Additives for Polymers (v.2013, #6)

Ohio-based Americhem Inc presented its new nVision™ line of colour and additive masterbatches at the IDEA 2013 International Engineered Fabrics Conference & Expo in April. The new range is reported to provide higher dispersion quality for nonwoven fabrics. According to the company, nVision can be customized as a functional solution for unique applications, offering ‘industry-leading colour and uniformity’ in one pellet.

US speciality chemicals company Eastman Chemical Co has extended its family of phthalate-free plasticizers with the addition of Eastman 168™ SG (sensitive grade) non-phthalate plasticizer. The company says that the new product is an enhanced grade of its well-established Eastman 168 plasticizer, and is specifically targeted at highly sensitive applications such as medical devices, toys, childcare items and food-contact products.

Oregon-based BioSphere has developed a liquid additive that can be used ‘in most major polymers’ to enhance their biodegradation. The product has 13% solid contents and 100% active ingredients. It was initially developed for companies in Japan, but due to the demand for liquid formulations the plastic additive has now been released to customers worldwide, BioSphere explains.

Germany's Merck KGaA has introduced Iriodin® 506 Sunset Orange as the latest addition to its broad portfolio of effect pigments. Described by the company as a ‘unique, intensive orange’ with a strong body colour and good coverage, the new pigment is suitable for use with plastics, paper and ceramics. According to Merck, orange shades are currently in vogue for applications including packaging, consumer electronics, household appliances, sports equipment, furniture and decorative items.

Berkshire Hathaway company Johns Manville has launched two new chopped strand grades, ThermoFlow® 674 and 601, for reinforcing polyamide (PA) and PBT/PET engineered thermoplastics. The company says that the new materials were developed to meet the European Union food contact regulation No 10/2011 for plastics that come into contact with food. The two grades received their debut at JEC Europe 2013 in Paris.

Holland Colours Europe has launched a new product line for polyether polyurethane (PU) foams, slabstock and rigid foam. The company says that the need for a more competitive range of colours for the coloration of PU foams resulted in the development of a new series based on a sustainable carrier: a hydroxy functional vegetable oil.

Advanced materials manufacturer Momentive Performance Materials used the recent SPE ANTEC Conference in Cincinnati, OH, USA to present its new boron nitride-based CoolFX™ hybrid fillers for use in thermally conductive plastics. In the development of the new product the company drew on its extensive experience, spanning more than 50 years, in the synthesis and refinement of boron nitride powders. Momentive currently produces more than 70 standard and custom grades of boron nitride powders and hybrid fillers to meet a wide range of application requirements.

Switzerland's antimicrobial specialist Sanitized AG has developed a marker system that assists manufacturers by eliminating the waiting times for laboratory approval after material testing. The company claims that its new Sanitized® Spotlight concept delivers fast and reliable confirmation for successful active ingredient application and makes it possible to quickly check for counterfeit products.

French boron nitride producer Saint-Gobain Boron Nitride has introduced CarboTherm™ hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) products to add thermal conductivity to thermoplastic compounds. The additives can be used to create products that dissipate heat while retaining electrical insulation, the company reports.

German chemicals giant BASF is taking steps to improve the competitiveness of its Performance Products segment. The segment's businesses serve diverse end-uses and include plastic additives, pigments, paper chemicals, ingredients for personal care, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, as well as chemicals used in oil and gas production and mining. The company says that the measures currently being pursued will lead to a reduction of about 500 positions worldwide by the end of 2015.

Juffali PolyOne Masterbatch Co Ltd, a joint venture between Ohio-based PolyOne Corp and Saudi industrial conglomerate E.A. Juffali & Brothers Ltd, has opened a new colour concentrates production plant in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. According to the partners, the new facility will help customers in the Middle East innovate and grow via local access to world-class speciality polymer colorants.

Clariant is constructing a new pigment preparations plant at its Tangerang site in Indonesia as part of a series of investments intended to strengthen on-the-ground support for its customers in China, India and Indonesia. In total, the company says it plans to spend around CHF8 million (c. €6.5 million) to enhance its capabilities in the Asian region.

Cabot Corp has announced that the board of its joint venture carbon black company, Cabot Malaysia Sdn Bhd (CMSB), has decided to cease production of carbon black at its facility in Port Dickson, Malaysia, by the end of July 2013. Customer shipments from the plant are expected to continue for a period of time after production has been shut down, the company says. Cabot holds a 51% equity share in CMSB.

For the first quarter of 2013, Albemarle Corp reported earnings of US$84.0 million compared to 1Q 2012 earnings of $114.3 million. Excluding non-operating items, 1Q 2013 earnings were $82.7 million compared to $112.6 million for 2012. Net sales fell from $711.7 million in 1Q 2012 to $641.6 million for the comparable quarter this year as a result of the company's exit from the phosphorus flame retardants business [ADPO, July 2012], lower metals surcharges and pricing on certain products.

With effect from 15 March 2013, Danish distributor Alsiano has acquired Sweden's Interplast AB, a supplier of polymer, elastomer and additive products in the Nordic and Baltic regions.

The global market for flame retardant additives is forecast to rise from 1.9 million tonnes in 2011 to some 2.6 million tonnes in 2016 at an average annual growth rate of 5.4%, according to a new industry study from the Freedonia group World Flame Retardants (#2987). The Asia/Pacific region will continue to be the largest and fastest-growing market, and is expected to account for more than half of world demand in 2016. Boron and phosphorus compounds will be among the fastest-growing types, the report finds.

New Jersey-based Cytec Industries Inc reported net earnings attributable to the company of US$33.5 million for the first quarter of 2013 and net sales from continuing operations of $477.4 million. For the first quarter in 2012, net earnings attributable to Cytec were $53.1 million and net sales from continuing operations were $378.1 million.