Additives for Polymers (v.2011, #1)

New player Galata Chemicals announced its presence on the vinyl additives market with the unveiling of a plethora of product launches at the K 2010 event in Düsseldorf, Germany. The company was formed on 30 April 2010 as the result of the sale of Chemtura's PVC Additives business to Artek Aterian Holdings, a partnership between Aterian Investment Partners, a New York-based private equity firm, and Artek Surfin Chemicals Ltd, a family-owned Indian company [ADPO, April 2010].

Chemtura Corp used the K 2010 show to launch the Great Lakes Solutions brand for its flame retardants, brominated performance products and fumigants business. In addition, the business introduced its new Emerald™ series of greener flame-retardant products, presenting three new products for the global electrical & electronics and building & construction industries.

In addition to Chemtura, last autumn's K 2010 show provided the forum for several other manufacturers, including Lanxess and Tosaf, to exhibit new products aimed at improving the flame retardancy of polymer materials.

International Specialty Products Inc (ISP) has launched Flexidone™ FE, a new series of PVC plasticizers containing alkyl pyrrolidone technology. The new products can serve as either primary plasticizers or co-plasticizers that may be formulated in conjunction with other plasticizer technologies to achieve greater cost savings, while maintaining or improving performance, the company says. Flexidone FE complements ISP's original series of Flexidone high-efficiency plasticizers launched in 2009 to offer improved solvency in PVC applications [ADPO, January 2010].

The K 2010 exhibition saw the introduction of PolyOne Corp's OnCap™ Antifog Additive for polypropylene (PP) films, the first such additive for PP films that does not require corona treatment. According to the company, this new additive simplifies production of antifog films for the flexible food packaging industry, improving production efficiencies for both cast and blown film producers.

American Nano Silicon Technologies Inc reveals that it is planning to launch a non-halogen phosphate-based flame retardant additive for plastics. The company, a specialist in ultra-fine silicon-based materials, reports that the new product, developed by its R&D centre, has passed stringent flame retardancy standard tests.

Momentive Performance Materials has expanded its family of products for the manufacture of polyurethane (PU) foams with the addition of a new silicone surfactant. It has also devised a new two-component system that can help improve the performance of potable water pipes made from crosslinked polyethylene (PE-X).

Clariant, a global market leader in non-halogenated flame retardants, has announced major capacity expansion plans for its Exolit® OP non-halogenated flame retardants. The programme, which will achieve an initial doubling of capacity at the company's Hürth-Knapsack site in Germany by 2012, reflects the significant surge in demand from the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector for safer and more environmentally compatible flame retardants, Clariant says.

Antimicrobial hygiene specialist Sanitized AG of Switzerland launched Sanitized® MedX 200s, a new silver product series for medical devices, at the K 2010 show. Well established as a supplier of silver-based antimicrobials for plastics and textiles in household and personal applications, this is the first time the company has targeted its expertise at the medical sector.

Boston-based Cabot Corp has announced its intention to cease manufacturing at its masterbatch facility in Grigno, Italy, effective from 28 February 2011. Elsewhere, the company's Cabot Bluestar Chemical (Jiangxi) Co Ltd joint venture has broken ground on the expansion of its fumed silica facility in China.

Swiss speciality chemicals company Clariant has announced the final conclusions of its Global Asset Network Optimization (GANO) project. The measures, which impact eight sites globally, are part of the company's overall 2009/2010 restructuring programme [ADPO, January 2010] and will lead to a reduction of up to 100 positions worldwide. A further 60 Swiss employees are to be offered transfers to Germany or Singapore. Implementation will be finalized by 2013.

At its existing site in Jinshan near Shanghai, Lanxess has started up a new production unit for Bayferrox high-quality black iron oxide pigments. The new unit has an annual capacity of 10 000 tonnes of black iron oxides, adding to the 28 000 tonnes/year of high-end yellow iron oxides already produced at the site.

Songwon Industrial Co Ltd is expanding its annual production capacity for antioxidants from 55 000 tonnes to 70 000 tonnes. The expanded capacity will be on stream from August 2011. The expansion is the result of the consolidation of Songnox® 1076 production into the company's new, fully backward-integrated Maeam plant in South Korea. Songwon believes that Maeam is now the largest plant in the world dedicated to key antioxidants based on a fully integrated manufacturing process.

For the third quarter of 2010, Chemtura Corp reported net earnings from continuing operations on a GAAP basis of US$12 million on net sales of $710 million. This represents a 20% increase in earnings and 17% sales growth compared to 3Q 2009 figures of $10 million and $606 million, respectively. The company has subsequently successfully completed its financial restructuring and emerged from protection under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code.

Pennsylvania-based Maguire Products Inc introduced an advanced model of its established MGF gravimetric feeder at K 2010. The new feeder provides more than double the throughput of the original system, says the company, but retains the same compact size and offers the same substantial price advantage over competing gravimetric units.

Clariant posted sales of CHF1.709 billion (€1.32 billion) for the third quarter of 2010 compared with CHF1.691 bn for the same period the previous year. Sales growth in local currencies amounted to 8% but, due to the appreciation of the Swiss Franc against most major currencies, sales growth in Swiss Francs was reduced to 1%. Net income increased to CHF109 million compared to CHF25 million in 3Q 2009, boosted by a one-off tax gain of CHF45 million.