Dover Buys Chlorowax Business
Dover Chemical Corp., Dover, Ohio, has bought the Chlorowax chlorinated paraffin business of Occidental Chemical Corp., Dallas. Dover makes its own Chlorez brand of chlorinated paraffins.
Nanocomposites Center Planned
The University of Akron, Ohio, recently received $1 million from the Federal Government to create a nanotechnology research center. The center will focus on nanocomposites of plastics and particles one-millionth the size of a grain of sand. The center will be staffed by the University’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering and its College of Engineering.
PMC Group Buys BASF’s IR-HIPS
PMC Group Polymer Products, Stockertown, Pa., has completed acquisition of the North American Avantra ignition-resistant HIPS business from BASF Corp., Mt. Olive, N.J. PMC, a supplier of flame-retardant concentrates and compounds, can use the Avantra trademark in the NAFTA region.
TPE Replaces Liquid Silicone In Electrical Insulators
Since the 1970s, insulators used in power distribution have evolved from porcelain to cast epoxy to liquid silicone rubber (LSR) and now to thermoplastic elastomer. In the last three years, GLP Hi-Tech Power Products Inc. in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., has been injection molding a new type of dead-end composite insulator with an overmolding of Dytron XL TPE from Applied Elastomer Systems, L.P. (AES), Akron, Ohio. GLP molds the insulators in lengths from 13.1 to 22.6 in. They weigh 1.7 to 2.3 lb.
Dytron XL is a non-halogenated, flame-retardant compound with a polypropylene matrix containing dynamically vulcanized rubber and alumina trihydrate. It was developed specifically for wire, cable, and other electrical applications. Until recently, it was available mainly in Europe. AES is now beginning to market it actively in North America, where it is finding new uses such as molded insulators for electric rail systems.
This TPE beat LSR in laboratory tests of dielectric strength, which registered 12.59 kV/mm for LSR and 21.96 kV/mm for Dytron XL. The TPE also passed the stringent FVO flammability test, as well as the 1994 and 1996 tracking-wheel tests, two severe measures of insulator performance in pollution and salt-spray conditions.
Moldflow to Acquire Process Monitoring
Moldflow Corp., Wayland, Mass., the leading supplier of injection molding process-simulation software, has signed a letter of intent to purchase the plastics injection molding business and technology of FullMetrics, Inc., Minneapolis. FullMetrics supplies real-time process and production monitoring systems.
Atofina Plans Big Polystyrene Addition
Atofina Petrochemicals, Inc., Houston, will add 500 million lb/yr of HIPS capacity at Carville, La., by mid-2002. It will be the largest PS plant in the world.
PolyOne Forms New Wire & Cable Unit
PolyOne Corp., Avon Lake, Ohio, has formed the PolyOne Wire & Cable group from the related businesses of the former Geon Co. and M.A. Hanna Co. Part of PolyOne’s Plastic Compounds & Colors Group, the new unit offers PVC compounds, custom plastics and rubber compounds, TP and thermoset elastomers, Syncure crosslinked PE, Odessa dry-silane compounds, colorants, other additives, and low-smoke, non-halogenated, flame-retardant compounds.
DuPont Buys Borealis’ Borflex Ethylene Acrylates
DuPont Packaging and Industrial Polymers, Wilmington, Del., is diversifying its specialty ethylene copolymers line by acquiring the Borflex ethylene acrylate copolymer business of Borealis in Denmark. The two firms are forming a 50/50 joint venture to produce copolymers in Antwerp, Belgium. Borealis retains rights to use the copolymers in wire and cable compounds.
These acrylates are new for DuPont, which plans to offer sample quantities in North America as early as the first quarter of 2001. These soft, flexible resins are used for pliable lidding of yogurt cups, industrial and medical tubing, and adhesives.
Union Carbide Starts Up Giant PE Plant
Union Carbide Corp., Danbury, Conn., recently started up its new world-scale polyethylene plant at Prentiss, Alberta. The twin-reactor Unipol facility will have capacity for 1.4 billion lb/yr of LLDPE and HDPE when it becomes fully operational later this year. Initially, it will produce mainly HDPE resins.
