Your Business In Brief - August 2008

New Biopolymers Find Commercial UseTwo promising new biopolymers are finding some initial commercial applications Both are types of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), made by bacterial fermentation of plant starch.

New Biopolymers Find Commercial Use

Two promising new biopolymers are finding some initial commercial applications Both are types of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), made by bacterial fermentation of plant starch. Compounder PolyOne Corp., Avon Lake, Ohio, has developed a compound based on PHBV (polyhydroxybutyrate-valerate copolymer, a type of PHA) for a new line of bathroom accessories from Design Ideas Ltd., Springfield, Ill. PolyOne uses PHBV from Tianan Biologic Material Co. in Ningbo, China (represented here by Jim Lunt & Associates LLC, Wayzata, Minn.). The toothbrush holder, bath box, pump dispensers, and other items are among the first durable uses of this family of biopolymers, says PolyOne.

Heritage Bag Co., Carrollton, Texas, is making the first commercial blown film using Mirel PHA from Telles, a joint venture of Metabolix Inc., Cambridge, Mass., and Archer Daniels Midland Co., Decatur, Ill. The first commercial plant for Mirel is due this year with capacity of 110 million lb. Heritage Bag makes BioTuf compost bags from a proprietary PHA blend. It uses conventional equipment to extrude film with reportedly excellent
puncture and tear resistance.

For more information visit Polyone's PT Online Showroom.

For more information visit Tianan Biologic Material Co.'s PT Online Showroom .

Clariant Acquires Liquid-Color Producer

Swiss-based Clariant has acquired the combined companies of Rite Systems, Inc. and Ricon Colors, Inc. The purchase includes masterbatch plants in West Chicago, Ill., Mooresville, N.C., Chino, Calif., and Vienna, Austria. What’s more, Rite Systems brings to Clariant its first liquid colorant technology. The acquired companies will be merged into Clariant Masterbatches, based in Holden. Mass. For more information visit Clariant masterbatches' PT Online Showroom.


Dow to Buy Rohm & Haas

Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich., has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Rohm and Haas of Philadelphia. The deal is expected to be completed in early 2009. It reportedly will make Dow the world’s leading producer of specialty chemicals and advanced materials. Rohm & Haas makes specialty chemicals for electronics, coatings, adhesives, water purification, personal care, biocides, packaging, and building materials. For plastics, Rohm and Haas makes Paraloid acrylic impact modifiers for PVC, engineering resins, and more recently biopolymers; Advawax lubricants and processing aids for PVC, polyolefins, ABS, PC, and other polymers; and Adva-stab and Advapak organotin heat stabilizers for rigid PVC. For more information visit Dow Chemical Co.'s PT Online Showroom.


German Maker of Chillers, TCUs Opens U.S. Office

Single Temperiertechnik GmbH of Germany, a producer of chillers and water and oil temperature-control units, has opened a U.S. office, Single Temperature Controls, Inc., in Charlotte, N.C. The company previously was represented by KraussMaffei Corp., Florence, Ky. For more information visit Single Temperature Controls, Inc.'s PT Online Showroom.


American Kuhne Moves

Extrusion equipment supplier American Kuhne, Inc., has moved from Norwich, Conn., to a 12-acre site in Ashaway, R.I., which is much closer to Providence airport. The new extrusion lab includes a wider range of machines from 0.5 to 3.5 in. diam., and complete lines for tubing and small pipe. The lab can even run silicone and other rubbers. For more information visit American Kuhne, Inc.'s PT Online Showroom.


Gneuss Moves & Expands

Melt-filtration specialist Gneuss Inc., Matthews, N.C., has moved to a larger facility in the same town. The new 6000-sq-ft building offers more room for spare parts and for equipment repairs. It also houses a lab line with 2-in. extruder, RSFgenius 45 automatic filtration system, and pelletizer. Phone and fax numbers are unchanged. For more information visit Gneuss Inc.'s PT Online Showroom.


New Home for Malvern Instruments

Malvern Instruments, supplier of Bohlin rheometers, has moved from Southborough, Mass., to Westborough, Mass. It shares the new facility with sister company PANalytical, said to be the world’s leading supplier of X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy instruments.

For more information visit Malvern Instruments' PT Online Showroom.

For more information visit PANalytical's PT Online Showroom.


Coperion Triples Capacity

Coperion Corp., Ramsey, N.J., supplier of Werner & Pfleiderer compounding extruders, has tripled its screw-element manufacturing capacity through an expansion of its Wytheville, Va., plant. The result is said to be shorter lead times for standard screw elements up to 133 mm diam. For more information visit Coperion Corp.'s PT Online Showroom.


GlasCraft Plant to Close

GlasCraft Inc.’s sole manufacturing plant in Indianapolis will shut down by the end of the year, according to GlasCraft’s new parent company, Graco Inc., Minneapolis. Equipment production will be moved to existing Graco facilities in Sioux Falls, S.D.; North Canton, Ohio; and Minneapolis. GlasCraft claims to have developed the first commercial spray-up system for FRP composites nearly 45 years ago and still makes dispensing systems for open- and closed-mold FRP manufacturing, PUR foam, and polyurea coatings.


BMCI Acquired by Private Equity Firm

Bulk Molding Compounds Inc. (BMCI), West Chicago, Ill., has been acquired by Citadel Plastics Holdings Inc., a portfolio company of Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based private-equity firm. Citadel says its strategy is to build a global plastics compounding organization with broad product and technology capabilities by acquiring strong companies with proven records in molding-materials markets. The investment firm’s first acquisition was The Matrixx Group, a thermoplastic compounder in Evansville, Ind., in 2007. For more information visit Bulk Molding Compounds Inc.'s PT Online Showroom.


More Capacity Coming For Glass & Carbon Fibers

Owens Corning, Toledo, will expand glass-fiber capacity of its OCV Reinforcements division at Amarillo, Texas, later this year. The expansion will add 40% to capacity for Advantex single-end rovings.

Meanwhile, CytecEngineered Materials, Tempe, Ariz., will expand PAN precursor and carbon fiber capacity at Greenville, S.C., by early 2010.


Fast Heat Quits Heaters, Keeps Hot Runners

Fast Heat Inc., Elmhurst, Ill., has sold its U.S. business in heating elements and sensors to Tutco., Inc., Cookeville, Tenn., a major supplier of electric heating elements. Fast Heat’s U.S. business in band, cartridge, tubular, and strip heaters and thermocouples and RTDs is currently at the old address under the new name Tutco Fast Heat. Meanwhile, the original Fast Heat retains its hot-runner business and is diversifying into RFID technology. For more information visit Tutco Fast Heat's PT Online Showroom.