Additives for Polymers (v.2013, #12)

Global speciality chemical company Eastman Chemical Co has expanded its portfolio of non-phthalate plasticizers with the addition of Eastman Effusion™. According to Eastman, Effusion is an extremely efficient, fast-fusing solution that can enable increased production line speeds and lower processing temperatures, reducing production costs for manufacturers.

French chemicals producer Arkema presented the latest innovations in its polymer additives ranges at the recent K 2013 show in Germany. These include two new impact modifiers and four processing aids for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), as well as new impact modifiers for engineering plastics and an odourless organic peroxide for the production of synthetic rubber. Elsewhere, the company has recently opened its first R&D centre in China.

Swiss speciality chemicals major Clariant has expanded its family of efficient phosphinate flame retardants with new tailor-made synergistic formulations for thermoplastics used in demanding environments. Exolit® OP 1400 (TP) for polyamides and Exolit OP 1260 (TP) for polyesters offer the plastics industry new opportunities to improve both fire safety and processing and mechanical performance at the same time, the company says. The products received their debut at K 2013.

Biomaterials firm Metabolix, Inc of Cambridge, MA, USA, has launched I6003rp, a new bio-based polymeric performance additive for recycled polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The certified bio-based process aid lowers processing torque and improves properties, the company claims. I6003rp also reportedly demonstrates excellent miscibility in PVC when used in combination with PVC recyclate.

Israel's additives, masterbatches and compounding firm Tosaf Compounds has launched a new line of ‘green’ masterbatch products optimized for the production of corrugated pipes to be used as conductors for electrical cables in construction. Such conductors have to meet the European Flame Retardant (FR) Standard IEC 61386-1.

Netherlands-based AkzoNobel has introduced the first in a planned new range of antifog additives for applications in food packaging and agricultural films. The company has also expanded its range of antistatic offerings with a high concentrate form of its existing vegetable-based Armostat® 1800 additive.

US chemicals giant DuPont is to execute a full separation of its Performance Chemicals segment, which comprises the Titanium Technologies and Chemicals & Fluoroproducts businesses, via a tax-free spin-off to shareholders. The separation is expected to be completed in about 18 months, subject to customary closing conditions. 100% of the new public entity will be owned by DuPont shareholders.

Ohio-based polymer additive and masterbatch supplier Americhem Inc has introduced a ‘first-of-its-kind’ softening agent for the nonwoven industry. Described by the company as a ‘breakthrough’ product, the mBrace softening additive was unveiled at the 2013 RISE Conference in Denver, CO, USA.

Japanese company Kao Corp reports that it has completed construction work to enhance production capacity for fatty alcohols at Pilipinas Kao Inc (PKI) in the Philippines. PKI's fatty alcohols capacity is now about 1.4 times larger than previously. The capacity enhancement at Kao's Filipino subsidiary was implemented to meet growing demand for fatty alcohols centring on the Asian region.

Italy's Sabo SpA reports that it has completed the capacity extension for its hindered amine light stabilizer (HALS) product Sabo® Stab UV 119. The expansion has doubled the capacity for the product at the existing, fully integrated manufacturing line at the company's Bergamo facility. Sabo has also recently signed a license agreement for BASF's Chimassorb® 2020 stabilizer technology.

For the third quarter of 2013, Albemarle Corp of Baton Rouge, LA, USA, reported earnings of US$90.5 million on net sales of $648.6 million. This compares with earnings of $109.4 million on net sales of $661.2 million for 3Q 2012. Excluding special and non-operating items, earnings were $89.4 million in 3Q 2013 and $103.1 million a year earlier. The company has announced a reorganization to two business units effective from January 2014.

In its recently published report Flame Retardant Chemicals: Technologies and Global Markets, US market research firm BCC Research presents an overview of the worldwide market size, growth and trends for this important industrial chemicals segment. The major applications and global markets for specific flame retardant chemicals are reviewed. Trends and sales in these markets – broken down by region, product application and chemical type – are analysed, with forecasts until 2018.

Ferro Corp reported US$408.1 million in net sales for the third quarter of 2013, down slightly from sales of $408.9 million in the same period of 2012. However, value-added sales, which exclude precious metals, increased 3.8% to $387.0 million from $372.9 million in 3Q 2012. Net income attributable to Ferro shareholders recovered to $12.7 million in 3Q 2013 compared to a $316.1 million loss a year earlier.

Weathering technology specialist Atlas Material Testing Technology has introduced a new weathering instrument suitable for performing accelerated testing on a variety of materials. According to the company, the Xenotest® 440 ‘sets a new standard’ in economical, mid-sized, air-cooled xenon devices. The instrument was debuted at the recent K 2013 event.

Colour science specialist X-Rite, Inc has launched its next generation of handheld sphere spectrophotometers to help companies manage production batches with high colour accuracy. Ci6x spectrophotometers provide accurate colour measurements to support a variety of industries and help manage colour manufacturing across a global supply chain, the company says.