Additives for Polymers (v.2010, #10)

In the USA, Akcros Chemicals Inc has released a raft of new stabilizer additives including both tin-based and mixed metal products. Weatherable and non-weatherable, rigid and flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) applications are all catered for by the new stabilizers.

Germany's BASF has introduced Sicopal® Orange K 2430, a stable inorganic mixed oxide pigment that shows high UV and weathering resistance, and can withstand aggressive chemicals and high temperatures. According to the company, it is suitable for use in a wide array of technically relevant plastics, ranging from polyolefins to PVC and PS as well as ABS, PC, PET, PBT and PA.

The company is also promoting Irgastab® RM 68, an additive system targeted at plastics manufactured by the energy-intensive rotational sintering process.

Colour and additive masterbatches supplier Plastics Color Corp (PCC) based in Calumet City, IL, USA, has announced the availability of new colour concentrates specifically formulated for manufacturers of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) products including pharmaceutical, over-the-counter (OTC), nutraceutical and food contact applications. All new products conform to 21CFR.

Munich-based Baerlocher is installing further capacity for the production of PVC heat stabilizers at its plant in Dewas, India, to serve the growing domestic market. The company says it will add 7000 tonnes of capacity for the production of low-dusting flake stabilizers, which are used primarily by PVC pipe manufacturers.

OnColor™ BIO and OnCap™ BIO masterbatches manufactured by PolyOne Corp have been granted OK Compost certification by Belgium-based independent inspection organization, AIB Vincotte. The achievement represents the culmination of several years of development work and is the first time this certification has been awarded to a full range of colorants and additives, PolyOne says.

Spanish pigment specialist Nubiola is expanding manufacturing capacity for ultramarine violets and pinks by 30% at its Llodio production plant located in Spain's Basque Country. The expansion will be achieved by installing new equipment that operates with the company's unique, proprietary manufacturing technology, and is scheduled to be fully operational in early 2011.

Essen-based Evonik Industries is to build a new plant for triacetonamine (TAA) derivatives in China in response to recent booming demand for these chemicals. The company says this development will considerably expand its production capacities for these products in China. TAA derivatives are essential intermediates for the manufacture of hindered amine light stabilizers (HALS), which are used to protect plastics in automotive and construction applications as well as in agricultural films.

Cristal Global, the world's second-largest producer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigments is to cease base pigment manufacturing at its Hawkins Point Plant in Baltimore, MD, USA. The plant was idled in March 2009 as a result of the severe economic downturn.

Huber Engineered Materials, a division of J.M. Huber Corp, has acquired the Kemgard® flame retardant and smoke suppressant business of Ohio-based paints and coatings firm Sherwin-Williams. The Kemgard products will continue to be manufactured in Coffeyville, KN, USA, and brand grades and product specifications will remain the same.

Elevated operating costs, particularly for raw materials, coupled with increasing market demand in many quarters are driving the ongoing upward trend in pricing for a broad range of polymer additives and pigments. All listed price changes are subject to existing contracts.

For the second quarter of 2010, Clariant posted sales of CHF1.894 billion (c. €1.413 billion), an 18% increase from CHF1.609 billion for the same period in 2009. Both EBITDA and EBIT before exceptionals improved substantially while a net loss of CHF61 million in 2Q 2009 was converted into a net profit of CHF25 million this year. A similar result was achieved in the first six months of 2010, with sales up 15% to CHF3.711 billion and a net profit of CHF35 million compared to a net loss of CHF152 million in 1H 2009.

Taiwanese company Double Bond Chemical Industries Co Ltd is looking to increases its penetration of the North American polymer additives market through its recently incorporated Connecticut-based US subsidiary Double Bond Chemical Industries USA. The company says it offers an ‘extensive line’ of additives and looks forward to ‘competing on value and pricing'.

Chemtura Corp reported sales of US$767 million for the second quarter of 2010, up 22% from $629 million in 2Q 2009. The company posted an operating profit of $122 million for the quarter, but a net loss from continuing operations on a GAAP basis of $41 million. This compares to an operating loss of $10 million and a net loss of $56 million for the same period the previous year.

Germany's Lanxess reported significantly better-than-expected results in the second quarter of 2010, which it attributes to its strategic positioning in the emerging markets. The company posted sales of €1.83 billion, up 48% from €1.238 billion in 2Q 2009, primarily due to higher volumes in key customer industries and positive currency effects in the form of the weak Euro. Quarterly net profit totalled €131 million compared to €17 million a year earlier.

A new study by Pira International predicts that the global market for functional additives and barrier coatings for plastic packaging will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3% in the period 2009 to 2014. This values the combined sector at US$752 million (c. €540 million) in 2014 compared to $609 million in 2009. Within that, demand for functional plastic additives for packaging is expected to grow at the slightly more modest rate of 3.9%/year on average to around $325 million in 2014.