Additives: Antiblocking Agents for Polyolefin, PET, and Nylon Films
Two new grades of precipitated silica for use as antiblocking agents for the production of blown and cast PE, PP, PET and nylon films have been introduced by Evonik, (U.S. office in Parsippany, N.J.)
Spherilex 60 AB and 30 AB help facilitate film winding operations and improve the handling properties of films during subsequent processing. Both grades are produced using a new, patented manufacturing process that is said to simultaneously allow spherical particle shape, controlled particle size, and narrow particle size distribution to be achieved. The 60 AB additive was developed for standard films based on PE and PP, whereas 30 AB is specially designed for very thin films such as biaxially oriented films.
With capacity scale-ups driving prices down, the pace has picked up for commerical applications that boost electrical and thermal conductivity, structural strength, and thermal stability.
Plastics are going “green,” but they will need some help to get there. Biodegradable polymers derived from renewable resources are attracting lots of interest and publicity, but that enthusiasm is counterbalanced by persistent questions of availability, cost, performance, and processability. All these issues are inter-related: Increasing demand will lead to more capacity, which will presumably lead to lower prices. But the foundation is market demand, which ultimately depends on whether biopolymers will have the performance properties and processability to compete with existing non-renewable plastics.
To succeed in Detroit, it’s not enough for polypropylene-based TPO elastomers to be low-cost, lightweight, easily processable, and recyclable. They also have to look good for the life of the vehicle.