Braskem, Pittsburgh, Penn., has bolstered its R&D capabilities by adding sophisticate technical equipment to its Innovation and Technology Center in Pittsburgh. The improvements are in anticipation of the fourth-quarter startup of the new Utec UHMWPE plant in LaPorte, Texas—its first in the U.S.
These enhanced capabilities will continue to enable Braskem to expand its technical leadership in UHMWPE by providing instrumentation for testing, application development, and new product research. Quantification of Utec’s reportedly unique balance of properties—high abrasion resistance, impact strength and low coefficient of friction, according to ASTM and ISO standards will allow for the comparison of its properties with competitive engineering resins, metals, and ceramics. The Utec business benefits by sharing a facility with Braskem’s world-class PP organization, which provides access to a wide variety of thermal and physical analysis, microscopy, and rheological capabilities.