Additives for Polymers (v.2015, #10)

In Japan, Toho Tenax Co, Ltd, the core company of the Teijin Group's carbon fibres and composites business, has unveiled Tenax XMS32, a new grade of carbon fibre that reportedly achieves both the high tenacity (strength) and high tensile modulus required for aircraft and automotive applications. The uniform structure of the new grade was achieved by optimizing the structural design of the polyacrylonitrile-based precursor and by optimizing the manufacturing process, the company explains.

Germany company Merck KGaA is launching a new decorative effect pigment: Miraval® Cosmic Gold. The pigment is the first product in the company's new Miraval Cosmic range, its latest line of lustre effect pigments alongside the well-established Miraval Scenic and Miraval Magic ranges [e.g. ADPO, February 2008].

UK-based firms Haydale Ltd, a carbon nanomaterials specialist, and advanced materials solutions provider Versarien have signed a collaboration agreement to mutually accelerate the development of their respective graphene projects. In a separate deal, Haydale has signed a second collaboration agreement with Australian technology materials development company Talga Resources concerning the supply of graphitic materials and the joint exploration of future industrial-scale production of functionalized carbon nanomaterials.

Speciality chemicals manufacturer Albemarle Corp, a leading company in the development, production and marketing of flame retardants, reports continuing progress with the qualification and commercialization of its GreenCrest® polymeric fire safety solution [ADPO, July 2012]. The company has also recently announced plans to relocate its corporate headquarters next summer from Louisiana to North Carolina in order to improve communications and collaboration.

Weathering expert Atlas Material Testing Technology has achieved ISO 17025 accreditation at two of its natural weathering sites, Sanary-sur-Mer in the South of France for the Mediterranean climate as well as Chennai in India for the sub-tropical climate. The sites are used by manufacturers during product development to test prototypes of a huge range of items that will be constantly exposed to natural factors such as UV radiation, heat or humidity to see how they stand up to actual weathering conditions.

Swiss speciality chemicals firm Clariant International Ltd has revealed its intention to establish a separate subsidiary for its plastics and coatings business, comprising its existing Masterbatches, Additives and Pigments Business Units (BUs). The move will enable these businesses to be ‘steered towards higher absolute profitability and cash generation’, the company says. The new global and fully owned subsidiary will start operating on 1 January 2016.

Israel-based additive, compound and colour masterbatch producer Tosaf has finalized the acquisition of Adtec Colorant Corp of Arlington, TX, USA, a manufacturer of speciality colour concentrates, liquid and additive masterbatches for the injection moulding, blow moulding, film and extrusion markets.

German speciality chemicals company Evonik Industries has started up new production plants for C4-based products at its Marl site in Germany. This development is part of its capacity expansion for C4-based products throughout Europe, in which the company reports that it has invested a total sum in the three-digit million euro range.

Chicago-headquartered global speciality chemical company Hallstar has opened a new state-of-the-art facility in Suzhou, China. Hallstar New Material Science & Technology (Suzhou) Co Ltd will serve as an R&D and technical support base in the Asia Pacific region. In the near future, sales, service and logistics support will also operate out of the facility.

Global polymer additives major Songwon Industrial Group of South Korea reported net sales of KRW157.0 billion (c. €125 million) for the second quarter of 2015, down 9.2% from a sales total of KRW172.9 billion for the same period in 2014. However, gross profit, EBITDA and net profit for the 2015 quarter all improved substantially compared to the previous year.

UK-based Union Colours, the international division of China's Longyu Pigments & Chemicals Corp, has formed an Indian entity named UC Pigments (India) Private Ltd.

UK-based masterbatch specialist Silvergate Plastics has recently invested in a new line and the reconfiguration of its manufacturing facility in a bid to boost its annual turnover from £10 million (€13.9 million) to £18 million by the end of 2015.

For the second quarter of 2015, Germany's Lanxess AG posted net sales of €2.1 billion, a 4.3% improvement compared with €2.0 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. The company's EBITDA pre-exceptionals for the period increased by 13% to €270 million, while net income increased substantially by 58.2% to €87 million from €55 million the previous year. Operational development, proceeds from the sale of noncurrent assets and significantly reduced capital expenditures contributed to this increase, Lanxess reports.

In the second quarter of 2015, Chemtura Corp achieved net sales of US$464 million and net earnings from continuing operations on a GAAP basis of $18 million. This compares with net sales of $609 million and net earnings from continuing operations on a GAAP basis of $43 million in 2Q 2014. Net earnings from continuing operations on a managed basis were $20 million in 2Q 2105 and $35 million a year earlier. The company comments that the 2014 figures include Chemtura AgroSolutions, which was sold in November 2014.

The global market for industrial fillers is forecast to increase from US$29.3 billion in 2014 to $36.0 billion in 2019, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2% for the five-year period. This market growth will be driven by the increasing use of polymers in the construction, automotive, electronics and packaging industries, according to a new in-depth report Industrial Fillers: Global Markets published by US market research firm BCC Research. The study expects carbon black fillers to have the highest growth prospects over the forecast period.