Additives for Polymers (v.2012, #12)

Massachusetts-based Metabolix, Inc, a developer and manufacturer of high-performance bio-based and biodegradable plastics such as Mirel™, has announced that its new bio-based polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) co-polymers can significantly improve the mechanical and environmental performance characteristics of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The company's senior polymer scientist Dr Yelena Kann presented the findings at the Society of Plastics Engineers' Vinyltec 2012 conference in October.

Austria's Gabriel-Chemie GmbH has introduced new halogen-free flame retardant masterbatches for both polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), alongside a blowing agent product for polylactic acid (PLA) applications and a lubricant masterbatch for PP-based wood-plastic composites. The products received their debut at the recent Fakuma trade fair in Friedrichshafen, where the company also revealed the latest edition of its colour trend guide.

Ohio-based masterbatch manufacturer A. Schulman, Inc has extended its Polybatch® masterbatch range with the addition of two new products to provide ‘higher agricultural yields with a natural look’. The new Polybatch EF 01258/10 and EF 38598/10 solutions are green and brown coloured masterbatches that allow 'visually unobtrusive mulch films to be used in environmentally sensitive areas’ as alternatives to black or white mulch films, the company says.

A collaboration between fine chemicals producer Proviron and bio-based succinic acid specialist Reverdia has resulted in the introduction of Provichem® 2511 Eco, a di-methyl-succinate (DMS) that can be used as a solvent and as a raw material for fine chemicals such as pigments and UV stabilizers.

Glass fibre specialist AGY has introduced new sizing systems. These are designed to give the company's full family of rovings and yarns compatibility with a wide range of thermoplastic resins, from engineering materials including polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polycarbonate (PC) and polyamides 6 and 6.6 (PA6 and PA 6.6), to high-performance materials such as polyetheretherketone (PEEK), polyetherketoneketone (PEKK), polyamides 11 and 12 (PA11 and PA12), and polyetherimide (PEI).

Seevetal, Germany-based Novosystems GmbH has launched its Novotone Main Colors scheme. Through additive mixing of just 15 principal colours, the system is capable of reproducing the entire industry standard Pantone Matching System (PMS) quickly and cost-effectively, the company claims. The Novotone system was presented for the first time at Fakuma 2012.

In Germany, Clariant has opened a second production unit for its halogen-free Exolit® OP flame retardant at the Hürth-Knapsack plant near Cologne. The company has invested a double-digit million euro sum in the new facility, which doubles the company's baseline capacity for diethyl phosphinic acid aluminium salt (DEPAL)-based flame retardants. These additives are used primarily in the electronics and electrical engineering (E&EE) sector.

Argex Titanium Inc, a Canadian mining company recently turned titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer, reports that it has successfully completed the scale-up of its new process for the production of high-purity TiO2 at its pilot plant in Mississauga, Ontario. Capacity has been increased from 0.3 kg/day to 10 kg/day, and is now approaching ‘production level’, the company says.

Cytec Industries Inc reports that capacity expansions have been completed at two manufacturing sites for Cyasorb® light stabilizers. In North America, manufacturing capacity has been expanded at the company's facility in Willow Island, WV, USA, while in the Asia-Pacific region a new production line has been opened in Fengxian, Shanghai, China.

South Korea's Songwon Industrial Co, Ltd has completed the planned capacity expansion at its production facility for one pack systems (OPS) in Greiz, Germany. It has also established its joint venture (jv) with Pan Gulf Holdings of Saudi Arabia and Polysys Industries of Abu Dhabi for the manufacture and sale of Songnox® OPS products.

India's RePin Masterbatches Pvt Ltd and Al Ahli Holding Group (AAHG) from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed an agreement to jointly promote their masterbatch and flexible products in the Middle Eastern and African markets. The deal has established an international joint venture company AlwanRePin, which is 51% owned by AAHG with RePin holding the remaining 49%. The jv operates three plants in India and UAE.

Emerald Kalama Chemical, a business unit of Emerald Performance Materials, has officially opened its new manufacturing operation in Rotterdam for K-Flex® phthalate-free plasticizers and coalescents. The company has also recently inaugurated its global technical centre at its eponymous site in Washington State in the USA which, among other activities, will pursue the development of the K-Flex product line.

Elsewhere, Songwon has also recently entered into a deal with Italy's Sabo SpA covering the distribution of light stabilizers. Under the terms of a new long-term arrangement, Songwon is to distribute the hindered amine light stabilizer (HALS) product range of Sabo on a global basis.

France's Arkema has revealed its ambition to become a world leader in speciality chemicals and advanced materials by 2016 via ‘a selective and profitable growth strategy’. The company says it is targeting sales of €8 billion and an EBITDA margin of 16% in 2016 while maintaining gearing below 40%.

For the third quarter of 2012, PolyOne Corp posted net income of US$24.0 million, up 11% compared with net income of $21.6 million in 3Q 2011. Net sales in 3Q 2012 were $740.2 million, up marginally from $735.8 million in 3Q 2011.

For the third quarter of 2012, Albemarle Corp reported earnings of US$99.3 million on net sales of $661 million. A year earlier the company delivered earnings of $116.1 million on net sales of $723 million. The declines were attributed to the challenging economic conditions.