Additives for Polymers (v.2014, #3)

Switzerland's Clariant introduced the first of its new AddWorks® -branded polymer additives solutions at the K 2013 trade fair last October. The brand was announced last summer [ADPO, September 2013] and comprises application-oriented solutions that address the needs in defined end-use segments as well as the AddWorks LXR™ range of additives designed to provide particular effects in a wide variety of applications, across industry segments.

In the USA, Arkema Inc has extended its Durastrength® impact modifier family with the introduction of a new high-rubber product. According to the company, Durastrength 350 is a high-efficiency acrylic impact modifier designed to provide ‘exceptional toughness’ to weatherable PVC applications. Elsewhere, parent company Arkema is building a new plant for the production of organic peroxides at its Changshu site in China.

A new series of compatibilizers formulated for highly efficient recycling of difficult-to-separate mixtures of inherently incompatible polymers has been introduced by DuPont. The first grades in the DuPont™ Entira™ EP range are commercially available and consist of ethylene copolymers, optimized for mixed waste streams of polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE). Further formulations to handle other common mixtures are under development, the company reports.

Finland-based superhard materials specialist Carbodeon has developed a thermal filler containing minute quantities of nanodiamonds that significantly increases the conductivity of thermally conductive polymers. The company says the filler can provide notable performance increases for polymers used in electronics and LED manufacture while keeping costs low.

Boston-based Cabot Corp has launched CAB-O-SIL® Clarus™ 3160 fumed silica, a new hydrophilic product for liquid silicone rubber (LSR) applications. The new fumed silica is designed to deliver increased clarity and transparency in silicone elastomers and is targeted in particular at Asia-Pacific customers, the company reveals.

Last October's K 2013 trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, provided the platform for the introduction of a multitude of new polymer additives and colorants, many of which have already been documented in this and recent issues. While it is impossible to mention every new product, this last bulletin from K attempts to include as many as possible of the remaining innovations exhibited, as well as some company developments announced at the show.

US-based privately owned chemicals and plastics company PMC Group NA, Inc, headquartered in Mount Laurel, NJ, is further boosting the global position of its polymer additives business with a number of investments. It has recently acquired AkzoNobel's Primary Amides chemicals business for an undisclosed price as well as completing the purchase of Arkema Beijing Chemical Co, Ltd. In addition, it has invested in a new research and technical centre dedicated to vinyl additives.

US-based Chromaflo Technologies, a global supplier of pigment and chemical dispersions, is merging with the colorants business of Finland's tinting specialist CPS Color BV to create an independent global colorant systems and pigment dispersions firm, serving customers in architectural and industrial coatings as well as the thermoset plastics and composites markets.

Germany's Oxea, one of the world's largest producers of oxo-alcohols and oxo products, has been acquired by Oman Oil Co (OOC) from Advent International. The Sultanate's oil company says that the purchase supports its aim to become ‘a vertically integrated global chemical leader in the downstream industry’. Oxea had sales of €1.5 billion in 2012. The financial details of the transaction have not been released.

Swiss-headquartered Ineos Enterprises, part of the Ineos group, has agreed to purchase Sasol Solvents Germany GmbH, a leading European solvent manufacturer. The acquisition, subject to the necessary approvals, comprises production facilities in Germany, based at Herne and Moers, employing around 520 people. The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

For full year 2013, Albemarle Corp reported earnings of US$413.2 million, up 32.6% compared with $311.5 million in 2012. Excluding special and non-operating items, earnings for 2013 were $342.3 million compared with $436.2 million the previous year. Net sales for 2013 were $2.62 billion, down almost 5% from $2.75 billion in 2012, driven by lower metals surcharges, the company's exit from its phosphorus flame retardants business [ADPO, July 2012] and pricing on certain products, partly offset by higher sales volumes.

China's Jushi Group has started operations at its 80 000 tonnes/year fibreglass production line in Egypt's Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone near the Red Sea. Construction work on the project began in early 2012. The company plans to expand capacity at the site to 200 000 tonnes/year by 2018.

Ohio-based PolyOne Corp posted full year revenue of US$3.8 billion in 2013, a 32.8% increase from 2012 revenue of $2.86 billion, driven by solid second half top-line organic growth and the acquisitions of Spartech and Glasforms [ADPO, December 2012]. The company's annual operating income rose by 68% to $231.5 million and net income from continuing operations increased by 76% to $94 million.

For its fiscal 2014 first quarter ended 30 November 2013, A. Schulman reported net income from continuing operations of US$12.4 million, an increase of 5% on the 1Q 2013 figure of $11.8 million. Net sales rose 10%, from $532 1 million in 1Q 2013 to $585.4 million, while sales volume was up 6%.

The global market for plasticizers forms the subject of two recently published market studies, from Germany's Ceresana Research and the UK's Infiniti Research Ltd.