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3/1/2010 | 2 MINUTE READ

Industry & Technology News: March 2010

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Two New Names in U.S.

Two New Names in U.S. Polypropylene

It’s not every day that you get two new entrants into the U.S. PP business. ConocoPhillips in Houston entered the market with its Copylene brand of homopolymers, random copolymers, and impact copolymers. They are produced at a 775-million-lb/yr plant at the Bayway Refinery in Linden, N.J. The seven-year-old plant is owned by ConocoPhillips but its output was formerly marketed by LyondellBasell Chemical. The current slate of 45 grades is aimed at consumer products and packaging. ConocoPhillips is also a partner in the Phillips Sumika Polypropylene Co. joint venture, whose products are directly primarily at automotive.

In addition, Brazilian chemicals and resins producer Braskem S.A. agreed last month to acquire the PP business of Sunoco Chemicals, Inc., Philadelphia. Sunoco has three plants in La Porte, Texas; Marcus Hook, Pa.; and Neal, W.Va., which have a combine capacity of 1.9 billion lb, or about 13% of U.S. PP capacity. The deal also includes a technology and development center in Pittsburgh. Braskem says this move cements its role as the largest resin producer in the Americas and furthers its objective to become one of the top five petrochemical companies in the world.
(832) 486-3028 • copylene.com; (877) 481-7840 • sunocochem.com


Chemtura to Shed PVC Additives

Chemtura Corp., Middlebury, Conn., which is now in bankruptcy proceedings, has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its PVC additives business to SK Capital Partners, a New York–based private equity firm focusing on specialty materials, chemicals, and healthcare. The business—which includes tin, mixed-metal, and organic-based heat stabilizers, phosphites, epoxidized soybean oil, and impact modifiers—was mostly acquired from the former Witco Chemical and was known before that as Argus Chemical. The deal requires approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
(800) 243-2650 • chemtura.com



Kortec, Silgan Reach Container Deal

Kortec Inc., Ipswich, Mass. and Silgan Plastics have signed an agreement giving the Chesterfield, Mo., molder exclusive rights to supply Kortec’s multilayer, thin-wall containers for specific markets throughout North America. Thin-wall packaging market segments covered in this agreement are wet pet foods, fruit cups, and microwaveable cups, bowls, and trays for ready-to-eat soups, stews and meals.
(978) 238-7167 • kortec.com; (800) 274-5426 • silganplastics.com


Micromolding with COC

A pretty impressive example of micro injection molding is this “microwell array,” which has millions of tiny wells measuring 3 microns in diam. and 3 microns deep, with a pitch of 6.5 microns. These features appear on a standard microscope slide and are used in genomics, life-science, and biomedical assays that utilize microspheres or beads. Until now, the industry relied primarily on etched silicon or glass microwells. The part is molded by microPEP, div. of Precision Engineered Products, LLC in Attleboro, Mass. It selected Topas cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) from Topas Advanced Polymers, Inc., Florence, Ky., based on its excellent flow and surface replication, as well as high purity, biocompatibility, chemical resistance, low autofluorescence, and extra-high transparency in the near-UV range used in many tests.
(401) 434-3107 • micropep.com; (859) 746-6447 • topas.com