Additives for Polymers (v.2015, #12)

UK masterbatch manufacturer Silvergate Plastics has launched a new range of masterbatch products developed specifically for 3D printing. The company says it can customize any colour and offer both acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA) polymers, the two thermoplastics most commonly used in 3D printing filaments. The new range was introduced at the 2015 TCT Show in Birmingham, UK, a leading event for the 3D printing and additive manufacturing sector.

In North America, Arkema has introduced the latest innovation in its Vul-Cup® line of crosslinking peroxide products. According to the company, Vul-Cup 40C-SP2 answers a need from the region's rubber and elastomers industry due to recent changes in the market for chlorinated polyethylene. The new crosslinking agent was presented at the 2015 International Elastomer Conference held in October in Cleveland, OH, USA.

Chemicals giant BASF SE has extended its amines range with the addition of cycloaliphatic diamine methylcyclohexyldiamine (MCDA). The new product, which is marketed under the brand name Baxxodur® EC210, is used as an aminic hardener in epoxy resin-based systems.

US speciality chemicals producer Chemtura Corp has announced its exit from the manufacture and sale of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)-based flame retardant products, citing ‘an unsustainable commercial environment’ for the chemical.

Air Products and Chemicals has introduced the new Polycat™ 204 catalyst for use in rigid polyurethane (PU) foams. According to the company, the non-emissive catalyst is specifically designed to help PU foam producers maximize their foam performance and achieve up to six to eight months of system stability when incorporating ‘next generation’ hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blowing agents, such as Honeywell's Solstice® Liquid Blowing Agent (LBA) [ADPO, December 2011].

Trexel, Inc of Wilmington, MA, USA, has been granted an exclusive licence by Polyfil Corp to develop and commercialize the TecoCell® chemical foaming technology for all injection moulding and automotive blow moulding applications. The companies claim that TecoCell produces a highly consistent microcellular foam. Polyfil will continue to market the foaming technology under the EcoCell name for extrusion applications.

Carbon black supplier Orion Engineered Carbons SA and Evonik Industries AG have announced agreements on transactions whereby Orion will acquire Evonik's 52% stake as well as Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH's (DEG) 15% stake in Qingdao Evonik Chemical Co, Ltd (QECC). QECC is a joint venture established by Evonik, DEG and Jiaozhou Finance Investment Center (JFIC) in 1994 based in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China. It has a production capacity of approximately 75 000 tonnes of carbon black per annum.

In China, BASF and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) have inaugurated their world-scale isononanol (INA) plant in Maoming Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone. The plant, which has an annual capacity of 180 000 tonnes, will be run by the partners' 50–50 joint venture BASF MPCC Co Ltd (BMC) [ADPO, March 2013]. This is the first INA plant in China and will serve the growing demand for next-generation plasticizers, the companies say.

UK-based company Akcros Chemicals has acquired the PVC Additives business of Italian chemicals producer Lamberti SpA, effective 1 December 2015. According to Akcros, the transaction brings together ‘two leading additives producers’, both with ‘a strong reputation’ for quality, technical innovation, flexibility and customer focus. The deal extends their combined leadership position in flexible PVC additives and broadens their geographic scope of operation, the company adds.

Chicago-headquartered company Hallstar has acquired fellow speciality chemicals producer Fortinbrás, based in Jaguariúna, São Paulo, Brazil. According to Hallstar, the transaction is the latest move in its ‘steady growth trajectory and global expansion’. The acquisition increases the company's presence in the fast-growing emerging market of Brazil and in the greater Latin American region.

For the third quarter of 2015, Cytec Industries Inc reported net earnings of US$59.5 million on net sales from continuing operations of $497 million. Excluding special items, net earnings from continuing operations were $65.8 million. By comparison, the company's net earnings from continuing operations for 3Q 2014 were $53.8 million (or $54.2 million excluding special items) on net sales of $507 million.

Colorant specialist Penn Color is expanding its European plant at Venray in the Netherlands in a move that doubles the facility's production capacity for colour and additive masterbatches. According to the company, the expansion was necessitated as a result of its ‘continued rapid growth in Europe’.

Switzerland's speciality chemicals group Clariant International Ltd reported sales of CHF1.41 billion (€1.30 billion) for the third quarter of 2015, a decline of 6% in Swiss franc terms from sales of CHF1.507 billion in 3Q 2014. However, the sales total represented growth of 2% in local currencies, with both volumes and prices up 1%, the company says. Net income from continuing operations was CHF60 million in 3Q 2015, up 3% from the previous year.

For its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter ended 31 August 2015, Akron-headquartered A. Schulman, Inc posted consolidated net sales of US$674.0 million, compared with $627.4 million in the same quarter of 2014. Sales were boosted by its Citadel Plastics acquisition but reduced by $79.8 million of unfavourable foreign currency translation. Income from continuing operations was $24.0 million for the quarter, up from $15.2 million the previous year. Net income rose from $15.39 million in 4Q 2014 to $23.97 million this year.

San Francisco-based market research and consulting company Grand View Research, Inc (GVR) has published a new report analysing the global plastics additives market and providing forecasts to 2022. The market is examined according to additive function and product type.