Additives for Polymers (v.2010, #9)

Speciality chemicals company Lanxess has responded to increasing market demand for halogen-free red dyes for the coloration of plastics with the development of Macrolex Red A. An alternative to commonly used, halogen-bearing products with a colour index of Solvent Red 135 (SR 135), the new dye is said to possess a particularly high tinting strength and brilliance.

After six years of development work, BASF SE is preparing to launch a new light stabilizer at this autumn's K 2010 show in Düsseldorf, Germany. Tinuvin® XT 200 protects film made from thermoplastic resins against overly fast degradation when exposed to UV light and is designed particularly for use in agricultural films used to make greenhouses. According to BASF, the new ‘economical additive’ ensures the efficacy of these films over a longer period of time even in the presence of severe concentrations of agricultural chemicals such as elemental sulphur.

Denmark's Danisco has launched Grindsted® PGE 308, a new antifog solution for multilayer and laminated polyethylene film structures. Trials at customer premises are reported to have been ‘particularly successful’ and the company is now recommending the use of this bio-based antifog for coextruded and laminated PE film solutions.

Illinois-based Chroma Corp has introduced a new biodegradable masterbatch that allows processors to make standard polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) biodegradable. The product is sanctioned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and complies with the EU's RoHS directive.

Biomaterial researchers at Ford Motor Co in Dearborn, MI, USA, have engineered a patent-pending formula to use renewable soy oil to improve rubber car parts and make them more environmentally friendly. They also found that soy-based fillers could provide a partial replacement for carbon black reinforcements in rubber.

In The Philippines, the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) under the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) has licensed a new additive concentrate product called BioMate™, which makes plastic materials biodegradable. The IDTI has issued Environmental Technology Verification (ETV)-013 for the additive, which verifies its use in making plastics in the PHP75 billion (c. €1.3 billion) Philippine plastics film and bags industry both photo- and biodegradable.

Tennessee-based speciality chemical manufacturer Buckman Laboratories has introduced a new green line of Flamebloc® fire retardant products to the commercial and consumer markets. According to the firm, the GS (Green Series) portfolio of products are zero VOC, made from all-GRAS raw materials, and require no halogen to activate their enhanced fire retardant capabilities. The new products are designed to meet the most demanding market requirements for fire protection that are currently being met by less environmentally responsible chemistries, Buckman says.

California-based bioscience technologies firm Pure Bioscience has been awarded US patent number 7,732,486 by the US Patent and Trademark Office for anhydrous forms of its silver dihydrogen citrate (SDC) antimicrobial technology. The firm believes that products based on anhydrous SDC will be commercially viable for a variety of antimicrobial and disinfectant applications, including polymers.

In Germany, Evonik Goldschmidt GmbH is strengthening its position in the market for additives required in polyurethane (PU) foam production through the acquisition of the Silbyk® PU foam stabilizers business from compatriot BYK-Chemie GmbH, a division of speciality chemicals group Altana.

In Saudi Arabia, BASF and Astra Polymer Compounding Co Ltd have decided to discontinue plans for a joint venture to produce customer-specific antioxidant blends in the Middle East [ADPO, October 2008]. However, BASF is committed to growing its antioxidant business in the region and is evaluating several investment options.

Sigma-Aldrich Materials Science is expanding its offering of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) from Oklahoma-based SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT) to include SWeNT SMW100 speciality multi-wall CNTs and CG200 single-wall, large-diameter CNTs. Synthesized using the company's patented CoMoCAT process, SWeNT's CNTs feature high purity with highly consistent physical properties, the manufacturer says.

For the second quarter of 2010, Cytec Industries Inc of Woodland Park, NJ, USA, posted net earnings of US$61.8 million on net sales of $874 million. Included in the quarter is a special item charge of $3.1 million of net expense after-tax; excluding this special item, net earnings were $64.8 million.

Colorant, additive and dosing specialist ColorMatrix has announced the launch of a new brand identity. The move comes as part of a series of strategic initiatives, undertaken with the primary goal of positioning the company as a single, global organization with an international presence.

Cleveland-based Ferro Corp announced net sales of US$543 million for the three months ended 30 June 2010, an increase of 36% from net sales of $399 million in 2Q 2009 as customer demand continued to recover from the global economic downturn in 2009. Income from continuing operations for 2Q 2010 was $7.6 million compared with a loss of $11.1 million in the second quarter of 2009.

Albemarle Corp posted second-quarter 2010 earnings of US$81.8 million on net sales of $592.5 million, up from earnings of $38.5 million on sales of $445.3 million in 2Q 2009. Operating profit for the 2010 quarter more than tripled to $106.6 million, up from $31.0 million the previous year.

London, UK-based IAL Consultants, a division of Business Research Group (UK) Ltd (BRG), has released a new report The European Plastic Additives Market. According to the firm, this first-edition volume provides a detailed overview of the various additives used in the compounding of the wide variety of thermoplastics currently used in the European market.

Scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden, Germany, report that they have discovered a simple, inexpensive manufacturing method that offers the prospect of mass production of graphene, a material with the potential to revolutionize areas such as composites [see for example, ADPO, June 2010] and electronics.

The Brussels-based Phosphorus, Inorganic & Nitrogen Flame Retardants Association (PINFA) reports that new tests on melamine cyanurate (MC) reveal that the flame retardant demonstrates stronger kidney toxicity than previously realized.