What are billed as the first primary plasticizers for PVC wire and cable with nearly 100% renewable content and a brand-new bio-based nylon were introduced last month. Dow Wire & Cable, Houston, launched its Ecolibrium non-phthalate plasticizers for PVC wire insulation and jacketing. They reportedly can help cable-makers reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40% vs. conventional plasticizers. They appear to have good plasticizing efficiency, since 51 phr of Ecolibrium yields the same Shore hardness as 60 phr DIDP. LOI is slightly higher, too. Applications include wiring for personal electronics and appliances, residential and commercial buildings, communications and data cabling, and automotive. At first, the material will be available for licensing to select cable processors. Dow declined to identify the plasticizers’ composition or their renewable feedstocks.
Meanwhile, DSM Engineering Plastics, Evansville, Ind., has unveiled EcoPaXX, the first nylon 410, based about 70% on castor oil. Compared with nylon 6 and 66, it’s said to have much lower moisture absorption, better dimensional stability, better stiffness/strength retention after moisture conditioning, slightly lower density, and better chemical resistance against oils, greases, and road salts. Versus nylon 610—also based on castor oil—EcoPaXX boasts a much higher melting point (250 C/482 F) and higher stiffness and strength. It also has higher toughness, lower density, and easier processing than PPAs. EcoPaXX is in final approvals by automotive customers.
(989) 636-0034 • dowwireandcable.com
(800) 333-4237 • dsm.com
Eastman Chemical Co., Kingsport, Tenn., has agreed to acquire Genovique Specialties Corp., Rosemont, Ill., a producer of specialty non-phthalate plasticizers. Its Benzoflex benzoate plasticizers for PVC have been used to replace phthalates for over 40 years. Genovique was spun off from Velsicol Chemical in 2008.
(800) 843-7759 • genovique.com
800-EASTMAN • eastman.com
Two firms have been established to recycle polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer. Biocor LLC in Concord, Calif., will buy post-consumer PLA products and will work with recyclers to achieve efficient separation of PLA from other plastics. (Infrared detection, for example, reportedly can sort PLA from PET and HDPE.) Biocor will also collaborate on PLA recycling pilot projects with federal, state, and local governments and other organizations.
Biocor will sell its collected PLA to another new firm, Plarco, Inc. in Eau Claire, Wis., the first company in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to recycling PLA back into lactic acid. Plarco has a deal to sell all its reclaimed lactic acid back to NatureWorks LLC, Minnetonka, Minn., the only U.S. producer of PLA.
(888) 924-6267 • biocor.org; (952) 742-0400 • natureworksllc.com
Aerospace composite fabricator Royal Plastic Mfg., Minden, Neb., is expanding into the emerging field of rapid manufacturing with the purchase of the first Eosint P 800 laser sintering machine in North America from EOS of North America Inc., Novi, Mich. It was developed to process EOS’s HP3 PEEK material, a high-performance thermoplastic that was beyond the temperature range of previous laser-sintering devices. Royal will use it to make parts for aircraft, medical , automotive, and industrial uses.
(248) 306-0143 • eos.info
(308) 832-2760 • rpm-composites.com
Leistritz has installed ZSE-27 and ZSE-50 Maxx twin-screw extrusion systems in its Somerville, N.J., process laboratory to demonstrate the energy savings possible by reprocessing undried PET in-line with direct sheet extrusion. PET (pellet or regrind) is metered into a corotating twin-screw with multi-stage vacuum venting, followed by a gear pump, screen changer, flexible-lip sheet die, and three-roll stack.
(908) 685-2333 • leistritz-extrusion.com