Additives for Polymers (v.2016, #11)

Effect pigments producer Eckart GmbH of Hartenstein, Germany, has extended its Luxan range of glass pearl pigments with the introduction of the Luxan K series. Targeted particularly at packaging applications, the new pearlescent pigment family is reported to provide ‘exceptional optical appearance’ due to its high transparency, colour intensity, colour purity and intensive lustre. The Luxan K series was unveiled at the recent K 2016 tradeshow in Düsseldorf, where the Altana group company also presented the latest addition to its Symic range of synthetic pearlescent pigments.

The AntiSkid range from masterbatch specialist Ampacet Corp is reported to feature innovative additive technology for flexible packaging applications that require a non-slip surface, whether for optimum functionality or for visual and tactile appeal. Containing proprietary organic anti-skid ingredients, the new products are available in a range of particle sizes, similar to medium (100 grit) to coarse (40 grit) sandpaper, the company says.

German masterbatch producer Grafe has developed a matting agent that provides an appealing surface finish combined with improved scratch resistance, the company claims. The additive is incorporated directly in the injection or extrusion process used to manufacture the plastic component, thereby eliminating the need for etched moulds or costly post-production treatments, Grafe explains. In a separate development, the company has introduced additive masterbatches to improve the processing of polyolefins and polyamides.

US-based company Air Products has introduced an additional series of catalyst technologies that further enable the use of low global warming potential (GWP) hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blowing agents in polyurethane (PU) foam applications. The new products were presented at the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry's annual Technical Conference in Baltimore, MD, USA.

Mineral specialities producer Imerys SA showcased the environmental and technical advantages of its high-performance minerals for automotive lightweighting, thermally conductive plastic materials and more at the triennial K show in October.

Swiss antimicrobials specialist Sanitized AG has introduced a new biocidal additive that provides long-lasting protection for flexible polymer applications such as polyurethane and plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The new product is reported to avoid the drawbacks of current, commonly used antimicrobials while meeting the requirements of recently introduced regulations concerning biocides.

German polymers and speciality chemicals company Lanxess AG is set to nearly treble the size of its additives business with the planned acquisition of US-based flame retardants and lubricant additives group Chemtura Corp in a US$2.1 billion (€2.4 billion) deal. The takeover will make Lanxess one of the world's largest players in flame retardants.

German phosphates and speciality chemicals firm Budenheim is expanding its production capacity for long-chain ammonium polyphosphate with a multimillion euro investment at its Shanghai-based Chinese subsidiary. Ammonium polyphosphate is the key component in the company's broad portfolio of halogen-free flame retardants for intumescent protective coatings as well as for polymer processing, which it supplies under the brand names FR Cros and Budit.

The Fire Retardant Additives business unit of Huber Engineered Materials, a division of J.M. Huber Corp, has announced a 10% production capacity expansion for its Martinal® fine precipitated alumina trihydrate (ATH) flame retardants at its recently acquired Martinswerk plant in Bergheim, Germany. The expansion is projected for completion by the third quarter of 2017.

A patent infringement lawsuit has been filed by Cytec Industries Inc on behalf of its polymer additives business group against Chinese firm Yantai Sunshow Specialty Chemical Co Ltd of Yantai City, Shandong Province. The suit, filed in the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court, alleges that Sunshow is ‘making and/or selling’ a product in violation of the patent protecting Cytec's Cyasorb Cynergy solutions V703 UV stabilizer [ADPO, December 2010]. Cytec is seeking injunctive relief, damages and legal fees.

Massachusetts-based Metabolix has completed the sale of its intellectual property concerning polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymers, together with certain related equipment and inventory, to an affiliate of South Korean firm CJ CheilJedang Corp for a total purchase price of US$10 million. The agreement includes the microbial strains used to produce Metabolix's fermentation-based products, as well as production and application patents.

Two related reports from Indian market research company MarketsandMarkets (M&M) examine the global markets for additive and colour masterbatches according to masterbatch type, carrier resin and end-use industry. Steady growth is predicted for both sectors over the forecast period to 2021.

German market research firm Ceresana has recently published the second edition of its study of the global market for titanium dioxide (TiO2) and its value chain, from the ilmenite, leucoxene and rutile feedstocks, to the refined intermediates titanium slag and synthetic rutile, up to the end products, which include pigments and chemical intermediates. TiO2 has the highest refractive index of all white pigments and is the top-selling pigment type for paints and varnishes, plastics and paper.

At the United Nations General Assembly in New York in late September more than 100 nations, including the USA, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, all 28 member nations of the European Union, all 54 countries in Africa, and a number of island states that are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, called for the adoption of a new amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down the use and emission of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) globally. Primarily used in air conditioning, refrigeration and foam insulation, HFCs are potent greenhouse gases with global warming potentials (GWPs) hundreds of times greater than that of carbon dioxide.