Additives for Polymers (v.2016, #1)

US polymer materials and solutions firm PolyOne has developed a novel technology for colouring polyester fibre that eliminates aqueous dyeing and its associated wastewater treatment, giving textile manufacturers ‘increased production and greater flexibility’, it claims. ColorMatrix™ Fiber Colorant Solutions introduces late-stage colour injection for the spin colouring process, and can help to transform the way safety straps, upholstery fabrics, footwear, apparel, industrial fabrics and more are manufactured, according to the company. The technology received its launch at the Milan ITMA 2015 tradeshow in November.

Dutch colorants and additives manufacturer Holland Colours NV has extended its range of products tailored for the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging market with the addition of the HolcoSlip 271-Series of slip agents. According to the company, this latest additive expands its portfolio ‘to provide customers with more-efficient and cost-effective solutions’.

US colorants and additives producer Americhem Inc is expanding its presence in the European synthetic fibres market. The company's European arm Americhem Europe Ltd debuted a new line of speciality products for nylon 66 as well as a new hydrophilic softener for nonwovens at the 2015 edition of the four-yearly ITMA tradeshow held in Milan, Italy, in November. The company also recently opened a new technical centre in the UK to serve its customers in this sector.

Germany's Merck KGaA has unveiled Miraval® Cosmic Bronze, the second colour pigment in its new decorative effect product series. According to the company, the new pigment's powerful colour tone has an ‘intense brilliance for exceptional stylings’. It is reported to be suitable for a variety of plastics applications, including extrusion, extrusion blow moulding, flat film extrusion and injection moulding.

Rotterdam-based biochemistry technology start-up Parx Plastics reports that it has successfully collaborated with Erze Ambalaj, Turkey's largest producer of expanded foam packaging for food, to incorporate antimicrobial properties into the latter's range of packaging products. This will help reduce cross-contamination from disease-producing bacteria such as Salmonella on the packaging as well as prolonging the shelf-life of packaged food, the companies say. Erze produces around 15 million food trays per day from its two locations in Turkey.

Italian masterbatch producer Vanetti SpA reports that its second-generation Biomasterbatches® family has earned Vinçotte ‘OK Compost’ certification. The company says it developed the new product line specifically to colour the latest biodegradable polymers, including polylactic acid (PLA) and Novamont's Mater-Bi.

US speciality chemicals and performance materials company Cabot Corp has announced plans to restructure its operations in response to ‘challenging macroeconomic conditions’. The proposed plan, which is subject to local consultation requirements and processes in certain locations, would result in about 300 redundancies worldwide with anticipated cost savings of approximately US$50 million in fiscal 2016 as compared to fiscal 2015. The company reported a 21% decline in annual sales and a net loss of $331 million for its 2015 fiscal year, which ended 30 September.

BASF Corp, the North American affiliate of Germany's BASF SE, is planning to start production of Palatinol diethylhexyl (or dioctyl) terephthalate (DOTP) in North America in 2017 by investing in dedicated production facilities in Pasadena, TX, USA. The project will help BASF meet the growing demand for non-ortho-phthalate plasticizers in North America, and will strengthen its position in this fast-growing market, the company says. Palatinol DOTP is used by producers of vinyl film and sheet for applications including flooring, coated fabrics, and wire and cable coatings.

Performance chemicals company Chemours, in partnership with Changshu 3F Zhonghao, is building its first full-scale production facility for hydrofluoroolefin product HFO-1336mzz (1,1,1,4,4,4-hexafluorobut-2-ene) in Changshu, Jiangsu Province, China. The companies broke ground in November and the site is expected to begin production mid-year in 2017, providing increased capacity for low global warming potential (GWP) foam expansion agents and refrigerants.

Spain's GCR Group, based in La Bisbal del Penedès in Tarragona, is increasing its annual production capacity of mineral masterbatches and polypropylene (PP) compounds to 320 000 tonnes in 2016 from its previous level of 255 000 tonnes.

Oxo chemicals manufacturer Oxea GmbH is reorganizing its business operations in Germany. To streamline business processes and improve communications, the management team, business functions and additional administrative functions are to be relocated to Monheim. The production and services activities, with approximately 1040 employees, will remain in Oberhausen and Marl and will be separated into independent companies.

US colour concentrates specialist Carolina Color Corp (CCC) has purchased two buildings adjacent to its longstanding headquarters site in Salisbury, NC, USA, to allow for expansion without necessitating a move to another location. The investment will allow it to increase its manufacturing footprint at the site and create a customer collaboration centre.

US speciality chemicals producer Chemtura Corp posted net sales of US$444 million and net earnings from continuing operations on a GAAP basis of $31 million for the third quarter of 2015. Compared to 3Q 2014, sales declined 20% from $558 million, which included Chemtura AgroSolutions before its divestment in November 2014, while net earnings more than doubled from the previous-year figure of $15 million.

For the three months ended 30 September 2015, South Korean company Songwon Industrial Group, the world's second largest manufacturer of polymer stabilizers, achieved net profit of KRW12.24 billion (c. €9.5 million) on consolidated sales of KRW173.90 billion. Compared to 3Q 2014, this represents more than a four-fold jump in net profit, from KRW2.98 billion, and a 5.5% increase in sales, from KRW164.87 billion.

For the third quarter of 2015, Ferro Corp reported net sales of US$279 million, compared with US$276 million in 3Q 2014. Value-added sales, which exclude precious metal sales, were US$271 million in 3Q 2015, an increase of 2% from $265 million in the same period of 2014. Recently acquired Spanish pigments company Nubiola [ADPO, June 2015] and Italian tile coatings firm Vetriceramici together contributed approximately $45 million in additional value-added sales, but this increase was largely negated by adverse foreign currency translation.