Additives for Polymers (v.2012, #7)

Clariant Masterbatches North America has developed a new liquid vehicle technology (LVT) that is claimed to overcome many of the problems previously associated with the use of liquid colour and additive concentrates in the extrusion blow moulding of high- and low-density polyethylene and polypropylene.

The Pigments division of Huntsman Corp has launched its Altiris® infrared (IR) reflecting pigment. The new pigment gives exterior coatings and polymer products in any colour the power to reflect solar energy, the company says. According to the firm, this ‘presents a significant opportunity to deliver energy efficiency combined with custom colour branding in the widest colour choice available’.

Ohio-based PolyOne Corp has introduced new OnColor™ Fiber colour masterbatch solutions for textile applications. The company says this product line complements its existing ‘broad spectrum’ of technologies for the textile industry, and enables the use of a more sustainable colorant technology than the traditional dyeing process for synthetic fibres. It has also launched a combination antimicrobial and colorant concentrate tailored for the healthcare sector.

The Dow Chemical Company is introducing Engage™ XLT, a new grade of polyolefin elastomer for thermoplastic olefins (TPOs) used for automotive interior and exterior components. When compounded with polypropylene, this new material delivers a ‘combination of benefits not previously possible’ with other TPO impact modifiers, the company says.

PolyOne has also recently introduced a number of new masterbatch innovations targeting automotive manufacturers and their suppliers. New OnColor™ FX Smartbatch™ concentrate technology is intended to help the switch from painted plastic parts to moulded-in-colour versions, the company says, while new OnColor Smartbatch concentrates for automotive interior products contain an antistatic additive to help repel dust.

New Jersey-based Cytec Industries Inc recently introduced its latest technology for the rotomoulding industry. The new stabilizer, Cyasorb Cynergy Solutions® R33, received its debut at the annual meeting of the Association of Rotational Moulders Australasia in Melbourne, Australia, in late May 2012.

Swiss antimicrobial specialist firm Sanitized AG launched innovations at Milan's PLAST 2012 event in May that focused on sustainable protection for biodegradable materials and products containing bio-based plasticizers. The company also introduced a new generation of silver technology offering enhanced end-product performance and efficiency benefits.

Illinois-based masterbatch and custom colorant manufacturer Plastics Color Corp (PCC) has expanded the use of its proprietary FlamaSol FR™ flame retardant technology to polyethylene (PE) formulations. The company originally launched the non-brominated system for polypropylene [ADPO, February 2012] and now reports that it has additional plans to develop flame retardant systems for PMMA, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride and a range of other thermoplastics.

Speciality chemicals producer Albemarle Corp is planning to exit its existing phosphorus flame retardants (FRs) business in order to ‘restructure its business portfolio and address underperforming assets’. The company currently manufactures these phosphorus-based products at its sites in Avonmouth, UK, and Nanjing, China. The news follows closely after the announcement that PolyOne is investing in new polymeric FR technology [ADPO, June 2012].

In Texas, USA, Eastman Chemical Co has completed both a previously announced capacity expansion [ADPO, November 2010] of its 2-ethyl hexanol (2-EH) facility in Longview and the retrofit and start-up of its non-phthalate plasticizer manufacturing facility in Texas City. The two developments are interconnected as 2-EH is the starting material for Eastman 168™ non-phthalate plasticizer [bis(2-ethylhexyl)-1,4 benzenedicarboxylate], which is the primary product to be manufactured at the Texas City plant.

New York-based private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners has purchased Plasticolors, Inc for an undisclosed sum. Headquartered in Ashtabula, OH, USA, Plasticolors has supplied pigment and chemical dispersions to the thermoset composites and industrial paint and coatings industries since 1970.

Plastic additives leader BASF SE is investing in a state-of-the-art antioxidant production line in Jurong, Singapore. In doing so the company says it is optimizing the production footprint of its antioxidant business in Asia.

South Carolina-based glass fibre reinforcement manufacturer AGY has increased production output for its S-2 Glass fibre reinforcements by 20%, with the capability to further increase its output as market demands dictate. The company says this expansion enables it to meet growth in both the aerospace and industrial markets for high-performance glass fibres used for composite reinforcement.

Huber Specialty Hydrates, LLC, a subsidiary of J.M. Huber Corp, has acquired the speciality hydrate flame retardant business of Almatis, Inc located in Bauxite, AR, USA. The acquisition includes the Bauxite manufacturing operation and all product grades under the Hydral® and SpaceRite® brands.

For the three-month period ended 31 March 2012, Ferro Corp posted net sales of US$466 million compared with net sales of $573 million in 1Q 2011, a drop of nearly 19%. The company recorded net income attributable to common shareholders of $1.3 million in 1Q 2012 compared with $22.7 million in the prior-year quarter.

Cytec Industries Inc recently announced a change in its business segment reporting structure, effective from the first quarter of 2012. The company's reported financial results for 1Q 2012 reflect these changes.