Additives for Polymers (v.2014, #1)

South Korea's Songwon Industrial Group launched an entire new product family – the Songxtend™ line of stabilization packages – at the recent K 2013 show in Düsseldorf, Germany. According to the company, the innovative stabilizers solve a number of key issues encountered during the processing, conversion and end-use life cycle of polyolefins. Songxtend stabilizers enable more robust and efficient processing as well as outstanding performance in line with the requirements of today's polyolefin industry, Songwon claims.

Colour and additive masterbatch producer Plastics Color Corp (PCC) has extended its MicroBlok™ line of antimicrobials for polymers with the addition of new grade MicroBlok Z, which contains zinc compounds instead of the silver ions in the original MicroBlok formulation [ADPO, April 2013]. The new product is designed for high humidity environments and is said to be ‘highly effective’ against moulds, bacteria and fungi. PCC has also recently expanded its Asheboro masterbatch manufacturing plant with the addition of two further production lines.

A new family of super conductive speciality carbon blacks for use in plastics was launched by Cabot Corp at the K 2013 trade fair in October. The Vulcan® XCmax™ range is intended for applications in which compounders and end-users require high conductivity at low carbon black loadings, the company says. In addition, Cabot introduced a new line of conductive concentrates to complement its existing Cabelec® range of conductive compounds.

At K 2013 in Düsseldorf, Germany, Ferro Corp's Engineered Polymer Products business showcased its Innovex® polyolefin novel foam enhancement technology, which is claimed to improve both the structure and mechanical performance of low density polyethylene (LDPE) foam. Fellow exhibitor PolyOne Corp used the trade fair to unveil new grades of Excelite™ liquid foaming solutions for extruded vinyl construction applications.

Sweden's Perstorp Group has introduced Pevalen, a new general-purpose, non-phthalate plasticizer developed specifically for sensitive, close-to-consumer PVC applications. According to the company, this latest addition to its plasticizers range is based on well-proven, reliable chemistry and offers performance that is ‘equal to or better’ than that of other plasticizers used today.

Counterfeiting is of increasing concern to manufacturers of all manner of everyday consumer goods, as well as of high-risk items such as electronics and medical products and goods for the automotive and aviation sectors. In recent years, a number of polymer additive manufacturers, including Ampacet, Addmaster, Silvergate, Sanitized and GRAFE, have developed tracer or taggant products for plastics to help manufacturers and retailers to protect brand identity and ensure supply chain integrity. Plastics Color Corp (PCC) and PolyOne Corp are the latest entrants to this market sector.

Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) specialist Omya exhibited additions to its existing product ranges for rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and nonwovens at October's K 2013 trade fair. The company also used the platform offered by the event to announce the opening of its first CaCO3 plant in Russia to serve the country's plastics industry.

Plastics additives leader BASF SE has announced a series of measures to optimize its Performance Products segment as part of its long-term pigments strategy. The company plans to invest €250 million in the next four years in its pigments production network as well as in research and development, but at the same time will cut some 650 positions globally by 2017 to improve the competitiveness of the business. Restructuring and job cuts will take place mainly in Europe while investments are focused on the Asian market.

German additives maker Baerlocher has started construction of a new manufacturing facility for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) stabilizers in Turkey. The company has also announced that it will install a new laboratory in the USA to develop customized additives for the American market. In addition, it has recently commissioned a stearic acids feedstock plant in Brazil.

In China, major antioxidant producer Albemarle Corp reports that it has completed the installation of a granulation and blending system at its Shanghai facility for the production of one-pack products. This addition supports the company's global growth initiatives by increasing capacity and adding extra product forms to the portfolio, Albemarle says.

FRX Polymers has opened its first commercial-scale manufacturing plant dedicated to the production of its halogen-free, inherently flame retardant polyphosphonate materials. Located in Antwerp, Belgium, the plant will focus on producing the company's Nofia® line of homopolymer, copolymer and oligomer products.

As in the second quarter of 2013, Cytec Industries saw sales increase but earnings slide in 3Q 2013. Net earnings attributable to Cytec for the period were US$43.8 million, a decline of 25% from the figure of $58.4 million achieved in 2Q 2012. Net sales from the company's continuing operations were $464 million in 3Q 2013, up 2% from $455 million a year earlier.

Tennessee-based Techmer PM, a major producer of colour and additive masterbatches for the plastics and fibre industries, is increasing its focus on expansion opportunities in the European market as part of its long-term growth strategy. To capitalize on the growth potential in Europe, the company has recently opened an office in Cologne, Germany.

For the third quarter of 2013, PolyOne Corp posted sales of US$1.0 billion, a 43% increase compared to $708 million in 3Q 2012. Revenue growth was driven by the acquisitions of Spartech [ADPO, December 2012] and Glasforms, as well as organic growth in Specialty and Distribution, the company says. Net income from continuing operations was $23.2 million compared to $19.4 million in 3Q 2012.

Netherlands-based in-line dosing equipment firm Movacolor has introduced a new gravimetric dosing system that can dose masterbatch and regrind simultaneously. The MCTwin was launched at K 2013. Providing a high level of flexibility in the dosing of liquid colorants and additives, ColorMatrix also showcased its latest-generation FlexCart system at the K trade fair.