Additives for Polymers (v.2009, #8)

Polymer additive and colorant firm Americhem Inc has recently introduced the nDuramax™ family of high-performance UV stabilizers. The company has also broadened its range of processing aids with the launch of cycle time reduction additive xCelmax™. In addition, it recently debuted new web-based software vDesign® for faster, more-accurate colour and property matching.

Dow Chemical has unveiled a new, superior vinyl impact modifier – Paraloid™ KM-X100 Pro. According to the company, tests have shown that the product's exceptional impact efficiency should exceed all competitive offerings. The additive was developed in response to needs expressed by vinyl compounders, extruders and fabricators of window profiles for enhanced impact performance.

Leading effect pigment supplier Merck KGaA has extended its range of Lazerflair® pigments for laser marking and laser welding with the introduction of Lazerflair 8840. The new pigment is said to provide particularly strong contrasts, enabling quick and efficient reading of the marked information.

Ohio-based ColorMatrix, a manufacturer of liquid colorants, additives and dosing technologies for plastics, is introducing new Amosorb® high-performance PET barrier technology. The company says its Amosorb SolO2 technology ensures extended product protection and longer shelf life in oxygen-sensitive beverages, particularly beers, wines and juices.

PolyOne Corp has introduced Smartbatch™ WPC technology for natural fibre composites. This patent-pending series of colorant and additive formulations improves the performance of the end-product composite building materials, enhancing their ability to resist water, mould, mildew, scratches and fading in applications such as backyard decks, porch railings and fencing, the company says.

Philadelphia-based Arkema Inc has added a new butyl stabilizer to its line of Thermolite® tin stabilizers. Described as a ‘mid-range’ and cost-effective stabilizer displaying ‘good colour hold with outstanding stability and weathering properties’, Thermolite 150 tin stabilizer is intended for high-output extrusion used in the manufacture of window profiles, as well as other demanding rigid PVC applications.

Italian company Frilvam SpA has developed a new silver masterbatch that gives a metallic effect to plastics. PRISMA UG SILVER 82669 gives the manufactured article a high surface gloss, similar to a metallized plastic piece, the firm says.

Techmer PM has developed three new non-halogenated flame-retardant products for polyester and polyamide (nylon) fibres. The company says this move is partly in response to new flammability standards from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for foam mattresses and upholstered furniture as well as the spread of regulations that ban certain brominated flame retardants in plastic products.

In the UK, Bodycote Testing Group has opened a new 11 000 sq ft (c. 1000 m2) state-of-the-art facility at Trafford Park in Manchester for polymer performance assessments and the testing of additives in plastics.

Belgian carbon nanotube (CNT) producer Nanocyl SA introduced its latest CNT masterbatches, Plasticyl™, at May's Chinaplas Show in Guangzhou, China. Plasticyl is a unique family of CNT masterbatches for applications requiring electrical conductivity or protection from electrostatic discharge (ESD), the company says.

German speciality chemicals group Lanxess AG is stepping up its research and development activities. The 2009 R&D budget has been increased by 10% compared to 2008, to about €110 million. R&D expenditure at Lanxess had already been increased significantly in 2008. The company says it sees innovation as ‘an essential prerequisite’ if it is to achieve sustainable long-term success, especially in these difficult economic times.

Following the increases noted in last month's issue, manufacturers of titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigments and plasticizers and their intermediates are again raising their product prices. All listed price changes are subject to existing contracts.

BASF has announced plans for Ciba's former headquarters in Basel. Among the units to be located at the Swiss site are the European business unit for plastic additives, the global units for technology management and the restructured pigment business.

Ferro Corp posted net sales for the three months ended 31 March 2009 of US$358 million, a decline of 39% from $590.8 million for the first quarter of 2008. The company recorded a loss from continuing operations for the period of $19.7 million compared with income of $7.9 million in 1Q 2008. The operating loss for 1Q 2009 included net pre-tax charges of $3.3 million, primarily related to restructuring and corporate development activities.

Chemtura Corp recorded a net loss of US$94 million for the first quarter of 2009 compared to a net loss of $21 million in 1Q 2008. On a managed basis the 1Q 2009 net loss was $26 million. Sales for the quarter totalled $517 million, down 43% on sales of $909 million posted in 1Q 2008.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Clariant its New Chemicals Program P2 Recognition Project Award for the company's Exolit® OP 560, a new-generation non-halogenated flame retardant. The product is made by Clariant's Pigments & Additives Division for polyurethane foams in automotive, furniture and consumer applications.

Eastman Chemical Co, headquartered in Kingsport, TN, USA, has announced the launch of Eastman™ DBT, its new, non-phthalate plasticizer, in the European Union. Developed to meet a market need for a high-solvating alternative to traditional plasticizers, the new product is said to be particularly suitable for use in PVC plastisols and water-based adhesive applications.