K 2019 Slideshow: New Resins, New Applications in Materials
Ascend, Borealis, Borouge, Braskem, Dow, ExxonMobil, Nova, SABIC, and Solvay came to Düsseldorf with new applications, including pouches, shrink film, cable ties, flip tops, all-plastic bikes, as well as new materials.
Xencor LFT from Solvay is featured on the new Stajvelo electric bike—said to be the first ‘all-polymer’ e-bike. The LFT Xencor is the first LFT in this PARA (polyarylamide) family. Xencor LFT compounds typically consist of 30-60% glass fiber reinforcement. The strong fiber skeleton provides vastly superior structural properties and dimensional stability compared to highly-filled short fiber polymers.
Solvay’s KetaSpire PEEK XT is said to be industry’s first ‘true’ high-temperature PEEK. Because it boasts a true 2:1 ether-to-ketone ratio vs. standard PEEK, its chemistry is more of an aromatic, making it more rigid.
The material reportedly boasts exceptional chemical resistance along with a 20°C higher glass transition temperature plus a 45°C higher melting temperature. Potential applications include oil & gas connectors, automotive seals, E/E and industrial components.
Ascend launched the new ThermPlus nylon 66 specially formulated for cable ties and fasteners used in automotive, construction and industrial applications.
Also from Ascend is new Vydyne XHT extreme high-temperature nylon 66 compounds for applications such as charge air ducts where it can compete with PPA, and offer better processability.
Ascend is also entering the nylon 66 film market with Vydyne PTR for food and industrial packaging applications. They boast excellent puncture and high-temperature resistance, as well as excellent aesthetic while being applied at 40% lower use levels.
SABIC launched the first renewable feedstock PC—60% made from tall oil derived from pulp waste.
A 3D-printed prototype of a structural body-in-white honeycomb structure is made of new Xenoy XTC— a new high heat PC/PBT. The application is designed for structural support of battery packs of electric vehicles. Also at K, SABIC introduced new, flame-retardant (FR) PP and LFT-PP for structural components, including electric vehicle battery housings and end caps. The company says the PP can compete with FR nylon 66.
SABIC displayed flexible pouches made with tenter frame BOPE that can replace PET and BOPP.
A Borealis, Borouge, Nova Chemicals press conference proved newsworthy in both announcements on collaborative efforts toward a circular economy and new material launches.
Through an agreement with Neste, Borealis will start using that company’s renewable propane at two of its Belgian facilities. This will be the first time Borealis will use bio based feedstock to partially replace fossil feedback in commercial PP production.
Borealis, Borouge and Henkel have collaborations on the development of highly circular flexible PE pouches: two stand-up pouches are a combination of virgin PE with high levels of PCR.
Also underway are further developments in PE and PP based mono layer pouches specifically designed for recyclability.
Borealis has launched a next-generation Fibremod Carbon PP composites for automotive—these are made with second-use carbon fiber. Two low-density grades—CG210SY and CD211SY—boast better surface aesthetics and mechanical properties.
Borealis launched BorPure RF770MO next-generation random PP copolymer for flip-top caps—a growing market segment. It offers proven cycle-time reductions of over 10% in some cap applications thanks to its fast crystallization behavior.
Nova Chemicals launched VPs412 high-caulkability PE sealant said to be an ideal building block for all-PE film food packaging. The company says it’s a ‘game changer’ as it is a single-solution resin vs. common practice of LLDPE/plastomer blends.
Dow showcased numerous fast-growing applications for LSRs. Included is an oil bleed LSR—which contains another silicone that rises to the surface for lubricating automotive connector seals—a market sector with over 10% annual growth.
Dow also focused on new Amplify Si PE—an innovative silicone-enhance PE processing and performance additive for wood-plastic composites. Extensively field tested in North America, it has been shown to allow for 100% recycled content of not only HDPE but also L/LDPE. At low loading levels of 2-7%, it has been shown to allow for wood flour content of up to 60% vs. typical 35-40% and to enable lower melt temperatures and lower extrusion torque. Decking boards made with it boast 30% higher mechanical properties over boards using other processing additives. Water repellency is also claimed and Dow experts believe that its higher performance properties will allow for downgauging and a drastic reduction in reject rates, which that market sector is presently trying to reduce from the current level of 8-15%.
Dow says its Agility CE was used for this shrink film with up to 70% recycled content.
In addition to new expansion of its I’m Green portfolio—a biofeedstock produced EVA and a PP homopolymer with up to 15% I’m Green PP being tested for food packaging—Braskem unveiled the new Prisma 6910 clear impact copolymer PP. This in-situ produced PP is targeted to clear frozen food applications as well as clear refrigerator/freezer articles such as ice trays.
Dow also showcased the new German RepRap industrial 3-D printing machine for LSR production parts such as those made with Dow’s modified for additive manufacturing Silastic LSR. The unit also allows for coloration of production parts. First use is for customized mid-soles but there’s strong interest from markets such as automotive where the unit’s use would shorten time to mass production significantly.
New versions of this ultra-versatile material compete with more expensive ‘engineering’ resins and enhanced sustainability in applications from automotive and E&E to packaging, consumer goods and building construction.