Your Business In Brief - November 2006

Management Buys Out Emabond BusinessSenior management has acquired the Emabond Business Group from Ashland Inc., Covington, Ky.

Management Buys Out Emabond Business

Senior management has acquired the Emabond Business Group from Ashland Inc., Covington, Ky. Now called Emabond Solutions LLC, it will remain in Norwood, N.J. Emabond supplies materials and technology for electromagnetic induction bonding of plastics.


SMS Group Sells Battenfeld Injection

The SMS Group in Germany has sold its Battenfeld Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH injection molding division based in Kottingbrunn, Austria, to investment firm Adcuram Industriekapital AG of Munich, Germany. The purchase includes Battenfeld’s injection molding facilities in Kottingbrunn and in South Elgin, Ill., as well as 13 injection molding sales and service subsidiaries. Adcuram says it plans to expand the business by investing in services and R&D.

SMS’s Plastics Technology group now consists of five divisions focused on extrusion: Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik, Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering, American Maplan, Cincinnati Extrusion, and Battenfeld China.

BASF’s ‘Near-Zero-Energy’ Home Relies Extensively on EPS Insulation
In late September, BASF Corp., Florham Park, N.J., showed off its just-built “Near-Zero-Energy Home” on a quiet residential street in Paterson, N.J. This 3400-sq-ft, two-story house is designed to save 80% of the energy that would be needed for heating and cooling. It uses numerous energy-saving technologies—such as solar-energy generation on the metal roof panels and water heating just under them, BASF’s Ultra-Cool reflective coating on the roof, under-floor heating with XLPE water pipes, and dual-pane windows with inert gas between the panes. In addition, a substantial part of the building’s external envelope and internal structure uses EPS foams for insulation.

The first-floor, foundation, and basement walls were poured with EPS insulating concrete forms (ICFs). Interior floors are concrete on EPS planks, which helps maintain temperature stability on each floor level. Second-floor walls and roof are structural insulating panels (SIPs) with an 8-in. EPS core between wood oriented-strand boards.

Although they don’t contribute energy savings in this case, the home uses structural insulating concrete panels (SICPs) in the garden and retaining walls. These have EPS core segments with a surrounding wire cage, which are encapsulated on-site with sprayed concrete. All these prefabricated panel concepts, with pieces cut to shape off-site, can contribute to faster construction and lower labor costs.

The Paterson house is an actual home: BASF donated it to the family of a 15-year-old boy who was left paraplegic after being hit by a car when he was eight. Since then, he has lived apart from his family, which could not afford to care for him at home. The family has been reunited in this specially designed house. BASF: (800) BC-RESIN •


Eastman Sells Its PE to Westlake

Eastman Chemical Co., Kingsport, Tenn., announced it will sell its polyethylene business to Westlake Chemical Corp., Houston. The deal includes Eastman’s plant in Longview, Texas, which can produce 700 million lb/yr of LDPE and 425 million lb of LLDPE. Westlake also acquired technology for making specialty polyolefins such as acrylate copolymers, Epolene resins for adhesives and coatings, and Energx high-performance LLDPE. Westlake Polymers LLC in Houston already has capacity for 850 million lb/yr of LDPE and 550 million lb of LLDPE and HDPE at Lake Charles, La.


K-Tron Buys Premier Pneumatics

K-Tron International, Inc., Pitman, N.J., has acquired Premier Pneumatics, Inc., Salina, Kan., a supplier of pneumatic conveying and bulk-handling systems. This marks K-Tron’s third acquisition of this type of equipment. A leader in feeding and blending, K-Tron entered pneumatic conveying nine years ago with acquisitions of Canada’s Hurricane and the U.K.’s PCS Pneumatics and Colormax. Premier provides a broader range of vacuum and pressure conveying and larger-capacity equipment. Premier retains its current location and brand name.


Wellman Quits PET Recycling

Wellman Inc., Shrewsbury, N.J., announced that it would permanently close its flagship PET recycling and fiber production facility in Johnsonville, S.C., by the end of this month. Wellman had reported substantial losses this year as PET prices rose and prices for secondary goods such as fiber didn’t keep pace, making them uncompetitive with products coming in from Asia. However, Wellman’s PET grinding and washing of post-consumer PET bottles was profitable. Using flake washing technology from Sorema of Italy, it produced 25,000 lb/hr of clean flake that satisfies FDA specs for food contact. It is believed to be the biggest PET recycling line in the world. Shaw Industries, Dalton, Ga., is rumored to be one potential buyer for the plant and equipment.


Ferro Cancels Sale of Specialty Plastics Div.

Ferro Corp., Cleveland, is discontinuing discussions with private equity firm Wind Point Partners (offices in Chicago and Southfield, Mich.) concerning the sale of Ferro’s Specialty Plastics Div., which was first announced in May. Ferro will continue to operate the division and “will continue to pursue portfolio realignment activities,” according to a company statement.


Yudo Moves to Ohio

Yudo Inc., a Korean-based supplier of hot-runner systems, has moved its U.S. headquarters from Newbury Park, Calif., to Columbus, Ohio. Address is 8163 Business Way, Plain City, OH 43064. Tel: (614) 873-1300; fax: (614) 873-6873.


Nova Sells FR PS Line

Nova Chemicals Corp., Pittsburgh, has sold its Zyntar flame-retardant PS and certain other PS compounds to PMC Group’s Polymer Products Div. in Stockertown, Pa. PMC’s Polymer Products, a maker of FR masterbatches, last year also bought BASF’s Avantra line of FR HIPS. PMC Polymer Products: (610) 759-3690 •

After nearly $800 million in losses since 2001, Nova moved its solid PS and styrene monomer production assets in June into a new subsidiary called Styrenix. Nova is reportedly looking to sell the business, place it in a joint venture, or sell its stock to the public. In June, Nova also closed its 300-million-lb/yr PS plant in Chesapeake, Va. Nova retains its polyethylene, EPS, and engineered styrenics.


Arburg Builds West Coast Technology Center

Arburg, Inc., Newington, Conn., broke ground last month for a West Coast Technology Center in Irvine, Calif. The 5800-sq-ft center will have a demonstration and training area sufficient for six molding machines. The center should be completed next August.


Evalca Expands Capacity

Eval Co. of America (Evalca), Pasadena, Texas, has completed construction of an expansion of EVOH resin capacity. The first half of the expansion, or 24 million lb/yr, will be on stream by next spring.


RTP Co. Launches Elastomer Div.

Specialty compounder RTP Co., Winona, Minn., has formed a new TPE Div. to pursue compounds of all types of thermoplastic elastomers. One goal will be to “incorporate properties typically not found in traditional TPEs,” such as conductivity and wear resistance, said Scott Mumm, general manager of the new division. Tel: (800) 433-4787


Degradable Plastics To Grow 20%/Yr

Surging interest in biodegradable and compostable plastics is forecasted by a new report from market research company, Freedonia Group, Inc., Cleveland. The report, Degradable Plastics (187 pages, $4400), predicts 19.5% annual U.S. growth for these products to 2010. Volume will soar from 172 million lb last year to 420 million lb. Polylactic acid (PLA) will grow more than 30%/yr and starch-based plastics nearly 18%/yr. Tel: (440) 684-9600 •