Decoma Licenses Foam-Core Composite Technology
Tier-one automotive supplier Decoma International of America Inc., Concord, Ont., has obtained an exclusive license for the automotive marketplace to use the Strata composite technology of Advance USA LLC, Old Lyme, Conn. Decoma is evaluating uses of the technology for making light-truck tonneau covers, modular closeouts for hybrid SUVs, and automotive roof systems. Strata involves thermoforming weatherable thermoplastic sheets, assembling the sheets in a press together with layers of reinforcing fibers, and then injecting urethane foam chemicals to form a stiff, lightweight core. Resulting parts can weigh up to 40% less than thermoset SMC.
Sale of Four Dynisco Units Leaves Hot Runners on Its Own
Berwind Industries has sold four of the five Dynisco businesses, retaining only Dynisco HotRunners, based in Gloucester, Mass. Madison Capital Partners, a Chicago private investment group, along with Dynisco management, purchased Dynisco Instruments, Franklin, Mass.; Dynisco Extrusion, Hickory, N.C.; Dynisco Polymer Test, Morgantown, Pa.; and Dynisco Europe GmbH, Heilbronn, Germany. These units are now part of newly formed Dynisco LLC, based in Franklin, Mass. Madison Capital also owns Brown Machine, Epco, and Beringer, as well as four blow molding and rotomolding companies in the U.S. and Canada.
Dynisco HotRunners is now an independent operating unit of Berwind. It will focus on new injection molding technologies, particularly its Dynamic Feed valve-gate technology.
Sunoco Buys Aristech
Sunoco, Inc. of Philadelphia signed a definitive agreement to purchase Pittsburgh-based Aristech Chemical Corp. from Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan. Sunoco is one of the country’s largest independent oil refiners. Included in the deal are Aristech’s research center in Pittsburgh and five U.S. plants that can produce over 1.5 billion lb/yr of polypropylene, 800 million lb/yr of plasticizers, and 1.6 billion lb of chemicals. A separate joint-venture company, Aristech Acrylics LLC in Florence, Ky., is not part of the deal. This acrylic sheet producer will be put into a new holding company by majority owner Mitsubishi.
Moog Will Acquire Bosch Pump Business
Moog Inc., N.Y.C., has agreed to purchase the Bosch radial-piston pump product line from Robert Bosch GmbH of Germany. These pumps are commonly used together with Moog servo valves in the hydraulic systems of injection molding machines. The deal results from concerns raised by the European Community Anti-Trust Office over the pending merger of Robert Bosch with Mannesmann Rexroth in Germany.
New GE Center Speeds Color Development
GE Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., has opened a new facility to help designers and OEM marketers quickly create custom colors and special effects for engineering thermoplastics. The new 4000-sq-ft Customer Innovation Center is located at GE Colorxpress Services in Selkirk, N.Y. It brings under one roof all of the resources needed to select and develop custom colors and produce color chips, pellet samples, and even prototype parts in a single day. The Center expands GE’s Colorxpress Services, which include Internet on-line color selection, custom color matching, Micro-Lot matching, and color management programs. For $2500, the Center can develop a custom match and deliver sample chips in 48 hr. The Center’s facilities and capabilities include four key areas:
- Development consulting helps customers refine the looks and functional specifications of their products through discussions of part design, quality, color and effect development, and tooling.
- A constantly growing library of more than 20,000 color chips can be viewed under various standard lighting conditions. (GE will also open two satellite chip stations in Detroit and San Francisco in the first quarter of 2001.)
- Color blending and matching lab will formulate colors and initiate trial runs for customers. Within minutes, a batch of pellets can be ready for molding a set of sample chips on one of the Center’s injection machines.
- If a customer supplies tooling, sample parts can be shot in the molding machine for evaluation of the new custom-designed color.
GE Buys NIM Plastics
GE Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., has purchased NIM Plastics Corp., an extruder of polycarbonate sheet and film based in Elk Grove Village, Ill. GE will gain added capacity and expand its product line. NIM makes NIMpact-brand clear and pigmented sheet and film in flame-retardant and non-FR grades. Some are said to be unique products. NIM will operate as a subsidiary called GE NIM Plastics.