Additives for Polymers (v.2012, #11)

UK-based Croda Polymer Additives has launched a new antifog concentrate that is claimed to provide a unique solution to fogging in clear polypropylene (PP) food packaging. While chilled food packaging is one of the key applications for Atmer™ 7373, the company reports that tests have proved the new antifog additive to be effective in both hot and cold fogging applications.

Ohio-based colour and additive masterbatch manufacturer Americhem Inc has introduced a line of highly concentrated, low-aniline nigrosine black masterbatches. The new products are designed to meet the demands of customers’ ‘toughest product applications’, according to the company.

Elsewhere, Americhem – in its capacity as a provider of masterbatch solutions for the synthetic fibres industry – has entered into a multi-year agreement with FRX Polymers Inc of Chelmsford, MA, USA [ADPO, June 2010 & November 2007] for the exclusive distribution of the latter's new, non-halogen, inherently flame retardant polymer known as FRX 100. The agreement covers Western Europe and Turkey. FRX has since announced a rebranding of its product line and started construction of a new plant in Belgium.

Polymer additives specialist Galata Chemicals has introduced Drapex® Alpha 200C as the latest addition to its recently introduced [ADPO, June 2012] Alpha series of natural oil-based primary plasticizers. The new bio-based offering has been designed for use in white and clear polyvinyl chloride compounds as well as speciality applications with demanding performance requirements, the company says.

New Zealand-based LignoTech Developments has produced a bio-based extender for thermoset resins. The additive is derived from bio-waste streams, such as corn waste from ethanol plants, via a patented thermal and chemical treatment process. The extender is claimed to provide many advantages in composite manufacture compared with conventional fillers.

AkzoNobel and DSM used September's China Composites Expo in Shanghai to introduce their BluCure™ branded range of innovative cobalt-free resin curing technologies and products to the Chinese market. The BluCure quality seal guarantees that products are 100% cobalt-free.

Colorant and additive masterbatch supplier Plastics Color Corp (PCC) is to begin marketing its SoluPLAs™ TN 920259 blue tint masterbatch. The company originally developed the product for NatureWorks for use in its Ingeo biopolymer. However, PCC will now market the masterbatch directly as a new grade within its SoluPLAs portfolio.

South Korea's Songwon Industrial Group has revealed plans to expand production capacity for di-n-octyltin oxide (DOTO) by 60% at its Ulsan manufacturing facility. The project is scheduled for completion in mid-2013. The move reflects shifting market demand, the company says.

DuPont, through its China R&D Centre, has signed a collaboration agreement with Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, for joint projects to improve the properties of flame retardants for applications in polymers. The research work is expected to facilitate development of innovative products with high levels of safety and security, and to reinforce DuPont's leadership position in key market segments such as the ‘3C’ (computer, communication and consumer electronics) markets.

In Germany, BYK Kometra officially opened a new production building at its Schkopau site in late September. The building houses a new ultramodern mixer line for the production of plastic modifiers and, as part of the opening ceremonies, the first of six planned mixing reactors was brought into service.

At its Krefeld-Uerdingen site in Germany, speciality chemicals group Lanxess is upgrading its water treatment capacities for the production of inorganic pigments. The company is investing €1.6 million to modernize and expand its water treatment unit at the site, which is the world's largest facility for the production of iron oxide and chrome oxide pigments. The company says that the expansion project will also increase the synthesizing capacity for Bayferrox black and red pigments.

German chemicals group Lanxess reported continued growth in the second quarter of 2012. Sales for the three-month period advanced by 8.1% to €2.42 billion from €2.24 billion in 2Q 2011, while EBITDA pre-exceptionals rose by 6.8% year-on-year from €339 million to €362 million.

PolyOne Corp has made a number of upgrades and enhancements to its global network of collaborative Innovation Centers. These include the opening of a new colour and additives Innovation Center in Seoul, South Korea, taking the total number to 11 worldwide. The company has also expanded its technology offerings at three other such sites in the USA and China.

At its Media Day in New York in mid-September, Lanxess announced a new mid-term goal for its leading earnings indicator – EBITDA pre-exceptionals – of €1.8 billion in 2018. It says it expects to achieve its previously established goal of €1.4 billion EBITDA pre-exceptionals in 2014, a year ahead of schedule [ADPO, November 2010].

For the second quarter ended 30 June 2012, Chemtura Corp reported net sales of US$845 million, a decline of 4% from the figure of $876 million achieved in 2Q 2011. Net earnings attributable to Chemtura on a GAAP basis were $50 million in 2Q 2012, down 28% compared to $69 million for the same period last year.

In Australia, the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS), which is the government agency that assesses risk from industrial chemicals, published its Priority Existing Chemical Assessment Report on diisononyl phthalate (DINP) in September. The main conclusion is that ‘current risk estimates do not indicate a health concern from exposure of children to DINP in toys and childcare articles even at the highest (reasonable worst-case) exposure scenario considered’.

The three founding members of the Citizens for Fire Safety Institute, Albemarle Corp, Chemtura Corp and ICL Industrial Products, have elected to conduct all future advocacy and communications efforts through the American Chemistry Council's (ACC) North American Flame Retardant Alliance (NAFRA). The decision follows critical coverage of the institute in the US media.