Your Business in Brief - February 2006

Solvay to Acquire Exotic-Resin MakerSolvay of Belgium has agreed to purchase Mississippi Polymer Technologies (MPT), Bay St.

Solvay to Acquire Exotic-Resin Maker

Solvay of Belgium has agreed to purchase Mississippi Polymer Technologies (MPT), Bay St. Louis, Miss., producer of a unique transparent, amorphous, aromatic engineering thermoplastic called Parmax SRP (self-reinforcing polymer). It has an unparalleled combination of high heat and chemical resistance, very high stiffness, high strength and hardness, and inherent flame resistance. The resin has been made in limited quantities, mainly for defense applications. Parmax will join the line of Solvay Advanced Polymers LLC, Alpharetta, Ga.


Degussa Buys PAEK Resin from Ticona

Beefing up its expertise in high-temperature polymers, Degussa AG in Germany is acquiring the patents of Ticona GmbH of Germany related to poly aryl ether ketones. Technology for these resins was developed by the former Technical Polymers Div. of Hoechst AG (now Ticona) in the 1990s. Ticona does not market these materials commercially. Degussa plans to use this technology to add products in the PEEK family to its High Performance Polymers unit, which makes nylon 12, PBT, copolyamides, and copolyesters.


New Association for IML, IMD

Last month saw the official start-up of the In-Mold Decorating Association (IMDA), an association of molders, printers, materials suppliers, and equipment manufacturers involved in in-mold labeling and decorating (IML and IMD) for any plastics process. IMDA is dedicated to education, development, and growth of IMD/IML technologies and markets.
Executive director Ronald B. Schultz says the fledgling organization is launching a membership drive. It currently has close to a dozen members. A website is in development, and members will publicize the group at NPE 2006 in Chicago this June.
Schultz is founder and president of RBS Technologies in Scottsdale, Ariz., a consulting firm active in flexible packaging and IML. He created the directory-type website,, which provides free listings of companies involved in IML and IMD.


New Name for SPI Processors’ Group

The Structural Plastics Div. of the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), Washington, D.C., has changed its name to the Alliance of Plastics Processors (APP). “Changing our name will better serve our members by broadening the scope of our division, providing more access to technology and other resources beyond the Structural Plastics Div., and opening our group to collaboration with other organizations that can share skills, knowledge, and leadership training,” said Allen Weidman, executive director of the Alliance. The APP will also have stronger representation within SPI governance and more influence in tackling industry-wide issues, Weidman said.

The group changed the name of its annual conference to the “Plastic Parts Innovations Conference and New Product Design Competition.” It will take place April 2-4 in Columbus, Ohio.


Fiberfil Is Back

Fiberfil Engineered Plastics Inc., Stoney Creek, Ont., is a new firm that purchased the filled and reinforced PP business and Stoney Creek plant from DSM Engineering Plastics, Evansville, Ind. The new firm revives the Fiberfil name of the first maker of glass-reinforced thermoplastics in North America, founded in 1952. The Fiberfil name has been dormant since Wilson Fiberfil International became Akzo Engineering Plastics in 1986 and later part of DSM.

The new firm will supply custom compounds of filled and reinforced PP and nylon.


Perstorp Sells Its Thermoset Business

Perstorp Group of Sweden has sold Perstorp Compounds AB, Perstorp Chemitec S.p.A. in Italy, and Perstorp Compounds, Inc. of Florence, Ky., to a new firm, Raytor Holding AB of Sweden. The acquired businesses supply thermoset molding compounds, primarily for electrical products and sanitary ware. The U.S. branch produces melamine formaldehyde and urea formaldehyde compounds for electrical plates, dinnerware, bathroom sinks, and closures for cosmetics.


Victrex Plans Second PEEK Plant

Victrex USA, Greenville, S.C., will build a second PEEK manufacturing plant at its U.K. site. The new facility will boost total capacity by 50% from 6.16 million lb to 9.35 million lb. Construction will begin this spring 2006 and is slated for completion in late 2007.


EU Rejects Bans on HFCs

On Oct. 26, the European Parliament of the European Union (EU) rejected bans on use of HFC blowing agents in foams, refrigeration, and air conditioning. This ruling reversed the unanimous recommendation of the EU Parliament Environ ment Committee to ban virtually all uses of HFCs within four years. Bans previously imposed by Denmark and Austria reportedly will be withdrawn. HFCs have been widely adopted by urethane foamers as an “ozone-friendly” alternative to HCFCs, which replaced ozone-damaging CFCs.


EU Allows Continued Use Of Deca-BDE FR Agent

In a decision published Oct. 15, the European Union (EU) exempted deca-BDE flame retardant from the EU Directive on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances. The decision was based on a 10-year risk-assessment study, which reviewed 588 earlier studies. The EU report says, “There is at present no need for measures to reduce the risks for consumers beyond those which are being applied already.” The EU does, however, require ongoing studies of deca-BDE and states that new evidence could lead to a re-examination of this decision. Deca-BDE (decabromodiphenyl ether) is widely used in plastics.


Americhem Buys Colorant Firm

Americhem, Inc., Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, a producer of color and additive masterbatches, has purchased Color and Additive Technologies, Inc. (C.A.T.) of Dalton, Ga. C.A.T. has a 90,000-sq-ft plant that makes color dispersions for fibers, films, and nonwovens.


Reimelt Henschel Takes over Rockstedt

Reimelt Henschel MischSysteme GmbH in Kassel, Germany, a maker of industrial mixers and systems for bulk materials, has acquired Rockstedt Compoundier Technik in Germany. Rockstedt makes co-rotating twin-screw compounding extruders. In the U.S., contact Reimelt Corp., Odessa, Fla.


K-Tron Forms New Process Group

K-Tron International, Inc., Pitman, N.J., has merged its Pneumatic Conveying Group and the Feeder Group to form the new K-Tron Process Group. The purpose of the reorganization is to more closely align the pneumatic conveying business with the feeder business, since both share common customers. The Process Group will supply K-Tron feeders, conveying systems, and Colormax materials-handling products from the U.K. K-Tron will phase out the Hurricane brand name for its pneumatic conveying products and instead will use Pneumatic Conveying Systems (PCS).