Additives for Polymers (v.2017, #6)

Speciality chemicals major Clariant has expanded its line of Cesa®-nucleant masterbatches designed to improve the performance of polypropylenes (PPs) for clear packaging applications. The company has also introduced additional Cesa-extend formulations that are said to be capable of restoring important material properties to recycled condensation polymers, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polylactic acid (PLA) and polycarbonate.

Israeli firm Tosaf Compounds Ltd has developed a new white masterbatch for extrusion coating applications. According to the manufacturer, ME800047 is characterized by increased heat stability, which significantly reduces smoke and odour during processing at high temperatures. In addition, the new masterbatch contributes to an enhanced production efficiency ‘compared to traditional products of this kind’, Tosaf says.

The Green Polymer Additives business of Malaysian natural chemical producer Emery Oleochemicals has unveiled a new portfolio of additives for chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (C-PVC) within its well-established Loxiol® brand. The company says that the new range is designed to meet the C-PVC market's ‘unique requirements’. It has also recently launched a renewably-derived antifogging agent for the North American market.

Leading colour and additive masterbatch manufacturer Ampacet Corp, based in Tarrytown, NY, USA, has recently introduced SynWrap concentrates, which can be used to make a synthetic tissue paper for food, craft, floral and gift packaging applications. According to the company, the resulting tissue provides ‘superior moisture barrier properties’ as well as recyclability and tear resistance when compared to conventional paper-based products used for such wrapping and packaging applications.

Connecticut-based Addivant™, a supplier of liquid phosphite antioxidants for plastics, reports that its nonylphenol-free stabilizer Weston® 705 has received formal approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in plastic packaging for infant formula and human milk. The company has also raised its prices for a range of polymer antioxidants, including Weston 705.

The Polymers for Europe Alliance, an offshoot of the European Plastics Converters association (EuPC), has voiced concerns about the impact of the current reduced supply of titanium dioxide (TiO2) in Europe on the region's plastics manufacturers. TiO2 is used in white masterbatches and as a UV stabilizer in rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products for outdoor use.

Additives and speciality chemicals manufacturer Songwon Industrial Co has officially opened a new Technology Innovation Centre at its Maeam site in South Korea. Describing the new centre as ‘a major milestone’ for the organization, Songwon says it will not only support innovation but also enable the company to take ‘another key step forward’ in entering new business areas with high value and sophisticated technology.

To meet the needs of its growing polymer customer base in the Asia Pacific region, international industrial minerals company Omya has established a technical services laboratory at its Ipoh plant in Malaysia. The company says that the purpose of the laboratory is to provide support for its customers in the technical polymers and polymer packaging sectors, as well as assisting its own product development in the region.

Dutch coatings and chemicals company AkzoNobel NV has outlined a new strategy involving the establishment of two ‘focused, high-performing businesses’ with sustainable growth plans – Paints and Coatings, and Specialty Chemicals, which includes the company's polymer additives interests. Under the new structure, the company will either list Specialty Chemicals as a separate unit or divest it within 12 months, with ‘the vast majority of net proceeds’ from the separation to be returned to shareholders, it says. The planned move is intended to accelerate growth and value creation, according to the company.

In the USA, oxo chemicals specialist Oxea has begun construction work on a new world-scale propanol plant at its Bay City production site in Texas. Once commissioned, ‘Propanol 2’ will add a capacity of 100 000 tonnes/year of propanol and 40 000 tonnes/year of propionaldehyde, the company says. The new unit is expected to come on stream in 2018.

Industrial minerals company Sibelco has divested its talc operations located in Uikhoven, Belgium, to Italian mining and minerals company IMI Fabi SpA, which specializes in the production of talc. The terms of the transaction agreement have not been disclosed.

For the first quarter of 2017, Clariant achieved sales of CHF1.602 billion (€1.471 billion), an increase of 9% in local currency terms and 8% in Swiss francs compared to sales of CHF1.478 billion in 1Q 2016. The sales growth was driven by higher volumes across all business areas, with acquisitions contributing 3%, the company reports. EBITDA before exceptional items rose by 10% in local currencies to CHF250 million.

Ohio-based Chromaflo Technologies has announced the opening of a new manufacturing facility in India. Operated by Chromaflo India, the plant will produce the company's colorants and chemical dispersions for thermoset plastics, as well as for the paints and coatings industries.

In the first three months of 2017, Huntsman Corp achieved revenues of US$2.47 billion, up 5% compared to $2.35 billion in 1Q 2016. Quarterly net income was $92 million compared to $62 million for the same period in 2016, a rise of almost 50%. Adjusted EBITDA also increased substantially, from $274 million in 1Q 2016 to $329 million this year.

Weathering testing technology specialist Atlas Material Testing Technology has opened a new accelerated testing laboratory at its German headquarters at Linsengericht-Altenhaßlau near Frankfurt. The new facility combines the capabilities previously available at its labs in Leicester, UK, and Duisburg, Germany, to create its largest lab to date. The new testing facility will not only serve the company's clients throughout Europe but also those in Asia. Atlas has also recently launched its next-generation, xenon-arc instrument, the Ci4400 Weather-Ometer®.