With groundbreaking commencing in the third quarter, Braskem (U.S. office in Philadelphia), has plans underway to build its first UHMWPE planthttp://Plaspec.materialdatacenter.com/pt/main/page13 in North America. To be located at its La Porte, Texas site, the new plant is planned for completion within the first half of 2016. Braskem’s UHMWPE resins are sold under the Utec tradename. The U.S. plant output will complement the existing UTEC product line that is produced in Brazil. Says Susan Denby of Braskem Americas communications department, “Our production capacity will be scalable to our clients’ demand.” The company has been providing Utec to clients in the U.S. and Europe for over 10 years.
Key advantages touted for Utec UHMWPE are its excellent mechanical properties, such as high abrasion resistance, impact strength and low coefficient of friction. A self-lubricating, high-strength, lightweight machinable product used for semifinished goods, Utec is eight times lighter than steel and is said to last ten times longer than HDPE. Its broad range of application includes industries such as construction, automotive, agricultural, food and beverage, high-performance fibers as well as textile, pulp and paper, coal and mining, battery separators and waste water treatment.
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