Additives for Polymers (v.2016, #10)

Bruggolen® TP-H1606 is a new copper complex-based heat stabilizer with low halogen content from Germany's BrüggemannChemical. The product reportedly allows a ‘significant increase’ in the long-term service life of polyamides under heat compared with conventional blends of sterically hindered phenols and phosphites. This applies particularly at low and medium temperatures up to 150°C where the phenolic blends have represented the industry standard, the company says. As with other copper-based stabilizers, the new product also offers effective protection at elevated temperatures up to 180°C, according to Brüggemann.

Massachusetts-based producer of thermoplastic compounds and concentrates Modern Dispersions Inc (MDI) has developed blue-tone carbon black masterbatches for use in automotive interior applications. The company says that the new products complement its line of masterbatch formulations for the automotive industry and come in response to growing customer demand for blue-tone black colours, which are highly desired for their aesthetics in certain applications. MDI introduced the new masterbatches at the recent K 2016 exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Dutch company Holland Colours has introduced Holcomer III, the latest incarnation of its advanced light barrier technology for the packaging of ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk. According to the firm, the new product provides customers with the same ‘industry-leading benefits’ as its existing Holcomer II solution, including 100% UV blocking and up to 99.9% visible-light blocking in a white monolayer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle, but with significantly lower costs.

Cincinnati-based sizing specialist Michelman, Inc, is introducing two polyurethane (PU) dispersions designed as fibre sizing for reinforced composites in automotive under-the-hood applications. Described by the company as ‘unique’, the new Hydrosize® Link dispersions react directly with the matrix resin, delivering ‘exceptional composite performance’ under extreme exposure to water, ethylene glycol and high temperatures, conditions increasingly typical in the narrow confines of modern engine compartments.

According to Cabot Corp, the continued development of the automotive market in China is driving increased sophistication in automotive rubber part applications. As a result, the company is expanding its current offering in the region with the introduction of three high-performance carbon black products that are specifically designed for demanding automotive weather stripping applications, where reinforcement and high surface finish are required. Spheron® 5000A, Spheron VHA and Sterling® SO-1 carbon blacks are available immediately for all customers in China and the rest of Asia, Cabot reports.

Israel's Kafrit Group has broadened its sizeable portfolio of flame retardant masterbatches with the addition of a new range of halogen-free products. These have been developed to meet the growing needs of the building and construction industry, according to the group's UK-based distribution partner Plastribution Ltd.

German pigment producer Heubach GmbH is expanding its capacity to produce complex inorganic colour pigments (CICPs), marketed under the Heucodur® brand name, at its Langelsheim site. Following the installation and successful establishment in 2013 of its first production line at the site utilizing a newly developed and fully automated calcination technology, the company reports that a second line was scheduled to commence operations at the end of October. The capacity expansion is in response to the fast-growing global need for top-quality, high-performance pigments for use in paints and, above all, plastics, Heubach reports.

Carbon black specialist Orion Engineered Carbons SA intends to cease production at its French plant in Ambès by the end of 2016. The facility employs approximately 40 people and has a carbon black production capacity of up to 45 000 tonnes per year, predominately used in the production of tyres and other rubber goods. The plant will be deactivated following the exhaustion of existing stocks but will fulfil on-going existing customer commitments until they are depleted, the company says.

US manufacturer of sustainable, engineered rubber powders Lehigh Technologies has formed a joint venture with Hera Holding, a Spanish waste to resources company, to construct and operate the first micronized rubber powder (MRP) production facility in Europe. The joint venture, Lehigh Spain, is building a plant in Murillo del Fruto to meet growing demand for these materials from industrial customers across the European Union and neighbouring regions. MRP products are derived from end-of-life tyres and post-industrial rubber [ ADPO , August 2005].

In Finland, Huber Engineered Materials, a division of J.M. Huber Corp, is investing in commercial production capacity at its Hamina facility for its patented Spherilex™ amorphous precipitated spherical silica and silicate technology. The company explains that this will be the first production-scale capacity for the Spherilex technology and will support the growth of the business globally. Capacity at the Hamina operation is expected to be on line in the first quarter of 2017.

Natural chemicals major Emery Oleochemicals has opened an application laboratory for its Green Polymer Additives business within the new 7500 ft2 (c. 700 m2) Technical Development Centre (TDC) at its site in Cincinnati, OH, USA. The new state-of-the-art facility features application testing for regional customers, complementing and extending the capabilities at the company's global TDC at its Loxstedt site in Germany, which opened in 2013 [ADPO, October 2012], according to the company.

Nabaltec AG reports that production of aluminium hydroxide-based product Apyral® 40 CD has been temporarily halted since September at its joint venture Nashtec LLC in Corpus Christi, TX, USA. The move has been necessitated by the closure in August 2016 of Sherwin Alumina LLC, the joint venture's current raw materials supplier and cooperating partner.

For the first half of 2016, South Korea's Songwon Industrial Group achieved consolidated sales of KRW362.1 billion (c. E287 million), up 15.3% year on year from KRW314.0 billion in 1H 2015. Gross profit for the six-month period advanced by 76.8% to KRW99.2 billion, with gross profit margin up 9.5 percentage points to 27.4%, while half-yearly net profit more than quadrupled from KRW5.9 billion in 1H 2015 to KRW27.8 billion this year.

German speciality chemicals company Lanxess AG reports that its group sales were down 7.7% year on year to €1.94 billion in the second quarter of 2016 from €2.10 billion in the same period last year. Net income for the quarter also fell by 13.8% to €75 million. Despite these declines, the company has raised its earnings forecast for 2016 for a second time, now predicting annual EBITDA before exceptionals of €930–970 million, up from its previous estimate of €900–950 million, mainly due to ‘good business prospects’ in the second half of the year for the Advanced Intermediates, Performance Chemicals and High Performance Materials segments, the company says.

Swiss speciality chemicals group Clariant posted 2016 half-year sales of CHF2.90 billion (c. €2.70 billion), compared to last year's equivalent figure of CHF2.87 billion. This corresponds to a 3% sales increase in local currencies driven by higher volumes, the company reports. In the second quarter of 2016, sales grew by 2% in local currencies to CHF1.421 billion, with volumes also up by 2% compared to the same period last year.

Maguire Products Inc, a specialist in materials handling systems for plastics processing, has developed a new-generation controller for its widely used gravimetric blender, which features significantly greater processing capability than the company's previous controller for this equipment.