Additives for Polymers (v.2011, #3)

Sweden's Perstorp AB has extended its Charmor range of fire prevention products to the protection of plastics, targeting applications in the electrical and electronic industry as well as the transportation sectors. Until recently, Charmor has been used mainly for intumescent coatings but new grade Charmor PP100 is designed specifically for thermoplastics and is able to meet new fire regulations demanding lower smoke release, non-dripping plastics and non-toxic fumes, the manufacturer says.

Philadelphia-based Arkema Inc, the US arm of global chemical company Arkema, has introduced Plastistrength® 576 processing aid for the polyvinyl chloride foam, profile, siding and compounding markets. According to the company, the product sets new standards for performance and productivity for rigid PVC processing.

Dubai-based masterbatch manufacturer EnerPlastics LLC has launched the first indigenously designed additive package in the form of an oxo-biodegradable additive for polyolefin films and other single-use polyolefin products. EP OBD enables fragmentation and bio-assimilation and conforms to rigid French protocols for oxo-biodegradability. It has been certified by Centre National d'Evaluation de Photoprotection, Université Blaise Pascal, an independent laboratory accredited by the French Government, EnerPlastics reports.

AkzoNobel has launched a new range of low-cobalt and cobalt-free accelerators for the thermoset market. Marketed under the Nouryact name, these products offer more sustainable alternatives to traditional cobalt octoate and cobalt acetate, the Netherlands-based company says.

Colorant specialist Holland Colours reports that it has created an additive product that will allow bottle producers to emulate the appearance of frosted glass in PET. The patent-pending Holcosperse B Matte Frost series uses a ‘unique additive chemistry’ to create the translucent effect similar to frosted glass with significant gloss reductions in PET, the company explains. The product line was launched on the North American market at January's NOVA-PACK 2011 event in Florida.

UK eco-minerals specialist RockTron [APDO, December 2009] has announced a collaboration with Ford Motor Co and undisclosed materials manufacturers to develop new compounds for interior, exterior and under-the-bonnet automotive applications. The aim is to incorporate RockTron's 100% recycled, low carbon footprint functional fillers produced from waste fly ash to partially or fully substitute conventional fillers.

In the USA, Honeywell Specialty Materials' low global warming potential (GWP) product HFO-1234ze has been accepted for use in foam and aerosol applications by the Environmental Protection Agency, allowing the blowing agent to be used in products sold in the country.

Japan's Adeka Corp has announced plans for the construction of a new building in Saitama City to house its polymer additives R&D laboratory. The company intends to invest ¥2 billion (c. €17.4 million), with groundbreaking scheduled for July 2011 and completion in May 2012.

French company Arkema has announced an ambitious target of EBITDA in excess of €1 billion in 2015, corresponding to a 14% EBITDA margin. The firm has implemented a transformation strategy since its spin-off in May 2006, aimed initially at doubling group EBITDA in 2010 compared to 2005, which it says it now intends to accelerate.

Halloysite clay producer Applied Minerals, Inc and masterbatch and blowing agent manufacturer KibbeChem, Inc have signed a joint development and masterbatch manufacturing agreement. Under the terms of the deal, KibbeChem will act as Applied Minerals' partner to toll pelletize a new range of high-performance Dragonite® branded halloysite clay nanotube products [see APDO, May 2010] developed specifically for the polyolefin and elastomer markets.

In order to meet the needs of the growing polyester bulk continuous filament (PET BCF) market, Americhem Inc recently added three compounding lines at its facility in Concord, NC, USA. This is the second capacity expansion in the past three years at the North Carolina plant, and will ensure ‘continuous supply and shortened lead times’, the company says.

Talc and borates producer Rio Tinto Minerals has inaugurated a state-of-the-art beneficiation plant at its Three Springs Operation, home to the largest talc deposit in Western Australia. The company reports that the c. A$11 million (€7.8 million) plant has the capacity to produce up to 150 000 tonnes of high grade ore a year to very accurate product specifications and in compliance with best-in-class safety standards.

Atlanta-based Huber Engineered Materials (HEM) and alumina specialist Almatis, Inc have reached an agreement under which Almatis will toll manufacture for HEM certain speciality hydrate flame retardant products that it previously produced and marketed itself.

Austria's Gabriel-Chemie Group reports that it is rapidly expanding its manufacturing capacity in Russia and is also seeking to strengthen its presence in the country in other ways, including the hiring of additional specialist staff.

Worldwide, the demand for flame retardant additives will rise by 6.1% annually, from 1.7 million tonnes in 2009 to 2.2 million tonnes in 2014, according to a new study published by the Freedonia Group, World Flame Retardants (#2709). The Asia/Pacific region will enjoy the fastest growth rates until 2014 with the mature markets of North America, Western Europe and Japan experiencing growth at a more modest pace.

In Germany, research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (Fraunhofer UMSICHT) in Oberhausen is examining how compressed carbon dioxide can be used to impregnate plastics, in a process that could lead to new applications ranging from coloured contact lenses to bacteria-resistant door handles.

At its recent 2010 Investor Day, DuPont outlined its global strategy and targets for 2011 to 2015. It aims to deliver ‘sustained growth, productivity gains, operating leverage, and disciplined execution in 2011 and beyond’, it says.