Additives for Polymers (v.2017, #1)

Speciality chemicals firm Milliken & Co has introduced a new variant of its well-established Millad® NX™ 8000 clarifying additive for polypropylene (PP) [ADPO, September 2007] that it has tailored for use in the extrusion blow moulding process. The new additive performs ‘significantly better’ in higher melt-flow-rate (MFR) grades of PP, and yields ‘excellent results’ in terms of both productivity and the optical properties of the end product, the company reports. The clarifying agent received its debut at the K 2016 trade fair in October.

The Dispersions & Pigments division of BASF, via its Colors & Effects brand, has extended the Paliotol® organic pigment series further into food contact and toys applications with the launch of Paliotol Yellow K 1750 at the K trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, in October 2016. The Paliotol series consists of mid- to high-performance organic pigments, which are reported to have excellent colouring value for a wide range of end-uses, including sensitive applications.

US polymer materials and solutions firm PolyOne has announced the commercial availability of its SynPlast™ L9TM plasticizer for demanding flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) applications such as wire and cable. The new trimellitate (TM) product reportedly features ‘equivalent performance characteristics’ to the 810TM linear plasticizer that flexible PVC compounders have traditionally relied upon to achieve critical performance properties at both elevated and low temperatures. However, the new SynPlast option offers greater supply stability, according to PolyOne.

At the K 2016 show in Düsseldorf, Germany, US-based company Troy Micropel introduced four new antimicrobials as well as presenting its full line of Micropel® and Plastiguard® biocide products for plastics. The company reports that it offers a full portfolio of ‘highly effective active chemistries’ for customers in Europe, as well as an experienced regulatory department to enable customers to manufacture high-quality, fully compliant materials.

US chemicals company ExxonMobil Chemical has expanded its range of Vistamaxx™ performance polymers with the introduction of a new low-viscosity grade that can be used to ‘maintain or improve’ the cycle times of injection moulded or extruded applications. According to the company, Vistamaxx 8880 improves the flow and processing of polyolefin compounds that contain Vistamaxx 6202 or 6502, or are heavily filled. The new grade was unveiled at the K 2016 tradeshow in October.

In North America, mineral products specialist Imerys has extended its family of antiblock talc products for the regional plastic film and flexible packaging markets with additional grades of Mistroblock® microcrystalline talc. Mistroblock H, Mistroblock HC and Mistroblock HTC expand the company's existing portfolio of antiblock products for the American market, which includes Mistron 400C, Mistron NT and Mistron NTC.

Germany chemicals giant BASF SE has revealed plans to invest more than €200 million in its global plastics additives business across the next five years. Around half of the funding will be targeted at its Asian production plants but several sites in the USA and Europe will also benefit, the company says. The investments will enhance both capacities and operational excellence. BASF is the largest global supplier of plastics additives, with manufacturing assets in all regions.

Pigments manufacturer Heubach GmbH is doubling its existing capacities for bismuth vanadate pigments at its Langelsheim plant in Germany. These inorganic yellow pigments are marketed under the brand names Vanadur® and Vanadur Plus. The expansion is in response to the growing demand for high-performance pigments to replace yellow lead chromates, the company reports. The additional capacity will be brought online during 2017.

Black concentrate and compound producer Cabot Corp has announced an investment in new capacity to enhance its production capabilities for plastic formulations, specifically for conductive compounds and masterbatches for engineering thermoplastic applications. The new capacity will be installed at the company's existing manufacturing facility in Pepinster, Belgium, and will expand Cabot's capabilities in key growth industries including automotive, electronics and industrial safety, and enable it to move into additional applications.

iD Additives, a North American supplier of foaming agents, UV stabilizers, purging compounds and other products to the plastics industry based at LaGrange, IL, USA, has opened a new division called iD LiquiD Systems. Located in Flint, TX, the new unit is devoted to the production of liquid colorants and additives.

Japanese firm Ube Industries, via its Ube Material Industries subsidiary, has established a company for the manufacturing and marketing of its MOS-HIGE branded magnesium oxysulphate whiskers in Bangkok, Thailand. The new company is named Ube Materials (Thailand) Co, Ltd.

For the third quarter of 2016, South Korean speciality chemicals producer Songwon Industrial Group reported a sales total of KRW170.6 billion (c. €135 million), down 1.9% from sales of KRW173.9 billion in 3Q 2015. Net profit for the three-month period was KRW10.4 billion, a fall of 15.4% from the restated figure of KRW12.2 billion for 3Q 2015. The company has also recently revealed its new corporate image.

In the third quarter of 2016, Ferro Corp reported a 3.3% increase in net sales to US$289 million, compared with $279 million in 3Q 2015. Sales growth was driven by acquisitions in the Performance Coatings segment, and organic growth in the Pigments, Powders and Oxides segment.

Worldwide consumption of flame retardants reached a volume of 2.49 million tonnes in 2015 valued at US$6.29 billion. In volume terms, market size is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9% from 2016 to 2025 to exceed 4.0 million tonnes by the end of the forecast period. In terms of value, the global flame retardants market is predicted to touch US$11.96 billion by 2025.