DuPont Increases Capacity For High-Performance Nylon

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 23. March 2015


DuPont Performance Polymers has announced it increased production of its Zytel HTN PPA manufactured at its Richmong, Va. Facility by 10% to meet growing global market demand in automotive and consumer electronics sectors.

           Zytel HTN PPA fills a valuable need because it bridges the performance gap between nylon and more expensive specialty polymers while maintaining ease of processing. This allows component designers to replace more metal for lighter weight components or to replace other materials to deliver lower overall system costs. Demand is growing in the automotive industry because the material can stand up to long-term exposure in aggressive temperature and chemical environments that stretch the performance of nylon 66. In the electronics and hand-held device market, Zytel HTN is a go-to resin because of its performance, dimensional stability and its ability to withstand lead-free soldering environments,” says Brian Fish, global business manager for high-performance nylons.


            The material is often used by the automotive industry to make engine cooling components, such as thermostat housings and water pumps, and to make powertrain components, such as charged air coolers, transmission housings, engine oil systems, brake systems, ignition systems and motors. In electrical and electronics markets, this nylon is often used to make lead-free SMT (surface-mount technology) and traditional connectors, high-voltage insulators and structural components for hand-held-devices.

Want to find or compare materials data for different resins, grades, or suppliers? Check out Plastic Technology’s Plaspec Global materials database.


TPEs For Extreme Conditions Including Medical Sterilization

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 23. March 2015

Using new product formulations and custom-engineered production machinery, Polymax Thermoplastic Elastomers, Waukegan, Ill., has developed TPEs for extreme conditions, unveiled this week at NPE.


These TPEs are designed to perform under very high and very low temperatures during medical sterilization procedures and demanding environmental conditions. Some of these TPEs are formulated to endure exposure to UV light, abrasion, caustic substances, and flammability conditions.



Want to find or compare materials data for different resins, grades, or suppliers? Check out Plastic Technology’s Plaspec Global materials database.

ExxonMobil To Host Seminars On Packaging & Stretch Film at NPE

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 16. March 2015

Yet another major materials supplier has plans to hold seminars on key topics at NPE2015, and have experts on hand for individual discussions throughout the show. Exxon Mobil Chemical plans to demonstrate how its broad portfolio of globally available performance polymers can help customers create new products for modern living. The company’s location will be at the NPE2015 Discovery Center located in the West Hall, Level 2 (W204).


With a focus on applications, the company will emphasize Exceed and Enable mPE resins, Escor EAA resins, Optima EMA resins, Escorene Ultra EVA resins, Vistamaxx performance polymers and its PP resins. The company will also introduce two new Exceed mPE resins and two new Vistamaxx polymers, and present new applications for its performance polymers: aseptic packaging; extrusion coating for flexible packaging; standup and pillow pouches; BOPP/cPP sealants; and, machine stretch innovations.



Company experts will be available to discuss specific customer applications including:


• Stretch films that allow packaged goods to be delivered safely and securely, while helping to eliminate unnecessary waste and cost from damaged goods.


• Shrink films that are reducing the use of cardboard and allow shelf-ready displays of consumer products.


• Flexible packaging films that keep food fresh.


• Hygiene products, from diapers to feminine care, that provide soft solutions for consumer discretion and comfort.

• Agricultural films that can produce high-yielding crops.


There are also three seminars planned:


Monday, March 23—2 pm to 5 pm: Driving Packaging Innovation:


• Keynote speech by ExxonMobil Chemical V.P. Cindy Shulman.

• Packaging challenges by Pepsico.

• Equipment trends and divers by Hosokawa Alpine American.


Tuesday, March 24—2 pm to 5 pm: Demonstrating Stretch Leadership:


• Stretch film technology trends/trade balance by Cloeren Inc.

• Cast films future by Windmöller and Hölscher.

• Pre-stretch films (inline vs. out of line) by Davis Standard.

• Film testing & regulations with highlights by Highlight Industries.


Wednesday, March 25—9 am to 12 pm: Industry Innovation Overview


• Industry overview by IHS

• What’s new in machinery by Cloeren Inc.

• Product innovations by ExxonMobil.



