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Solvay starts up fluoroelastomers plant in China

Solvay (Brussels, Belgium) has commenced production at a new fluoroelastomers plant in Changshu, China. The facility will manufacture the company's FKM type Tecnoflon products.

The China plant is Solvay's third for production of fluoroelastomers. Applications include gaskets for use in the automotive sector.

As Solvay Specialty Polymers' third fluorelastomer unit globally, the production unit will benefits from the site's existing Specialty Polymers operations and infrastructure, as well as from secure raw material supplies through its joint venture with nearby Shanghai 3F New Material Co., Ltd..

Tecnoflon resists aggressive chemicals and heats of more than 250°C and is reportedly easy to process via compression, injection and transfer molding. Typical end-use products include gaskets, shaft seals and hoses used in sealing applications in the automotive, industrial and oil and gas industries.

"This state-of-the-art fluoroelastomers facility considerably strengthens our global  industrial  footprint, extending our reach from Europe and the United States to Asia," said Augusto Di Donfrancesco, President of Solvay's Specialty Polymers Global Business Unit. "Solvay Specialty Polymers offers the industry's most diversified range of high-end polymers and our expansions in Changshu will bring us closer to our customers and support them in maintaining their competitive edge in their market segments."

At the same site, Solvay Specialty Polymers is also constructing a unit for the production of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) to supply its Solef products. The unit is due to come on-stream by early 2017. Applications for Solef include backsheet laminates used in photovoltaic modules, gas sampling bags, pump and filter diaphragms, anti-graffiti covering films, and copper plenum cables and for plenum rated optical fiber jacketing.

In addition to fluoroelastomers, Solvay's operations at Changshu include compounding of AvaSpire polyaryletherketone (PAEK) high-performance resin, Kalix high-performance polyamides (HPPA), Ixef polyarylamide (PARA), Amodel polyphthalamide, Radel polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), as well the production of Polymist micronized polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) powder and Algoflon fine coagulated PTFE powders.

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