A new corporate identity with a focus on polymer additives emerged last month when the antioxidant and UV stabilizer business of Chemtura Corp., Middlebury, Conn., was acquired by SK Capital, a New York-based private equity firm focusing on specialty materials, chemicals, and healthcare. Now called Addivant, the new company’s portfolio reflects its roots in predecessor companies that included GE Specialty Chemicals, Great Lakes Chemical, and Uniroyal Chemical that contributed long-time global leadership in antioxidants, UV stabilizers, polymer modifiers, coupling agents, and polymerization inhibitors.
Based at temporary headquarters in Middlebury, Addivant is the largest producer of liquid phosphites (sold under the Weston brand), specialty antioxidants, and additives in non-dusting forms, such as its Anox NDB (No Dust Blend) stabilizer blends. Newly appointed president
and CEO Peter R. Smith, who was general manager of the business unit since 2009, stresses that the company is going from a non-core business within a large public company to a stand-alone organization that is driven by innovation in polymer additives. The company will be headquartered in Connecticut and maintain its workforce and global footprint with 11 plants on five continents and nine technology centers and application testing centers worldwide. Smith notes that the company has already taken steps to invest in equipment, such as the latest extruders, that replicate what is being used by customers for its technical centers in the U.S., England, and China.
Smith cites two trends that are spurring development of new additives, such as a high-performance liquid phosphite antioxidant that is already commercial in Europe and is expected to debut here in the fourth quarter. One trend is the increasing use of polyolefins made with metallocene and other single-site catalysts. Because of their narrow molecular-weight distributions, such polymers tend to be more difficult to process. The other trend is to larger, faster and more sophisticated extrusion lines. Both trends require improved antioxidant
stabilization. Workhorse primary (hindered phenolic) and secondary (phosphite) antioxidants are decades old and have not kept pace with advances in polymers and processing equipment, according to Smith. Merely increasing addition levels in order to provide the improved stabilization now required often results in blooming or plate-out that adversely affects polymer mechanical properties and requires intermittent shutdowns for equipment cleaning.
Based on proprietary chemistry, the new liquid phosphite, Weston 705, reportedly outperforms standard solid phosphites such as the company’s Alcanox 240 in stabilizing narrow-MWD polymers. Because of its inherently better solubility and higher performance, it allows 15% lower use levels than current products. According to Smith, the company has targeted its new offering to resin suppliers but is also making it available to film extruders who may wish to use it as a “booster” stabilizer.
(203) 206-0514 • addivant.com