Additives for Polymers (v.2016, #8)

Lanxess' Rhein Chemie Additives (ADD) business unit is expanding its sizeable range of hydrolysis stabilizers for plastics and polyurethanes with the addition of Stabaxol P 110, the first in a new line of innovative, low-emission polymeric carbodiimides based on alternative raw materials. The company claims that the new additive provides ‘more reliable’ hydrolysis protection in a variety of thermoplastics but particularly highlights its ‘very good stabilization’ of the biopolymer polylactic acid (PLA) in humid conditions.

Polymer stabilizers major Songwon Industrial has recently launched Songxtend® 2124, its latest innovation for the automotive industry. According to the South Korean company, the new heat stabilizer solution was specifically developed to meet the stringent demands of the automotive market where weight and cost reduction are dominant factors. Songwon has also announced that it is strengthening the regulatory support it offers customers of its benzotriazole light stabilizers. The company claims to be the second largest manufacturer of polymer stabilizers worldwide.

Dutch company Polyscope Polymers BV, which specializes in the manufacture of functionalized copolymers and terpolymers based on styrene maleic anhydride (SMA), is expanding both the product and application ranges of its Xiran® heat boosters. Originally introduced to increase the high-temperature resistance of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA), Xiran heat boosters are now also proving successful in increasing the heat performance of further styrenic polymers as well as other engineering plastics, the company reports.

Cincinnati-based Michelman Inc has extended its flagship Hydrosize® portfolio with the introduction of Hydrosize EP876, a high molecular weight epoxy-based fibre sizing for polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and thermoset composite manufacturing applications. The new grade can be used with glass, carbon and natural fibres, produces good strand integrity, and offers good chopping behaviour, the company reports.

Rhode Island-based Teknor Color, a division of Teknor Apex Co, has introduced a new range of colour concentrates incorporating exceedingly small traces of an anti-counterfeit marker or taggant. The company says that this will enable plastics manufacturers to ensure product safety, supply chain integrity and brand reputation with no effect on colour quality or product performance. DeTek™ functional colour concentrates can be used at standard let-down ratios in a wide range of thermoplastics, Teknor reports.

Antimicrobials specialist Microban International Ltd has introduced Scentry for Polymers, a range of odour-capture additives designed to eliminate unpleasant odours in recycled plastics, resins and rubbers. It is claimed that the technology can provide a tenfold reduction in malodours produced by recycled polymeric materials used in consumer products. Depending on the manufacturer's specific needs, Scentry for Polymers can be dual-functioning, combining odour capture and an antimicrobial to help combat stain- and odour-causing bacteria, and product deterioration, the company says.

The Specialty Chemicals division of US company Ascend Performance Materials is bringing to market two new low-VOC (volatile organic compound) products, FlexaTrac™-DME-200 and FlexaTrac-DMA-600. The introductions are in response to greater customer demand for lower-VOC products and to meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations, the company says.

Cabot Corp has announced plans to establish a new application innovation laboratory in Shanghai, China. The new Asia Technology Center will support all of the company's businesses within the region, including masterbatch and carbon black. According to Cabot, the new facility will be pivotal to its continued delivery of ‘world-class and innovative materials’ to customers across the globe.

German speciality chemicals company Lanxess has significantly expanded storage capacity for its phosphoric acid ester plant at its main Leverkusen site, investing around€8 million. The new storage facility for liquids consists of six 150 m3 tanks, giving a total volume of 900 m3. It replaces the previous, considerably smaller tank farm, which had a capacity of 145 m3. Phosphoric acid esters are used as flame retardants for plastics, among other applications.

An agreement has been signed by US company PPG for the sale of its European fibre glass operations to Japanese glass manufacturer Nippon Electric Glass. The business being sold comprises manufacturing and R&D facilities in Hoogezand, the Netherlands, and a second plant in Wigan, UK, which together employ approximately 550 people. The plants produce reinforcement materials for thermoset and thermoplastic composites in automotive, wind energy, infrastructure and consumer applications, and generated sales of approximately US$150 million in 2015, PPG reports.

Major Chinese glass fibre producer Jushi Group reports that it started up its second glass fibre furnace in Egypt's Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone at the beginning of June 2016 as part of the planned extension of its global presence first announced in 2013. Full production was scheduled to begin in July, increasing the site's annual capacity to 160 000 tonnes.

US-based colour concentrates producer and PVC compounder Color Master Inc has added manufacturing capacity and office space at its headquarters site in Butler, IN, USA, and is in the process of further expansion at its second Indiana location in Kendallville.

For its 2015/2016 fiscal year, Holland Colours reported revenues of €73.7 million, an increase of €5.5 million or 8% compared to the figure of €68.2 million achieved the previous year. The company comments that this increase was in spite of disappointing sales in Asia, especially in China. Net income for the year rose 6% from €3.44 million in fiscal 2014/2015 to €3.62 million this year.

Italian company Polynt Group and Reichhold Group of the USA have announced a definitive agreement to combine their two businesses. According to the companies, the move will create a ‘leading global, vertically integrated manufacturer’ of resins for composites and coatings and of other specialized chemicals, including intermediates, plasticizers, additives and compounds. The transaction is subject to the requisite regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2016.

For its fiscal 2016 third quarter ended 31 May 2016, masterbatch and compound producer A. Schulman Inc reported consolidated net sales of US$650.4 million, compared with net sales of $560.9 million in the same quarter of the previous year. Quarterly net income attributable to the company was $17.4 million this year compared to a net loss of $9.3 million in 3Q fiscal 2015.

The European Commission has granted authorization to three recycling companies to use the phthalate plasticizer diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) in recycled soft polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The Commission's final decision follows an assessment by its REACH Committee.