Additives for Polymers (v.2013, #8)

New polymer additives company Addivant ™ USA, LLC [ADPO, July 2013] has introduced several additional Polybond® polymer modifiers that allow halogen-free polyolefin compounds to replace polyvinyl chloride (PVC) efficiently in flame-retardant wire and cable solutions, it claims. The new portfolio of modifiers is based on linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and is intended for use in conjunction with halogen-free flame retardants such as alumina trihydrate (ATH) or magnesium hydroxide (MDH).

Swiss antimicrobial hygiene products manufacturer Sanitized AG has launched two new advanced additives designed for the protection of plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC). In addition to effective and long-lasting antimicrobial action, the two products offer a range of application-specific benefits including longer lifecycles, improved weatherability and thermal stability, as well as higher resistance to UV and yellowing. Sanitized introduced the new additives at Techtextil 2013 in Frankfurt.

German masterbatch producer GRAFE Advanced Polymers GmbH has developed an additive masterbatch to provide counterfeit protection for synthetic yarns and fibres. The company says that the patent-pending solution is based on a new combination of chemical substances for product marking that can be detected both qualitatively and quantitatively on the final application by means of X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF). The new masterbatch for synthetic yarns targets both commodities and specialities based on polypropylene (PP), polyamide (PA) and polyester (PET).

Dutch company Polyscope Polymers BV has further extended its portfolio [ADPO, April 2013 & April 2010] with the addition of terpolymers consisting of styrene, maleic anhydride and N-phenylmaleimide. The new products are commercialized and branded as Xiran®IZ grades.

Cincinnati-based Shepherd Color Co has introduced two new special effect pigments in its StarLight ® series: StarLight FX 15 and StarLight FX 25 [ADPO, September 2003]. The new pigments, made with Shepherd's Micro-Mirror ® technology, are highly reflective silver-coated glass flakes. They are reported to be suitable for use in plastics and coatings.

Germany's BYK-Chemie, part of the Altana group, has unveiled two new environment-friendly additives. The first is a ‘green’ styrene emission reducer for unsaturated polyesters and vinyl ester systems with food contact legal status, and the second an air release agent based on renewable sources intended for unsaturated polyester resins as well as solvent-borne and solvent-free systems.

In Germany, Evonik has commissioned a new plant at its Marl Chemical Park site for the production of the phthalate-free plasticizer 1,2-cyclohexane dicarboxylic acid diisononyl ester. The new facility, which came on stream in June 2013, has an annual production capacity of 40 000 tonnes. The company reports that the investment was in the double-digit million euro range.

Boston-based Cabot Corp is to purchase the remaining 60% equity of its Mexican carbon black manufacturing joint venture, NHUMO, SA de CV, from partner Grupo Kuo SAB de CV. The agreed price is US$105 million, of which $80 million will be paid upon closing, excluding cash acquired. The acquisition is expected to close by the autumn of 2013, pending regulatory approvals.

The Solaplex ® range of bright yellow to orange inorganic pigments from Rockwood Pigments has been granted a Food Contact Notification (FCN1252) by the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA). This approval allows their use in high performance and indirect food contact applications.

Ferro Corp is adding significantly to its plasticizer product offerings by installing 28 000 tonnes of annual production capacity for dibenzoate-based plasticizers at its operations in Antwerp, Belgium. The new capacity for the non-phthalate, fast-fusing plasticizer is expected to come on-stream in the second half of 2014. The company says it expects to ‘significantly strengthen’ its market position through this investment project, offering high-performance plasticizers for a broad range of markets and applications to customers preferring a non-phthalate solution.

Global silicones manufacturer Momentive Performance Materials (MPM) has added manufacturing capacity at two of its production facilities, in Texas City, TX, USA, and Leverkusen, Germany. The company says that the investment was prompted by increasing demand in a number of the industries it serves.

French company Arkema has announced a 15% debottlenecking of its production capacity for bis-isopropylbenzene-peroxide (bis-peroxide) at two factories, in Spinetta, Italy, and Franklin, VA, USA. The company says that this new capacity, which is already operational, will allow it to ‘respond immediately’ to strong demand in the synthetic rubber crosslinking industry, in particular in Asia, and to support recent developments in fast-growing markets.

Japanese polymer additives manufacturer Adeka Corp is targeting the rapidly growing Brazilian market with the establishment of a wholly owned subsidiary in the country – its first in South America. Adeka Brasil Ltda (ADBR) has opened a sales and marketing office in São Paulo and started operations in April. It has received 5 000 001 real (c. €1.56 million) in capital from its parent company.

Milliken has filed multiple lawsuits to protect the intellectual property behind its sorbitol-based Millad clarifying agents. The company says it is taking ‘vigorous action’ against several unnamed Asian companies that it believes have infringed one or more of its patents through the sale of competitive 3,4-DMDBS products.

South Korean polymer additives major Songwon Industrial Group posted strong profit growth and stable sales in the first quarter of 2013, despite a challenging economic environment. Gross profit, operating profit and EBIT all showed healthy growth compared to 1Q 2012, while net profit soared.

Despite challenging economic conditions, fiscal year 2012/2013 turned out to be a good one for Dutch masterbatch company Holland Colours. Net profit for the 12-month period ended 31 March 2013 increased by 70% to €2.9 million from €1.7 million in 2011/2012. Sales for the year amounted to €65.9 million, a rise of 8% compared to €61.2 million in 2011/2012. In terms of volume, the growth was 1%.