Want to find or compare materials data for different resins, grades, or suppliers? Check out Plastic Technology’s Plaspec Global materials database.


Stratasys Starts Up Free Recycling Program For 3D Printing Material Canisters, Cartridges

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 4. March 2015

Stratasys Ltd, Minneapolis, has launched a new recycling program for its North American customers. It provides a code-compliant and free-of-charge system for disposing of waste FDM canisters and PolyJet cartridges that house its 3D printing materials and also supports local jobs for people with disabilities.


The recycling is taking place at the company’s Eden Prairie, Minn. facilities, in collaboration with Lifeworks, a nonprofit organization serving people with disabilities. Stratasys’ president Gilad Gans says that the recycling of these items brings some key benefits to the company’s customers: its helps them eliminate waste disposal shipping costs, reduces logistical concerns, saves space and helps them better adhere to compliance. Here’s how it works:


Customers can print out their own pre-paid UPS shipping label from the Stratasys website. UPS then picks up and ships the recyclables straight to the Eden Prairie facilities. “The new recycling program is one way we’re making 3D printing and additive manufacturing more convenient and accessible for everyone…In addition, the more our customers recycle, the more we’ll be able to expand the size and scope of our Lifeworks team in Eden Prairie,” says Zehavit Reisin, v.p. for Stratasys Materials Business Unit.



PE Prices Bottom Out? PP Prices Move Up!

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 3. March 2015

So, here we are, at the beginning of the ‘Ides of March’, and perhaps that says it all, but most likely not when it comes to commodity resin pricing and particularly polyolefins!


Polyethylene prices dropped 5ȼ/lb in February, bringing the total decline in prices within a five-month period to 16ȼ/lb.  This movement and, in fact, the global PE price movement has been linked to crude oil prices in terms of key drivers affecting pricing for the last four years, says Mike Burns, v.p. for PE at Resin Technology, Inc. (RTi). “The delta between global and domestic PE prices has shrunk…for example, China’s PE prices dropped by 20 ȼ/lb within a two-month period last year and domestic prices took longer to follow but are now sort of ‘good enough’… though another decline is possible in March, depending on crude oil price movement.”


In general, Burns sees PE resin prices as maybe having bottomed out. Globally, prices have started to rebound a bit and domestic secondary markets are showing the same trend. Burns, for one, expects to see the PE exports market start to pick up within second and third quarters—with 2015 potentially emulating 2014’s same time frame in terms of demand and pricing stability. Burns points out that last year, demand appeared to be up during the first quarter primarily due to pre-buying in anticipation of price increases that were implemented and driven by several production capacity issues affecting nearly every PE resin. In contrast, this year, processors have been buying ‘as needed’ in anticipation since end of 2014, of further price relief. In addition, PE supplier inventory levels are at their highest within the last six years, reflecting the loss of exports. 


At the Plastics Recycling conference held last week in Dallas, Joel Morales, director of polyolefins for IHS noted that the key to lower domestic PE prices is the return of the exports market. (By the way, it’s interesting to note that one supplier—Dow Chemical,  issued a 5ȼ/lb price increase, effective March 15..a move that has not been supported thus far.)


Meanwhile, PP prices appear to have moved up on average a total of 2ȼ/lb within the last two months, as PP suppliers succeeded in achieving margin expansions of 1ȼ/lb beyond the cost of propylene monomer. Tight supplies, driven by unplanned plant production disruptions at three suppliers—Ineos, Phillips 66 and Lyondell Basell, are one driving force, along with rising demand. The latter is being met to a small degree by imported PP available at competitive prices, according to CEO Michael Greenberg of The Plastics Exchange.


IHS’s Morales sees domestic PP pricing power as shifting to PP suppliers due to lack of new PP resin capacity… in essence, mirroring PE pricing trends of a few years ago. “While PP prices have declined in step with crude oil prices, planned and unplanned outages continue to be an issue. Also, PP suppliers have aimed to decouple resin prices from monomer, in order to expand margins..similarly to steps taken by PE suppliers with regard to ethylene monomer prices over the last four years.” Stay tuned…



Want to find or compare materials data for different resins, grades, or suppliers? Check out Plastic Technology’s Plaspec Global materials database.




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