A compatibilization technology that appears to be a breakthrough in combining polar and nonpolar resins with PP was unveiled by Dow Chemical’s Elastomers group, Midland, Mich. (dow.com). The key ingredient is Dow’s second-generation olefin block copolymers (OBCs). Called Intune, the PP-based OBC’s can compatibilize PP with PE, polyolefin elastomers (POEs), and polar materials like EVOH and nylon. When launched commercially next year, the Intune OBCs will make possible PP blends and multilayer structures that offer enhanced performance at lower system cost across a broad range of end-uses, including packaging, consumer durables, transportation, construction, hygiene, and wire/cable.
New patented polymer technology from Solvay Engineered Polymers (U.S. office in Auburn Hills, Mich.) reportedly fills the gap between nylon 6 and polyphthalamide (PPA). Based on nylon chemistry, Technyl One is designed to address miniaturization challenges of fire-resistant electrical and electronic devices. Pilot applications include high-range mini circuit breakers, molded-case circuit breakers and contactors.
Halogen-free flame-retardant Technyl One allows a wide processing window—20% broader than for nylon 6 or 66—and good surface finish, even with 50% glass reinforcement. There is no risk of corrosion of tools and injection machines, unlike with PPA. The material has a UL 94V-0 rating at only 0.4 mm thickness, low smoke generation, and unmatched thermal aging properties—150 C Relative Thermal Index, vs. 130 C for nylons 6 and 66 and 140 C for PPA. Electrical properties include a CTI of 600 V and higher.
In polyolefins, Borealis (U.S.office in Port Murray, N.J.) unveiled a new LDPE homopolymer produced with high-pressure tubular technology. CT7200 LDPE is said to ensure long-term supply of LDPE for extrusion coating when several old autoclave polymerization plants will be closing in coming years. Borealis’ new plant is said to produce grades that match the performance and quality of autoclave LDPE.