Additives for Polymers (v.2010, #11)

Lanxess has developed a new plasticizer for polar rubber products crosslinked with sulphur. Vulkanol VP RUC 9210 is reported to improve the low-temperature flexibility of vulcanizates in particular and replaces phthalate-containing Vulkanol 81 in the Lanxess portfolio.

Louisiana-based speciality chemicals producer Albemarle Corp is introducing Ethacure® 90, a new polymer chain extender that greatly improves the processing capability of polyurea and polyurethane spray elastomer coating systems used in applications such as truck bed liners, concrete and steel coatings, potable water systems and industrial coatings. Final review by the US Environmental Protection Agency is complete and commercial sales will begin in November 2010.

Germany's Baerlocher has launched a novel mixed metal Ca/Zn stabilizer for use in the manufacture of plastisols for PVC flooring. Incorporated in a range of Ca/Zn solid and paste products, Baerostab LOW-VOC is designed to further improve indoor air quality, in order to meet more stringent requirements, the company says.

German/Finnish titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer Sachtleben Chemie of Duisberg, a Rockwood Holdings company, is introducing a number of new products for the plastics industry at the K 2010 international trade fair in Düsseldorf. The company is also gearing up to start operations at the first module of a newly completed TiO2 production plant utilizing its melt conditioning technology (MCT) process.

In the USA, Momentive Performance Materials has collaborated with Cargill on the development of a new surfactant that can enable foam manufacturers to supply flexible foam with increased renewable content to foam fabricators and producers of home furnishings and bedding.

In Singapore, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has developed an eco-friendly flame retardant and fire-proof additive that is free from halogens and toxic gases. Unveiled at Build Eco Xpo (BEX) Asia 2010 in September, the innovation is designed to help raise the standards of ‘green’ buildings and raise productivity in Singapore's construction industry as well as guiding it towards more sustainable and energy-efficient practices, A*STAR says.

Cyclic olefin copolymers (COCs) from TOPAS Advanced Polymers Inc can significantly reduce warpage when blended with polypropylene reinforced with short or long glass fibres, the manufacturer claims. TOPAS® 8007F-400 resin virtually eliminates part warpage when used in ratios ranging from 5% to 30%.

UK-headquartered Croda has announced a major investment in its Polymer Additives business. The company has committed to a multi-million dollar expansion in capacity for amide slip additives at its Hull site in the UK. The company says the investment is in response to growing demand.

Essen-headquartered Evonik Industries has announced its decision to sell its carbon blacks business as part of a strategic refocusing of the group's business. An outright sale was one of three options the group previously said it was considering for this business [ADPO, September 2010].

Eastman Chemical Co has announced plans to expand 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) capacity at its Longview, TX, USA, site. The expansion will increase annual capacity for the plasticizer intermediate by approximately 32 000 tonnes and is in addition to a 4500 tonnes debottleneck scheduled to have taken place in October, giving a total capacity increase of nearly 37 000 tonnes/year.

Akron-headquartered A. Schulman Inc is streamlining manufacturing operations at its Crumlin, UK, production facility and moving part of the plant's capacity to two other, larger plants in Europe. As a result of the realignment, several production lines at the 74 million lb/year (37 000 US tons/year), 106 000 ft2 South Wales facility will be shut down and approximately 30 jobs will be eliminated.

Oklahoma-based Tronox Inc, the world's fifth largest producer of titanium dioxide (TiO2), received the approval of the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on 30 September 2010 regarding the disclosure statement relating to the company's reorganization plan. As a result of this approval, Tronox may now solicit votes on its First Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization. ‘With this approval, our customers, suppliers and vendors can feel confident in our ability to emerge from chapter 11 and move forward as a strong competitor in the titanium dioxide and speciality chemical industries’, says Dennis L. Wanlass, chairman and CEO of Tronox.

Raw material cost increases continue to have knock-on effects for the pricing of polymer additives and pigments. Unless otherwise stated, all listed changes are effective from 1 October 2010 and are subject to existing contracts.

Germany's Lanxess has announced an ambitious goal to increase its main earnings indicator by about 80% over the next five years. The speciality chemicals group says it is targeting EBITDA pre exceptionals of approximately €1.4 billion in 2015, compared to its forecast of around €800 million for the same indicator in 2010.

In France, Arkema, the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse (INPT) and Universit© Paul Sabatier have signed a framework agreement to set up a joint research laboratory dedicated to the study of the ecotoxicological impact of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in the aquatic environment.

Elsewhere, BASF is participating in a research project initiated by Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) that aims to assess the risk associated with nanomaterial use. Called NanoGEM (Nanostructured materials – Health, Exposure and Material Properties), the nanomaterial project will receive approximately €4.9 million in BMBF funding over the next three years, with industry to contribute around another €1.5 million.

X-Rite Europe GmbH is using the Düsseldorf K 2010 show to introduce the MA94 and MA96 multi-angle spectrophotometers designed to help manufacturers monitor and maintain precise control of the colour of plastics during blending and processing.