Additives for Polymers (v.2014, #12)

US-based Omnova Solutions has introduced Chemigum® PFC elastomer, a high-performance product designed to meet the plastic industry's demanding requirements for food contact applications. The new elastomeric modifier complies with European Regulation EC 10/2011, which regulates plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food, the company reports. This approval represents Omnova's first step in a broader global assessment of regional food contact requirements and applications.

The new TekTuff™ impact-modified concentrates developed by Teknor Apex enhance the toughness of polyolefins while imparting the same bright colours available with corresponding unmodified concentrates, the company says. In-house tests found that the new colorants significantly boosted dart-impact resistance.

Massachusetts-based Sierra Resins Inc, a formulator and licensor of bioplastics technology, reports that it has brought two new bio-concentrate additives into production. The bio-PET 14 and bio-Lene 14 concentrates expand the company's existing Enviroble™ portfolio of bioplastics masterbatches.

Austrian firm Gabriel-Chemie GmbH has developed new masterbatch solutions for injection-moulded parts with a metallic look. According to the company, the new products offer improved flow line properties and therefore reduce time-consuming and costly post-treatment. A new series of low- and no-halogen flame retardant masterbatches has also been introduced.

Saudi Arabian titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer Cristal has entered into an agreement to acquire the TiO2 assets of China's Jiangxi Tikon Titanium Company, Ltd. The Jiangxi Tikon manufacturing facility is located in the city of Fuzhou in Jiangxi Province. The transaction is expected to close no later than the end of 1Q 2015, and will consist of a combination of an asset and equity deal structure.

According to German masterbatch company Grafe Advanced Polymers GmbH, the ever-greater demands placed on automobility and the increasing focus on ecology and economy pose continual challenges for automotive suppliers in today's plastics industry, to develop flexible products more quickly and in accordance with the requirements of the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The new products must possess outstanding mechanical properties, meet the highest quality demands and be lightweight. These demands in turn have led to new fields of development for producers of masterbatches and compounds, it says.

US concentrates manufacturer Americhem has introduced the six new colour palettes that comprise its 2015–2016 Colour Trends forecast for polymeric products. They comprise Art Therapy, Electric Dawn, Precious Ore, Transcend, Venetian Style and Alchemy.

In Israel, ICL's Industrial Products segment (ICL-IP) has completed construction and initiated start-up activities at its previously announced manufacturing facility for the production of FR-122P, the company's new polymeric flame retardant [ADPO, March 2012 & August 2014]. The plant will eventually have a production capacity of 10 000 tonnes.

Huntsman Corp has completed the previously announced [ADPO, November 2013] acquisition of the Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) businesses of fellow US company Rockwood Holdings, Inc. The deal was valued at US$1.275 billion, including the assumption of $225 million in European pension obligations. Rockwood received net cash proceeds of approximately $950 million, subject to certain potential post-closing adjustments.

Chemical foaming agent specialist Bergen International LLC has added a new manufacturing facility at its Madeline Lane site in Elgin, IL, USA. The new, 45 000 ft2 (4200 m2) building includes a new extrusion line complete with updated material handling equipment, and enables the company to double its manufacturing and production capabilities. The new building also houses a state-of-the-art laboratory facility. Additional production, laboratory, shipping and receiving staff have also been employed.

Bio-based industrial chemicals and plastics company Metabolix Inc reports a ‘continuing shift’ in its focus towards commercializing performance additive solutions based on polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymers. As a result, the company's board of directors has discontinued the operations of its wholly-owned German subsidiary, Metabolix GmbH, and sold ‘substantially all’ of the subsidiary's assets to Akro-Plastic GmbH. Metabolix says that the purpose of this move is to simplify its business structure and focus resources on the success of its core biopolymers business based on Mirel PHA performance additives.

In Japan, BASF has launched its first designfabrik® outside Europe. Located in Tokyo, the second designfabrik worldwide will strengthen the company's capabilities as ‘a provider for comprehensive solutions’ supporting customers from various industries not only with innovative materials but also with assistance at a very early stage of product development. Also targeting Asian markets, BASF is expanding capacity for tertiary butylamine (tBA) at its existing plant in Nanjing, China.

For its fiscal full year (FY) ended 31 August 2014, A. Schulman, Inc posted income from continuing operations of US$53.0 million, an increase of 62% compared with $32.8 million in fiscal 2013. Net income more than doubled to $57.0 million. Net sales for the 12-month period were $2.45 billion, an increase of $313.6 million or 14.7% compared with the previous year.

Swiss speciality chemicals group Clariant has reported third quarter 2014 sales from continuing operations of CHF1.507 billion (€1.255 billion) compared with CHF1.443 billion in 3Q 2013. This corresponds to sales growth of 8% in local currencies, driven by 7% higher volumes and average sales price increases of 1%. Sales growth in Swiss franc terms was 4% as currency developments still had an adverse, albeit weaker, negative impact.

New Jersey-based Cytec Industries posted net earnings attributable to the company of US$53.6 million for the third quarter of 2014. Earnings from continuing operations were $53.8 million on net sales of $507 million. In 3Q 2013, net earnings attributable to Cytec were $43.8 million, earnings from continuing operations $44.4 million and net sales from continuing operations $464 million.

Albemarle Corp reported third quarter 2014 earnings of US$72.8 million, down 20% compared with 3Q 2013 earnings of $90.5 million. 3Q 2014 adjusted earnings were $89.5 million, compared with $88.9 million a year earlier. The company posted net sales of $642.4 million in the 2014 quarter, up 9% versus $591.2 million in 3Q 2013, driven mainly by higher volumes across Catalyst Solutions and bromine products.