Additives for Polymers (v.2015, #7)

Oregon State University (OSU) has reached an exclusive licensing agreement with inorganic pigment specialist The Shepherd Color Company, which will result in the market introduction of a new brilliant blue manganese-based pigment. The pigment was discovered by accident in 2009 by OSU research chemists attempting to create new materials for electronics applications. Dubbed ‘YInMn’ blue, it will be used in a wide range of coatings and plastics, the parties say.

The Dispersions & Pigments division of BASF is now offering all five effect pigments in its Lumina® Royal product series for plastics applications. According to the company, this will enable producers of plastics all over the world to create attractive design options in blue and copper colour shades. Lumina Royal pigments are characterized by their ‘high brilliance, purity and chromaticity’, BASF reports.

Oxo-chemicals manufacturer Oxea GmbH of Oberhausen, Germany, has expanded its portfolio of phthalate-free plasticizers with the introduction of Oxsoft L9TM, a linear trinonyltrimellitate. The new C9 trimellitate is said to be ‘ideally suited’ for special applications where products must meet the most rigid demands, such as the manufacture of resilient and durable high-temperature automotive cables that comply with the most severe requirements in the industry. According to Oxea, Oxsoft L9TM directly replaces conventional C8/C10 trimellitates and is available in industrial quantities.

At Chinaplas 2015 in May, DuPont Titanium Technologies unveiled its titanium dioxide (TiO2) solution for downgauging flexible films. Ti-Pure® DownGauge comprises customized solutions that enable thinner flexible pigmented films by optimizing opacity, colour, printability and light protection, the company says.

European mineral masterbatch specialist Granic, a division of Spain's GCR Group, has developed a new high-performance masterbatch using an elastomer from ExxonMobil Chemical. The Granic 1522 masterbatch uses Vistamaxx, a propylene-based elastomer developed using ExxonMobil's proprietary metallocene catalyst technology, as the carrier for calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which delivers ‘significant performance and processing benefits’, the company reports.

Rhode Island-based Teknor Apex Co has launched TekTuff PS colorants, a series of impact-modified concentrates that enhance the toughness of styrenic polymers while imparting the same bright colours available with corresponding unmodified concentrates, the company claims. The concentrates are available on a custom basis, including new colour matches as well as any existing colour, Teknor Apex says.

Japanese company Ube Industries Ltd reports that it has succeeded in synthesizing high-dispersion strontium carbonate nanoparticles for optical applications. Described as a ‘world first’, this achievement has involved firstly the development of a new, proprietary gas-liquid reaction method and secondly the employment of a new surface treatment process, the firm explains. Ube Industries is initially targeting applications in highly transparent polymer films of the type used in liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and organic electroluminescent (EL) displays.

Polymer additives major Songwon Industrial has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with Chinese company Qingdao Long Fortune Chemical & Auxiliary Co, Ltd (QLF) for the production and sale of its one pack systems (OPS) and the sale of polymer stabilizers in China, one of the world's largest and fastest-growing polymer markets. Songwon has also recently entered into a distribution agreement with fellow South Korean firm Kumho Petrochemicals, and has received a 2015 Best Practice Excellence Award from Frost & Sullivan.

Mineral specialities producer Imerys SA has made a binding offer to Solvay and entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire the latter's precipitated calcium carbonates (PCC) division. The prospective deal would include Solvay's four PCC plants in Europe, in Germany, Austria, France and the UK. Financial details have not been disclosed.

Chemtura Corp has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Japanese company Tosoh Corp establishing the framework for a long-term relationship for brominated flame retardant products and technologies in Japan. Under the terms of the LOI, Tosoh would have the exclusive right to promote and sell Chemtura's Emerald Innovation® 1000 flame retardant products to Japanese customers. Subject to the satisfaction of each party's corporate requirements concerning the LOI, Tosoh intends to launch sales later in 2015.

Flame retardant producer ICL Industrial Products (ICL-IP) is closing a production line in Israel that produces its FR-1210 (deca) flame retardant product. The ICL business segment has also developed a science-based tool to assess the sustainability profile of flame retardants, which it unveiled at Chinaplas 2015 in May.

South Korea's Songwon Industrial Group achieved sales of KRW157 billion (c. €122 million) in the first quarter of 2015, a decline of 3.6% from KRW163 billion for the same period of 2014. However, the group posted a net profit of KRW3.1 billion for the quarter compared to a net loss of KRW4.9 billion a year earlier. An operating loss of KRW1.06 billion in 1Q 2014 was also turned into an operating profit of KRW5.1 billion this year.

For the first quarter of 2015, Albemarle Corp posted a 47% increase in net sales to US$884.4 million, from $599.8 million a year earlier, and a 95% increase in adjusted EBITDA to $265.6 million. These increases are primarily as a result of the $5.7 billion Rockwell acquisition, which was completed on 12 January 2015 [ADPO, March 2015]. The company reports that integration of the acquired business is progressing well and that significant synergies in terms of cost savings have already been achieved.

German speciality chemicals group Lanxess reported net sales of €2.038 billion for the first quarter of 2015, ‘nearly stable’ compared to €2.043 billion in 1Q 2014. Lower selling prices, which were necessitated by raw material price developments, were more or less offset by positive currency effects, the company says. Net income came in at €22 million, compared with €25 million in the same period of 2014, reflecting costs and exceptional charges for realignment measures.

A new and reliable rapid screening test for the first time allows polystyrene (PS) foams from the building and construction industry containing the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) to be identified on site and sorted for recycling. The method was developed by Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV) in collaboration with BASF.