Xaloy Inc., Pulaski, Va., is extending its capabilities in screw design and large-screw manufacturing through an alliance with well-known screw designer Robert F. Dray and his company, R. Dray Mfg. Inc. in Dallas. Dray will provide design, consulting, and training services for Xaloy, as well as technology licenses. His firm will also make screws larger than 150 mm diam. for Xaloy.
In addition, Dray has licensed Xaloy to make and sell his APV non-return valve for injection molding. Dray's company will distribute Xaloy barrels, screws, and nozzles.
Sunoco, Inc. of Philadelphia has assumed general management, manufacturing, sales, and support functions for the PP business of Epsilon Products Co., Marcus Hook, Pa. Sunoco, a part-owner of Epsilon, will market the PP from Epsilon's 760-million-lb/yr plant at Marcus Hook under the Sunoco name in combination with products from Sunoco's two other PP plants, acquired from Aristech Chemicals. Sunoco now has a total PP capacity of about 2.3 billion lb/yr.
Alliance Alloys LLC, Leominster, Mass, is a new 50/50 partnership created by DSM Elastomers and GLS Corp. to develop and market new types of thermoplastic elastomers on a global basis. DSM Elastomers, based in the Netherlands, is the world leader in EPDM production. Its DSM Thermoplastic Elastomers unit (U.S. headquarters in Leominster, Mass.) produces TPOs, TPVs, and copolyester TPEs, mostly for automotive and industrial applications. GLS Thermoplastic Elastomers Div. in McHenry, Ill., is a leader in TPEs based on SEBS, TPU, and various alloys, primarily for consumer end-uses. While the partners will cooperate in technology and marketing to pursue specific applications, each company also plans to continue its own independent TPE business.
Alliance Alloys will customize TPEs for end users that need "one-stop shopping" for problem-solving resins that can draw from a wide range of materials technologies. Malcolm Thompson, managing director of Alliance Alloys, plans to launch two TPE families, the first being Versalloy products aimed at consumer and medical applications. GLS will provide the main commercial support for these products. GLS independently launched the initial Versalloy XL9000 series of high-flow TPV alloys six months ago.
Subsequently, Alliance Alloys plans a Keltalloy family for automotive and building products. DSM will provide the main commercial support in this area.
Thompson is reluctant to characterize the specific TPE compositions. However, he says there is a need for TPE alloys that combine the feel, cosmetic appeal, and processability of SEBS with TPVs' enhanced resistance to heat, chemicals, abrasion, and compression set. He also notes that several new Versalloy materials are at or near the market-introduction stage. Alliance Alloys is located at the same address as DSM Thermoplastic Elastomers.
Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. (CP Chem), Houston, has a new branding system for its polyethylenes. The Marlex brand, previously used for Phillips HDPE and Phillips Sumika Polypropylene products, now applies to all CP Chem PE and PP resins for rigid uses like bottles, pipe, sheet, profiles, injection molding, and rotomolding.
MarlFlex is the new brand for PEs used in flexibles such as films, extrusion coating, and laminating. Included are the former mPact metallocene PEs and Vytek and Dynex enhanced hexene LLDPEs. Finally, the OSP brand applies to CP Chem's new oxygen-scavenger polymer.
On Oct. 24, Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker signed into law S.B. 419. The measure establishes that unless otherwise agreed in writing, if a customer does not claim possession of a die or mold from a molder within three years from its last use, the molder can choose to assume all rights and title in the tool for purposes of destroying it. The text of the bill, which went into effect immediately, can be found at www.legis.stat.pa.us/WU01/LI/BI/BT/2001/0/SB0419P0427.HTM.
Among the ever-expanding opportunities for plastics e-commerce, on-line purchasing of polyolefins is a new feature of the redesigned website of Equistar Chemicals, LP, Houston. Equistar's new CustomerXPress.com e-business facility at www.equistarchem.com asks the customer to specify the product, amount, type of packaging, desired ship date, and receiving location. The order will be acknowledged within one business day. Customers can go on-line to change orders, verify order status, review past orders, check anticipated delivery time, and even find the location of an order at that moment. Documents such as certificates of analysis can be printed.
Plastics compounders now can also buy antimony oxide on the Web. Albemarle Corp., Baton Rouge, La., has begun distributing antimony oxides from Laurel Industries of Dallas through the e-commerce site, www.PolymerAdditives.com. The site offers Laurel's Fireshield and Thermoguard products under the trade names Saytex FS and TG, respectively. Albemarle itself produces brominated and other types of flame retardants.
PolymerAdditives.com LLC, Charlotte, N.C., is an e-business joint venture of Albemarle, Cytec Industries Inc., and GE Specialty Chemicals.
Buying machinery isn't quite as simple as a mouse click, but Atlanta-based Omnexus recently launched the first multi-supplier e-business site for plastics equipment. The Omnexus Equipment eMarketplace at www.omnexus.com allows customers to compare information and request quotations on machines from Engel, Demag Ergotech, and Van Dorn Demag. Users can search the suppliers' offerings by machine parameter, keyword, or supplier; view detailed product information and dimensional drawings; and submit RFQs.
Synventive Molding Solutions, formerly Dynisco HotRunners, has moved from Gloucester, Mass., to new facilities at 10 Centennial Drive, Peabody, MA 01960. Phone: (978) 750-8065. Fax: (978) 646-3600. The 100,000-sq-ft headquarters is nearly double the size of its former location.
Trexel Inc., Woburn, Mass., the licensor of the MuCell microcellular-foam molding and extrusion process, has come to an agreement with Demag Ergotech GmbH of Germany and Strongsville, Ohio, concerning Demag's competing Ergocell foam molding process. The MuCell process injects CO2 or nitrogen gas into the injection barrel, where it is mixed into the melt by the screw. The Ergocell approach instead uses a two-stage injection system, where by CO2 gas is injected into a mixing device situated between the stationary screw and a melt accumulator with an injection plunger.
Demag has agreed with Trexel that any customers for Ergocell machines will need a user license from Trexel before they can take delivery of the press. This license is somewhat less expensive than a MuCell license because it involves no transfer of know-how from Trexel. Like a MuCell license, it is an annual fee that depends on the size of the machine. Demag Ergotech is also licensed to supply MuCell-capable machines, but the same machine cannot perform both processes.
On Nov. 1, Solvay S.A. of Brussels, Belgium, received regulatory approval to acquire BP's engineering plastics business, previously called BP Amoco Polymers and based in Alpharetta, Ga. The new company, called Solvay Advanced Polymers L.L.C., remains at the same location. The move expands Solvay's engineering resins business by 50%. It combines Solvay's Ixef MXD6 nylon and Primef PPS with BP's Udel and Radel sulfone polymers, Amodel PPA, Xydar LCP, and Torlon PAI.
Meanwhile, the former Solvay Advanced Polymers Inc. in Houston became Solvay Fluoropolymers Inc. It supplies Solef PVDF resins.
Another consequence of the deal with BP is the formation of BP Solvay Polyethylene North America, a joint venture that takes over Solvay's 1.94-billion-lb/yr HDPE plant in Deer Park, Texas. The firm is located at the Houston offices of the former Solvay Polymers, Inc.
In addition, Solvay has transferred its polypropylene business to BP. Solvay's 836-million-lb/yr PP plant at Deer Park is now part of BP North America, Chemicals, Napierville, Ill.
Nova-Borealis Compounds LLC, a maker of wire and cable compounds in Rockport, N.J., is now called Borealis Compounds LLC, Polyolefins giant Borealis A/S of Denmark had previously taken over full ownership of the former joint venture with Nova chemicals.