Additives for Polymers (v.2017, #4)

US-based producer of masterbatches, plastic compounds and resins A. Schulman has developed new additive masterbatches to manage the interactions between the inner surface of plastic packaging and its contents. The company claims that its new Polybatch® EasyPour products can improve the dispensing of liquids from stand-up pouches and other packaging formats, thereby enhancing ‘customer experience’.

Ohio-based Valtris Specialty Chemicals is expanding its lubricants portfolio with the introduction of two new products. Petrac® 200 is based on Fischer-Tropsch (FT) wax technology while Petrac 230 is a high-density oxidized polyethylene wax (HD OxPE). Both are designed to improve the extrusion of rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC), according to the company.

Major talc producer Imerys Performance Additives has announced the commercial introduction of two new products in its JetFil talc range. JetFil V625C and V700C talc are economical additives offering ‘outstanding lamellarity and reinforcement performance’, the company claims. Imerys has also expanded its high aspect ratio (HAR) talc range for plastics applications. All the new talc grades are produced in North America from domestic ore sources.

Germany's Evonik has introduced Vestenamer, a process additive for efficient tyre production. The new product is reported to provide a number of benefits, including acting as a plasticizer during mixing and processing, aiding dispersion of highly active fillers, and improving processability. The company has also expanded its silica/silane system for ‘green’ tyres with new Polyvest ST. Both new products were presented at Tire Technology Expo 2017 held in February in Hanover, Germany.

Solvay Additive Technologies has extended its Cyasorb Cynergy Solutions® range of stabilizers with the addition of two new products targeting building and construction, and injection and blow moulding applications. The products were launched at the 2017 International Polyolefins Conference in Houston, TX, USA. Elsewhere, Solvay Silica has unveiled Premium SW, its latest performance highly dispersible silica (HDS) for automotive tyres.

Rhode Island-based Teknor Color, a division of Teknor Apex Co, has introduced new colour concentrates for polycarbonate (PC) that incorporate special additives to help increase resistance to surface marring. This development enables moulders to manufacture PC products with the built-in ability to withstand marring, the company claims.

British speciality chemicals company Croda International plans to invest £27 million (c. €31.7 million) to expand production capacity for polymer additives at its Hull facility in the UK. The expansion will almost double existing capacity at the site and will focus particularly on slip additives such as Incroslip SL [ADPO, April 2014] and fatty acid amides, the company reports. The new capacity is scheduled to come on stream in late 2018.

Germany-based speciality chemicals group Altana has acquired US polymer additives manufacturer PolyAd Services from Edgewater Capital Partners. PolyAd will be integrated into the Plastics Additives business line of BYK Additives & Instruments, Altana's largest division. The deal includes PolyAd's headquarters, development and production facilities in St Louis, MO, USA, and two operating companies in the USA and Germany. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Major titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer Tronox Ltd has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the TiO2 operations of privately owned Saudi Arabian chemical and mining concern Cristal for US$1.673 billion in cash plus Class A ordinary shares representing a 24% stake in the new entity. Tronox intends to sell its Alkali business, which makes soda ash, to part fund the transaction, which has been agreed by both companies' boards. Subject to the receipt of Tronox shareholder approval and the usual regulatory clearances, the deal is expected to close before the first quarter of 2018.

At a special meeting held on 1 February 2017 in Philadelphia, Chemtura stockholders voted to approve the previously announced merger agreement under which Lanxess AG will acquire the company for €2.4 billion [ADPO, November 2016]. Almost 99.9% of the votes cast at the special meeting were in favour of the merger, representing 81.8% of Chemtura's outstanding common stock. Shareholders will receive US$33.50 (€31.1) in cash for each outstanding share when the transaction closes, which is expected in mid-2017.

The planned spin-off of Huntsman Corp's Pigments and Additives segment [ADPO, September 2016] is to be named Venator Materials Corp, the company reveals. ‘Venator’ is Latin for hunter, providing a link to the Huntsman legacy.

In the USA, PMC Biogenix, a wholly owned subsidiary of PMC Group, reports that it has significantly expanded its production capacity for long chain fatty acid intermediates in Memphis, TN. The company says that the investment supports its recent expansions in fatty amide slip agent production.

For the year to 31 December 2016, Swiss speciality chemicals company Clariant International posted net sales of CHF5.847 billion (€5.396 billion) compared to CHF5.807 billion in 2015. This corresponds to a 2% growth in local currencies driven by higher volumes, the company reports. Net income climbed 16% to CHF263 million in 2016 from CHF227 million the previous year as a result of continued expansion in absolute EBITDA, lower finance costs and an improvement in the tax rate.

An exclusive collaboration concerning bio-based plasticizers has been established between Jungbunzlauer Ladenburg GmbH, the German operating unit of Basel-based Jungbunzlauer Suisse AG, and Green Biologics Inc, the US subsidiary of Green Biologics Ltd, a UK industrial biotechnology and renewable chemicals company.

Carbon black specialist Orion Engineered Carbons SA posted net income of €44.6 million on net sales of €1.03 billion in 2016. This compares with net income of €42.9 million and net sales of €1.11 billion reported in 2015. According to the company, 2016 was a record year for carbon black volumes, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin.