inherent counterfeit detection in either mouldings or extrusions. The product is aimed at pharmaceutical and personal care packaging applications.

Minnesota-based compounder RTP Company has commercialized a line of melt-processable fluoropolymer (MPFP) colour masterbatches for the wire and cable industry. These masterbatches are said to provide an easy-to-use solution that is ideal for colouring complex MPFP resins used as plenum space jacketing materials.

PMB (Performance Masterbatches) has joined forces with fellow Welsh company SteriTouch Ltd to develop an antimicrobial masterbatch for a manufacturer of plastic chairs. The product will be used in the ‘POP’ range of polypropylene chairs designed by UK polymer furniture manufacturer Origin Furniture for the contract, education and residential markets.

Toyota Tsusho Corp, the sole distributor of Sanyo Chemical's Pelestat® permanent antistatic agents in the USA, has received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market Pelestat for food contact applications. The company says Pelestat 230 and Pelestat 300 provide good static dissipation to the host thermoplastic product.

The on/off acquisition of Rohm and Haas by Dow Chemical [ADPO, September 2008 & March 2009] has finally been resolved. Faced with the imminent threat of court proceedings – initiated by Rohm and Haas as a result of Dow's failure to close the deal in late January 2009 as originally agreed – Dow returned to the negotiating table in early March and hammered out a revised agreement.

Struggling polymer additives major Chemtura Corp and 26 of its US affiliates filed voluntary petitions on 18 March for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The company's non-US subsidiaries were not included in the filing and will not be subject to the requirements of the US bankruptcy code. All of Chemtura's US and worldwide operations are expected to continue without interruption during the financial restructuring process.

South Korea's Songwon Industrial Co has established dedicated extensive warehousing facilities and a packaging line in Antwerp, Belgium, in order to further its strategy of providing best-in-class logistic solutions for its customers. The company says the location was selected as Antwerp is ‘one of the most important distribution points in Europe’. Songwon already has dedicated warehousing for customers throughout North America as well as Central and South America.

Akron-headquartered A. Schulman Inc reports that it has started up a new manufacturing plant in the city. The facility expands the company's production capacity for its Polybatch® high-performance additive business in North America, aimed at the film and packaging markets. The firm received financial incentives from the City of Akron, Summit County and the State of Ohio. The plant will initially provide approximately 20 new jobs in the area.

Hamburg-based Albis Plastic, a compounder and distributor of plastics materials and masterbatches, has acquired licences from Ciba Specialty Chemicals to both produce and market ShelfPlus O2 oxygen scavenger products for packaging applications. Albis Plastic has been contract compounding the ShelfPlus O2 additive for Ciba for a number of years.

Speciality chemicals producer Clariant is establishing a joint venture with two Chinese partners in Kunming, Yunnan Province, in order to secure supply and meet the growing demand for phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5). A state-of-the-art production plant will be built and is scheduled to go on stream in the first quarter of 2010. Yunnan Province is a key location for yellow phosphorus production, which is the feedstock for P2O5.

Cleveland-based Ferro Corp announced net sales of US$2.245 billion for the year ended 31 December 2008, up 4.5% from net sales of $2.148 billion in 2007. The loss from continuing operations was $54 million, compared with a loss of $100 million in 2007. The company says the improvement was primarily the result of lower selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, lower interest expense, and a lower impairment charge, partially offset by increased restructuring charges and a loss on the extinguishment of debt.

Leverkusen-based speciality chemicals group Lanxess AG reports that it met its targets for fiscal 2008 despite a sharp drop in demand in the fourth quarter. Net income improved by 52.7% to €171 million (€112 million in 2007), while group sales, at €6.576 billion, almost equalled the 2007 level of €6.608 billion. Adjusted for portfolio and currency effects, sales grew by 5.9%, says Lanxess.

New economic realities resulting from the global recession will permanently change the business landscape, according to Richard Olson, VP and general manager of DuPont Titanium Technologies, addressing business leaders at the recent global ‘TiO2 2009’ conference organized by IntertechPira in Rome, Italy.