Additives for Polymers (v.2013, #2)

Evonik Industries has revealed plans to launch a new generation of plasticizers for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), expanding its range of sustainable plasticizers to include phthalate-free and bio-based products. The new plasticizers will be manufactured at facilities being constructed at the company's Marl Chemical Park site. Evonik reports that total investment in the project is in the double-digit million Euro range.

Ohio-based inorganic pigment specialist Shepherd Color Co has developed a new pigment chemistry that is claimed to offer excellent durability combined with high opacity and a bright clean yellow colour. The company has also extended its range of rutile tin zinc (RTZ) orange pigments for plastics and coatings.

After more than two years of development work, PolyFusion, LLC of Angola, IN, USA, has introduced an antimicrobial masterbatch for thermoplastics. The_masterbatch is being marketed under the trademarked name of SafeTouch® and is claimed to remain effective against microbes for the usable life of the plastic product. The company already supplies several antimicrobial products for thermoset resins under the SafeTouch brand.

Polymer additive and colorants producer Americhem Inc of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, USA, has introduced a new product offering geared towards manufacturers of outdoor synthetic fibres products. By utilizing combinations of its established nDuramax™ ultraviolet stabilizers [ADPO, August 2009], the company says it is able to provide enhanced UV protection designed to meet the most challenging durability demands.

In North America, silicones specialist Bluestar Silicones has introduced a new line of Silcolapse® brand foam control additives that provides broad utility at various temperatures and pH levels for a wide range of industrial and food applications. The products are manufactured at the company's new facility in York, SC, USA, opened in June 2012, and are available locally.

In Malaysia, researchers from the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) have been studying the suitability of ground kenaf core as a reinforcing filler for wood–plastic composites (WPCs). Using the powdered material in combination with maleic-anhydride-modified polypropylene (MAPP) as the coupling agent, the team claim to have created a new, more-durable WPC.

In December, BASF opened its state-of-the-art production site for customer specific antioxidant blends (CSB) in the Kingdom of Bahrain [ADPO, September 2011]. Now fully operational, the plant is said to be the largest facility of this kind worldwide. According to BASF, this investment continues to strengthen its position as a ‘leading partner’ in additives for the plastic processing industry worldwide and shows its strong commitment to support the growth of the polymer industry in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC).

Louisiana-based Albemarle Corp has announced plans to expand its Orangeburg manufacturing operations in South Carolina, USA. The company says that the development will support growing demand for products in all three of its global business units, Polymer Solutions, Catalysts and Fine Chemistry. The project includes new facilities for the manufacture of a new line of sustainable fire safety solutions.

In the USA, ICL Industrial Products (ICL-IP) is expanding production of polymeric flame retardant Fyrol® HF-5 at its Gallipolis Ferry plant in West Virginia to meet growing market demand in flexible polyurethane (PUR) foam applications. Concurrently, the company is phasing out the production and sale of tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCP), known as ‘tris’.

German oxo-chemicals company Oxea reports that it has successfully started up its new ‘Ester 2’ unit for the production of speciality esters in Oberhausen, Germany. The new facility, which took about a year to build, will boost the company's production capacity for speciality esters by more than 50%. Oxea currently produces these chemicals in three units worldwide, with a fourth under construction in China.

In recent months, Owens Corning has brought into operation new furnaces for the production of glass reinforcements in both Russia and Mexico. The glass fibre specialist says these are the latest steps in its strategy to increase its global capacity to serve the composites sector.

In France, at its Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or site, Solvay's Rhodia silica unit has opened new manufacturing capacity for highly dispersible silica as well as a modernized R&D unit. Elsewhere, on the other side of the Atlantic, Huber Engineered Materials (HEM) is also increasing capacity at its precipitated silica plant in Etowah, TN, USA. For both companies, the expansions are part of broader investments in additional silica capacity.

For the third quarter ended 30 September 2012, Chemtura Corp reported net sales of US$743 million, a decrease of 4% from the figure of $773 million recorded in 3Q 2011. Quarterly net earnings attributable to Chemtura on a GAAP basis were $9 million, level with the previous year.

Minnesota-based 3M has announced that it is expanding production of its polymer supply for the fluoroelastomer and polymer processing additives industries globally. The expansion of its Decatur, AL, USA plant is a capital investment in equipment. According to the company, this upgraded equipment will significantly increase throughput and output capacity. 3M expects to complete the expansion in the second quarter of 2013.

US-based plastics market research and consulting firm Townsend Polymer Services and Information has published a new multiclient study on the global plastics additives market, its eighth such report since 1990. The last edition was produced in 2008 [ADPO, November 2008]. Based on both primary and secondary research conducted by the firm's experts, the new study provides a detailed view of additives used in plastics all over the world.

Global Industry Analysts, Inc, (GIA) has published a new report, Heat Stabilizers – A Global Strategic Business Report (MCP-1495), analysing the worldwide markets for lead, tin, mixed metal and organic heat stabilizers. Annual estimates and forecasts are provided in volume terms for the period from 2010 to 2018. A six-year historic analysis from 2004 to 2009 is also provided for these markets.