Additives for Polymers (v.2017, #5)

French firm Arkema has introduced Clearstrength® XT100, a methacrylate-butadiene-styrene (MBS) core/shell impact modifier designed to satisfy the most demanding technical requirements of thermoset applications, such as structural adhesives and high-performance composites. The new product was among the composites innovations presented by the company at the JEC World 2017 tradeshow in Paris.

The Rhein Chemie Additives (ADD) business unit of German speciality chemical producer Lanxess has developed a new aramid fibre masterbatch for use as a high-grade reinforcing material in tyre compounds. Rhenogran P91-40 is composed of aramid fibre pulp pre-dispersed in a polymeric binder. Elsewhere, the company is investing in expanded capacities for its iron oxide pigments.

Glass fibre manufacturer Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway company, has launched a new chopped strand product for the reinforcement of polypropylene (PP) compounds. Introduced at JEC World 2017 and available globally, the new ThermoFlow® 641 grade is designed to provide ‘superior as-moulded mechanical performance’ as well as high detergent resistance in PP, the company reports.

According to Swedish firm Perstorp, a new independent study on the toxicological properties of its Pevalen™ non-phthalate plasticizer for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) provides fresh evidence that the plasticizer has no toxic properties and that it ‘should be approved’ for food contact applications.

In Germany, collaboration between effect pigment specialist Schlenk Metallic Pigments GmbH in Roth and masterbatch manufacturer Gabriel-Chemie GmbH in Weitnau has succeeded in reproducing an ‘astonishingly authentic’ metallic look in plastics, the partners claim. The resulting Flowing Metallics masterbatch series comprises ten ‘elegant, distinguished’ colours and forms part of Gabriel-Chemie's current Colour Vision No. 17 [ADPO, March 2017]. The range of metallic gloss colorants comprises nickel, ocean blue, graphite, plum, calm red, puce, fir tree, gunmetal black, light blue and light brown.

Dutch chemicals and coatings producer AkzoNobel has acquired the entire BluCure™ cobalt-free patent and trademark portfolio from DSM Resins and Functional Materials, a business of fellow Netherlands-based company Royal DSM. BluCure is an umbrella brand of resin curing technologies and products launched jointly by AkzoNobel and DSM in 2012 [ADPO, May 2012] as a more sustainable alternative to cobalt-based systems, which are under pressure for potential reclassification.

Ohio-based Dover Chemical Corp has received expanded-use clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for liquid antioxidant Doverphos® LGP-11® as a thermal stabilizer in polypropylene (PP) and high impact polystyrene (HIPS) used as components of finished food packaging and repeated-use articles in contact with all types of food. The approval covers Conditions of Use A (high-heat sterilization) through H (frozen storage), as defined by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, at loading levels of the antioxidant in the polymer of up to 2000 ppm.

German chemicals giant BASF plans to build a new plastic additives plant at its Caojing site in Shanghai, China, as part of the previously announced €200 million global investment in its plastic additives production network [ADPO, January 2017]. This world-scale plant, with an annual capacity of 42 000 tonnes, will produce antioxidants and associated forms and blends. Construction is expected to be completed in 2019, with commercial operation to start by early 2020.

Huntsman Corp has announced its intention to close the remaining white end finishing and packaging operation at its titanium dioxide (TiO2) manufacturing facility based in Calais, France, during the third quarter of 2017. The plan follows the 2015 closure of the black end manufacturing operations at the site [ADPO, April 2015] and will result in the closure of the entire facility, affecting 108 personnel.

International producer of masterbatches, high-performance plastic compounds and resins A. Schulman Inc plans to increase its production capacity for colour masterbatches in Europe. Three additional extrusion lines are to be installed, one each at its plants in Hungary, Italy and Poland. The expansion is in response to increased market demand, the company reports.

Germany's Nabaltec has concluded an agreement to acquire the 49% membership interest held by Allied Alumina, an affiliate of Sherwin Alumina, in their US alumina trihydrate (ATH) joint venture Nashtec LLC. Nabaltec thereby becomes the sole owner of Nashtec, which is located in Corpus Christi, TX, USA.

Global masterbatch specialist Ampacet Corp is expanding its European production facilities in Belgium and Luxembourg. The additional capacity is scheduled to come on line in the final quarter of this year, the company says.

UK-based technical plastics compounder and recycler Luxus has expanded its operations with the recent acquisition of Colour Tone Masterbatch, a manufacturer of custom colour and additive masterbatches located near Caerphilly in South Wales. According to Luxus, the acquisition will enable a strategic realignment of the businesses as well as improvements in production capabilities at the Colour Tone site in Bedwas Caerphilly.

Polymer additives major Songwon Industrial Group posted sales revenue of KRW694.3 billion (c. €550 million) for full-year 2016, up 6.1% from KRW654.4 billion the previous year. The company reports that it was a ‘very positive year overall’ in terms of sales, with almost all product lines contributing to the recorded growth despite the on-going challenging economic environment. Net profit for the year jumped 47.5% to KRW42.2 billion.

In the 12 months to 31 December 2016, German speciality chemicals company Lanxess reported net income of € 192 million, a substantial year-on-year increase of 16.4% from 2015's net income of € 165 million. Annual sales declined by 2.6%, from €7.9 billion in 2015 to €7.7 billion last year, primarily due to the adjustment in selling prices to reflect lower raw material costs. In 4Q 2016, the company posted sales of €1.9 billion, up 6% year on year, and net income of €2 million compared with €15 million in 4Q 2015.