Dow Polyurethanes, Midland, Mich., has announced that supply of TDI will be extremely tight for the remainder of 2002, a condition made worse by a recent equipment failure that caused Dow to shut down its Freeport, Texas, TDI train. As a result, Dow is placing TDI in North America and the Pacific on "order control" until further notice.
Solvay America Inc., Houston, has agreed to sell its Solvay Fluoropolymers business to Dyneon LLC of St. Paul, Minn. Solvay supplies Solef PVDF resins made at a new plant in Decatur, Ala.
Solvay is selling the business to satisfy U.S. and European antitrust authorities, which required the divestiture as a condition of accepting the acquisition earlier this year of Ausimont S.p.A. in Italy by Solvay America's parent, Solvay S.A. of Belgium.
Ausimont (U.S. office in Thorofare, N.J.) produces Hylar PVDF and other fluoropolymers. Dyneon also makes a range of fluoropolymers, but not PVDF.
Bayer Offers New Coloring Techniques For Engineering Thermoplastics
As a sign of materials suppliers' growing emphasis on decorative effects in plastics products, Pittsburgh-based Bayer Plastics recently announced its Fantasia program of five different color and decorating technologies for engineering thermoplastics. "Never before could a customer choose from so many color and special-effect technologies from one supplier," claims Dr. Azita Owlia, Bayer's v.p. for consumer markets.
The program embraces some novel technologies as well as proven approaches. The most significant new option in Bayer's color menu is a proprietary liquid infusion technology, tradenamed Aura. Parts are dipped into a liquid bath of dye and surfactants, which infuse color about 0.0005 in. into the surface of clear or white parts. The equipment required, including vessel and liquid pump, is available from Bayer's Hennecke Machinery subsidiary. Bayer touts the flexibility of the Aura process, especially in low-volume runs of numerous colors.
Bayer also launched the new Milena line of dye-based colors for tinting polycarbonate CDs. Special color concentrates patented by Bayer (but produced by Clariant Masterbatches, Charlotte, N.C.) are fed to the extruder throat during processing, putting color into CDs without affecting their laser readability.
New names for existing technologies under the Fantasia umbrella include the Leda family of precolored compounds, Faria film-insert molding materials, and Imagio coatings developed in partnership with PPG Industries, also of Pittsburgh. The Leda line continues to expand, but at present it includes edge-glow, metameric, translucent, metallic, metal-flake, sparkle, and fluorescent color effects. Bayer: (800) 662-2927, www.bayerus.com
GE Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., has formed a joint-development alliance with GLS Corp., McHenry, Ill. They will develop compatible combinations of GE's engineering thermoplastics and GLS's TPEs for hard-soft overmolding applications. GE substrate materials could include ABS, polycarbonate, and PC/ABS alloy. Products that GE and GLS develop for these applications will be trade-named Softfx and will be distributed exclusively by GE Polymerland, Inc., Huntersville, N.C. Tel: (800) PLASTIC, www.gepolymerland.com
Hamilton Avtec Inc., Mississauga, Ont., has moved to a new 24,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility designed to produce its Vectra series of auxiliary equipment and house its 5000-sq-ft technical center. The address is 1040 Cardiff Blvd., Mississauga, ON L5S 1P3. Tel: (905) 568-1133, www.hamiltonavtec.com
Ticona in Summit, N.J., has expanded its North American compounding facilities by adding 20% more capacity at its plant in Shelby, N.C., and 30% more capacity at Florence, Ky. The two plants make filled, reinforced, and other compounded grades of Celanex PBT, Riteflex copolyester elastomers, Vandar polyester alloys, Impet PET, Vectra liquid-crystal polymer (LCP), Fortron PPS, Celcon acetal copolymer, and Celanese nylon 66. Both sites gained higher-throughput, higher-capacity twin-screw extruders. The smaller existing extruder at the Florence facility is now being used to increase color-concentrate production.
GE Specialty Materials, a unit of General Electric Co. in Wilton, Conn., has agreed to acquire Advanced Ceramics Corp. and Advanced Ceramics International Corp., both based in Cleveland. Advanced Ceramics is a leading global producer of boron nitride and other specialty ceramics. Boron nitride is used as a thermally conductive additive in plastics. It also has potential as a polyolefin processing aid. Advanced Ceramics will become part of the GE Quartz business within GE Specialty Materials.
