Additives for Polymers (v.2015, #1)

Swiss speciality chemicals company Clariant has extended its comprehensive range of organic pigments for plastics applications with the addition of mid-shade orange pigment PV Fast Orange HGR. According to the company, the new product can be used as a shading pigment or to create ‘unique full orange shades with eye-catching appeal’. It is reported to be suitable for use with a wide range of polymers in consumer goods and packaging applications.

UK-based masterbatch specialist Silvergate Plastics has developed and launched Simply White, a new range of cost-effective white masterbatches that ‘performs extremely well’ in terms of colour accuracy and covering power, the company claims. Described as a ‘technical breakthrough’, Simply White reportedly has a lower price tag than industry alternatives and thus offers a high-performance, low-cost option for plastic processors, Silvergate says.

US thermochromic packaging materials manufacturer Chromatic Technologies Inc (CTI) has introduced PowerCapsules thermochromic colour concentrate pellets. According to the company, the products incorporate new technology ‘that drives vibrant colour and UV stability’. The concentrates also offer customers the benefits of ‘an enviable let-down ratio’ combined with temperature indication, CTI says.

A new portfolio of resin compatibilizers from Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics offers the potential to give millions of pounds of barrier film scrap a second chance at life. According to the company, RETAIN Polymer Modifiers make it easier to recycle post-industrial barrier films without compromising performance or aesthetics. The range was launched at Pack Expo International in Chicago in November 2014.

In the USA, Milliken has unveiled Hyperform® HPN 210 M, a new nucleating agent for injection moulded high-density polyethylene (HDPE) applications. Described by the company as ‘game-changing’, this new technology features a unique crystalline orientation that is claimed to improve the mechanical performance of HDPE to levels approaching those of polypropylene (PP) impact copolymers. The new polymer additive is specifically targeted at material-handling applications such as waste containers, totes, shipping crates and pallets.

Polymer materials and solutions firm PolyOne Corp has launched OnCap™ UV technology for fibre and textile applications in Asia. Combining colorants with performance-boosting additives, these formulations help to protect non-woven polymer fabrics, fibres and filaments from UV light-induced degradation without any trade-offs in performance, the company claims. The OnCap UV solutions are compatible with polyamide (PA), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PP) and a range of other materials, PolyOne says.

German masterbatch manufacturer Lifocolor Farben GmbH of Lichtenfels is investing more than €4 million in a new plant in Brno in the Czech Republic. The investment is being made via its existing Czech subsidiary Lifocolor sro, and the new facility is to be located in the Cernovická Terasa industrial zone near Brno's airport. The plant is scheduled to come on stream in the first half of 2015.

US-based SI Group, Inc, a global developer and producer of chemical intermediates and speciality resins, has announced plans to expand 2,6 xylenol capacity at its Freeport plant in Texas. The expansion is expected to increase production by 7000 tonnes per year in early 2015.

The ICIS 2014 Award for Best Innovation by a Small or Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) has been presented to Canada's Argex Titanium Inc in recognition of its novel method of producing titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment. The 2014 Innovation Awards, covering five categories, identify companies that have made significant steps forward in technological and business innovation, with tangible results emerging during 2013 and the early part of 2014.

For the third quarter of 2014, South Korea's Songwon Industrial Group saw a ‘strong recovery’ in profitability, posting a quarterly net profit of KRW2.98 billion (c. €2.34 million) following losses of KRW6.71 billion and KRW4.89 billion in the previous two quarters. The gross profit margin also increased by 1.9% to 15.7% points compared to 13.8% in 2Q 2014. The company attributes the improvement to the resolution of the production issues that occurred at the beginning of 2014 [ADPO, October 2014].

European investment company Gimv is investing in EcoChem International, a Belgian company engaged in R&D, product development, manufacturing and distribution of eco-friendly flame retardant additives. Gimv takes a majority stake, alongside EcoChem's founders. This financing will be used to support EcoChem's ambitious growth strategy through both international expansion and entrance into new product segments.

Cologne-based speciality chemicals company Lanxess reported net income of €35 million on sales of €2.04 billion for the third quarter of 2014. Quarterly net income improved threefold compared with the figure of €11 million posted in 3Q 2013. Sales were down 0.5% from the previous year's level. The company says that marginally higher volumes compensated for slightly lower prices.

For the quarter ended 30 September 2014, PolyOne Corp posted a 45% jump in net income attributable to its shareholders to US$32.7 million (€27.8 million), despite a 5% dip in sales to $958.4 million. In 3Q 2013, the company reported net income of $22.8 million on sales of $1.01 billion. The decline in sales was attributed to the firm's exit from some unprofitable products related to its purchase of Spartech, the closure of some operations in Brazil and recent weakness in Europe. Operating income was $63.6 million, up from $61.6 million in 3Q 2013.

Philadelphia-based Chemtura Corp reported net sales of US$558 million (€474 million) for the third quarter of 2014, down 2% on the 3Q 2013 figure of $569 million. However, net earnings from continuing operations on a GAAP basis of $15 million for the 2014 quarter were a substantial improvement on the net loss of $44 million posted by the company in 3Q 2013. Operating income was $35 million in 3Q 2014, a 30% increase compared with the previous year.