Additives for Polymers (v.2015, #3)

US healthcare technology firm Seal Shield LLC has introduced Seal Shield antimicrobial protection for healthcare and consumer products. According to the company, the Seal Shield solution represents ‘a ground-breaking development’ in antimicrobial product protection technology. Products treated with the additive have been shown to resist the growth of viruses, fungi and bacteria, it reports.

Michelman Inc has introduced a number of new fibre sizings to support advanced generations of engineered resin composites increasingly being used in automotive design and manufacturing applications. According to the company, its new sizing solutions are able to meet the mounting requirements for higher thermal resistance, hydrolysis resistance and mechanical performance as lightweight composites replace more and more metal components in vehicles.

Catalyst specialist Grace Catalysts Technologies, part of US firm W.R. Grace & Co, and speciality chemicals firm Milliken & Co report that synergistic use of their advanced technologies for polypropylene (PP) are enabling PP manufacturers to develop ‘new and differentiated resin portfolios’ featuring enhanced clarity, cleanliness, processability and mechanical performance.

The UK's Symphony Environmental Technologies reports that its Sanafor PO-5 antimicrobial masterbatch has been registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The masterbatch is part of the company's d2p antimicrobial product range.

UK-based advanced inorganic materials manufacturer William Blythe Ltd has launched new free-flowing and defined-particle forms of potassium iodide, defined-particle sodium metaperiodate and high-purity stannous oxide (tin(II) oxide) for use in a variety of complex, high-performance applications.

Both Clariant and PolyOne have recently published their plastics colour trend predictions for 2016. Clariant's ColorForward guide, which aims to help plastic product designers and marketing professionals to ‘make more informed colour choices’, is now in its tenth year, while PolyOne's InVisiOSM colour and design service was launched in 2013 [ADPO, July 2013].

Albemarle Corp completed its acquisition of Rockwood Holdings, Inc on 12 January 2015, in accordance with the terms of the companies’ merger agreement announced last July [ADPO, September 2014]. The transaction, valued at around US$6.2 billion, creates a premier speciality chemicals company with expanded customer reach and increased diversity across end markets, technologies and geographies. Operating under the Albemarle name, the new entity has market-leading positions across the high-margin lithium, catalyst, bromine and surface treatment businesses.

More than a year after announcing its intention to spin off its performance chemicals segment to form a new, publicly traded company [ADPO, December 2013], DuPont has filed the initial registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, revealing the new entity's name as The Chemours Company. DuPont has also disclosed the new company's executive leadership team. The spin-off is scheduled for mid-2015.

In the USA, Akcros Chemicals has started up in-house production of solid forms of isothiazolone-based biocides at its New Brunswick facility in New Jersey. The company reports that it has invested more than US$1 million dollar in order to bring global customers ‘enhanced quality control, regulatory approvals and reliability of supply’ for Intercide biocides in pellet form. The Intercide product line was previously supplied only in liquid form.

Speciality chemicals and materials company Cabot Corp has realigned its global business segments. According to the company, the new segment structure is designed to improve efficiency and resource prioritization. It will also enable stronger customer focus and better align with its organizational structure, Cabot says.

Israeli firm Tosaf Compounds Ltd is to invest US$13 million to establish its first US compounding and masterbatch production facility at Bessemer City in North Carolina. The company is purchasing an 18-acre site on the Southridge Business Park in Gaston County, where it plans to employ around 75 staff. The likely timescale for the proposed construction project has not been disclosed.

Swedish polymers group Hexpol has completed its acquisition of US firm RheTech from the founders’ families. The acquisition price amounts to approximately US$112 million on a cash and debt-free basis. RheTech has nearly 50 years’ experience of polymer compounding and is a leading producer of filled and reinforced polyolefins, nylons and other engineered resin compounds. It also produces multifunctional colorant and additive concentrates. It serves the automotive, truck, electronics, construction and consumer sectors.

Masterbatch and compounds producer A. Schulman, Inc posted net income from continuing operations of US$13.2 million for its fiscal first quarter ended 30 November 2014, a 6.5% increase compared with $12.4 million a year earlier. The company achieved net sales of $615.1 million for the 2015 quarter, up 5% from $585.4 million the previous year. Excluding the negative effect of foreign currency translation, revenues would have increased by 9.5% year on year to $641.3 million, the company reports.

For the fourth quarter of 2014, Cytec Industries Inc reported a net loss attributable to the company of US$29.3 million. The loss from continuing operations was $28.0 million. Excluding special items totalling $76.2 million after tax, the company posted earnings from continuing operations of $48.2 million in 4Q 2014. Net sales from continuing operations were $485 million.

Cleveland-based PolyOne Corp posted annual revenue of US$3.84 billion in 2014, 2% higher than its 2013 revenue of $3.77 billion. However, while the company's adjusted earnings per share grew 37% to $1.80, a record for the firm's 15-year history, net income from continuing operations in 2014 slipped 17% to $78 million from $94 million in 2013. Moreover, operating income dropped sharply by 67% to $155.1 million in 2014, though the 2013 figure of $231.5 million was inflated by one-off gains from the sale of businesses.