Davis-Standard Corp., Pawcatuck, Conn., has sold the rights to its Versa line of pullers and cutters for tubing and profile extrusion to Jeda Equipment Services Inc. in Indianapolis. Jeda, a long-time Davis-Standard sales representative, will keep the Versa name and run the business as the Versa Co. under continuing technology and equipment-supply agreements with Davis-Standard. Jeda: (888) 533-2462, www.888jedainc.com
BP in the U.K. and Nova Chemicals Corp., Pittsburgh, have licensed each other's catalyst technologies for advanced polyethylene resins. BP licensed its Innovene metallocene technology portfolio to Nova for use in PE manufacturing. In turn, Nova granted BP rights to use and sub-license its proprietary single-site catalysts. The two companies will cooperate on future development of metallocene and single-site catalyst technology for gas-phase polyethylene production. Any new catalyst developments will be used by both firms for PE production and will be available for license to others.
BP's Innovene technology produces high-performance mLLDPE resins for cast and blown films. Nova has a new non-metallocene, single-site catalyst that shows promise in LLDPE, VLDPE, and MDPE. BP and Nova have a separate agreement, signed last year, to develop and commercialize gas-phase use of Nova's advanced Ziegler-Natta catalyst, called Novacat T. The catalyst is used to make Nova's brand-new Advanced Sclairtech LLDPE by a solution process (see PT, June '02, p. 27).
Cyclics Europe GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cyclics Corp. in Schenectady, N.Y., will build its first commercial production plant for cyclic PBT resins at a BASF site in Brandenburg, Germany. Cyclics Corp. will invest around $20 million to build a 5.5-million-lb/yr plant for "CBT" resins, due to start up by early 2004. BASF will supply PBT made at the site as a feedstock for CBT.
Low-molecular-weight CBT has extremely low melt viscosity, which facilitates impregnating composites or blending with high filler loadings. The reactive resin cures in the mold to form a conventional, high-performance PBT engineering thermoplastic. Applications are being developed in automotive, sports, and recreational equipment. Tel: (518) 881-1440, www.cyclics.com
Akzo Nobel Polymer Chemicals of the Netherlands and Chicago is the latest supplier to offer its products for on-line purchasing at www.polymeradditives.com. The two-year-old website is operated by PolymerAdditives.com LLC in Charlotte, N.C., which is jointly owned by Albemarle Corp., Cytec Industries, and GE Specialty Chemicals. Akzo Nobel will sell its Armoslip slip/antiblock additives and Armostat antistatic agents and concentrates on the website, which already offers antioxidants, catalysts, curatives, flame retardants, light stabilizers, lubricants, peroxides, heat stabilizers, process aids, and epoxidized plasticizers. Besides the founding members, the site also offers products from AtoFina Chemicals.
PolyOne Corp., Cleveland, has replaced its previous GetGeon resin-buying website with a new website called GetPolyOne. The new website adds the ability to buy engineered materials, colors, and additive concentrates to the specialty vinyl compounds that were previously available on-line.
Newly available for sale on-line are crosslinked PEs for wire and cable; engineering thermoplastics compounded with lubricants, fillers, reinforcements, and other additives; PE and PP compounded with calcium carbonate, glass, talc, flame retardants, and uv stabilizers; and TPE compounds, including TPOs, TPVs, and styrenic block copolymers.
Next-generation automobiles are headed towards 42-volt battery power, which will impact broadly on materials and processes used in automotive under-hood parts. DuPont Engineering Polymers, Wilmington, Del., has created a website (www.42v.dupont.com) that provides information on the subject. The site covers electrical distribution, electronic control, starter-alternator, thermal and air management, and "control-by-wire" systems for steering, braking, and throttle. DuPont offers the 42V market resins and compounds, film and sheet insulation products, coatings, and electronic subassemblies.
Clariant Masterbatches, Charlotte, N.C., has opened an e-Business Center that allows U.S. customers to purchase products on-line. Customers can also obtain electronic MSDS sheets, certificates of analysis, price quotes, invoices, and information on specific shipments. For information, visit www.clariant.masterbatches.com.