Additives for Polymers (v.2015, #9)

French chemicals manufacturer Arkema has extended its portfolio of impact modifiers with the introduction of Lotader® AX8820 copolymer. The new product has been designed especially for use with high fluidity polyphenylene sulphide (PPS) grades, enabling easier injection moulding, according to the company. Arkema says that the new grade completes its range of reactive terpolymers, joining well-established existing products Lotader AX8840 and Lotader AX8900, which are already used for the modification of extrusion grades of PPS and of thermoplastic polyesters (polyethylene and polybutylene terephthalates).

Austrian masterbatch specialist Gabriel-Chemie GmbH has launched a new range of standard colour masterbatches that combines high-quality coloration with the affordability needed for everyday objects, the company claims. The masterbatches are food-approved according to European Union (EU) standards and are suitable for use in a wide range of plastics, Gabriel-Chemie reports.

UK-based colouring solutions supplier Prisma Colour has developed a range of masterbatches for use in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) extrusion and injection stretch blow moulding. The new range has been designed specifically for the production of PET bottles commonly used for water, fruit juice and a variety of other products.

Speciality chemicals company Evonik has introduced its latest developmental titanium dioxide (TiO2) grade, VP NKT 65. Described as a novel hydrophobic sub-pigmentary fumed TiO2 grade, the new granulated product is surface-treated with an alkylsilane to make it more stable and dispersible. The company is targeting a range of application areas for the new grade, from toners and polymer powders to optoelectronics.

Ohio-based additives and paraffins producer Dover Chemical Corp has received food contact clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Doverphos® LGP-11 antioxidant as a thermal stabilizer in single- and repeated-use linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) films and high density polyethylene (HDPE) articles. The approval covers contact with all food types under Conditions of Use A through H as defined by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, at loading levels in the polymer of up to 2000 ppm.

Masterbatch producer AF-Color, a branch of German company Akro-Plastic GmbH, reports that it has successfully completed Vinçotte certification of its AF-Eco® masterbatch range, earning ‘OK Compost’ approval. The certified masterbatches are designed to add colour to biodegradable plastics without impacting their compostability.

Belgian chemicals major Solvay has announced plans to acquire US-based Cytec Industries. The two companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Solvay will acquire 100% of Cytec's share capital for US$75.25 per share in cash, amounting to a total cash consideration of $5.5 billion. Subject to the customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the consent of Cytec's shareholders, the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Effective from January 2016, BASF SE is to form a new global business unit (GBU) combining all of its pigments activities. The company's intention is to then carve out the pigments business and establish separate legal entities during the second half of next year. With sales of about € 1 billion in 2014 and 2500 employees globally, BASF holds a leading position in the pigments market, and claims to offer the broadest portfolio of products and technology.

ICL's Industrial Products segment (ICL-IP) has announced that it is ceasing production and phasing out sales of its hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) flame retardant product FR-1206, with the exception of sales based on existing commitments to customers. This is in line with the phase-out dates for HBCD set out in the REACH and POP (persistent organic pollutant) legislation, the company says.

In China, Henan Billions Chemicals reports that it has successfully acquired a 100% equity stake in rival domestic titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer Sichuan Lomon Titanium Industry for RMB9 billion (US$1.47 billion). The deal will make Henan Billions the largest TiO2 manufacturer in Asia and the fifth largest worldwide. Henan Billions financed the deal by issuing 380 million shares through a non-public offering, which raised RMB10.26 billion.

Finance Wales, the funding body created by the Welsh government to support local firms, has exited from its equity investment in UK-based masterbatch manufacturer Silvergate Plastics, selling its 49% shareholding to the company's executive directors. The transaction means that Silvergate is now wholly owned by its executive team, headed by managing director Tony Bestall. Finance Wales supported the management buy-out (MBO) of the company from British Vita back in 2008.

New Jersey-based Troy Corp has completed the acquisition of Ashland Specialty Ingredients’ industrial biocides business. The business was formerly owned and operated by ISP, Inc, which was acquired by Ashland Inc in 2011 [ADPO, October 2011]. The financial terms of the current transaction have not been disclosed.

For the second quarter of 2015, PolyOne Corp posted net income from continuing operations of US$66.8 million, more than double the 2Q 2014 figure of $30.9 million. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) increased to an all-time quarterly high of $0.57, up 12% from $0.51 a year earlier. This represents the company's 23rd consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth in EPS. GAAP EPS of $0.74 increased from $0.33 in 2Q 2014. Special items resulted in a net after-tax gain of $15.9 million, or $0.17 per share, for 2Q 2015.

Ferro Corp posted net sales of US$268 million for the quarter ended 30 June 2015, while value-added sales, which exclude precious metal sales, were $257 million. In the same period last year, net sales and value-added sales were $294 million and $282 million, respectively. On a constant currency basis, value-added sales increased 5% year on year, the company says. The impact of foreign currency translation reduced value-added sales by approximately $36 million.

Two new reports published by Micromarket Monitor examine the global markets for phthalate plasticizers diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and dioctyl phthalate (DOP), and forecast healthy growth for both over the five-year period between 2014 and 2019.