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The emergence of the hybrid vehicle has provided a major impetus to the adoption of halogen-free flame retardant (HFFR) polyolefin compounds in automotive wire and cable according to coupling agent supplier Addivant (Middlebury, CT). "We have been very successful in penetrating the automotive market in Japan and we are now expanding [our efforts] on a global basis," notes Serge Rogasik, Vice President, General Manager, Global Performance Materials at Addivant.

May 5, 2014

3 Min Read
Chinaplas: Hybrid vehicles drive halogen-free compound adoption


Wire and cable applications go green with help of coupling agents.

As part of this initiative, Addivant introduced two new grafted polyolefin coupling agents at the recent Chinaplas show in Shanghai delivering, among other attributes, improved tensile strength and elongation at break in polyolefin compounds employing magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2) or alumina trihydrate (ATH) HFFRs. Polybond 3249 and Polybond 3349 coupling agents reportedly allow wire and cable compounders to focus on physical property optimization while achieving excellent flame retardant dispersion and melt flow stability. Applications include building wire, communications cable and automotive wire and cable applications. Both new grades offer compounders a choice of performance and, depending on their final design requirements, the option to select the Polybond grade that delivers the most synergy in their system. Polybond 3249 and Polybond 3349 coupling agents are also reportedly optimized to offer superior physical property retention and melt flow stability.

Further, the increased use of fiber reinforced plastics in the auto sector is further stimulating demand for coupling agents and here too, Addivant has debuted a new product. Polybond 7200 coupling agent is specifically designed to deliver optimum dispersion and physical properties in natural fiber-reinforced polyolefin applications such as injection-molded automotive parts, offering polyolefin processers the highest level of performance in adhesion and filler coupling. Recent customer trials have reportedly confirmed the effectiveness of this coupling agent.

 "Addivant's polymer modifier business is continuing to focus on the needs of the polymer market and our customers, as seen in our new capacity investments, extensive recruitment to support our accelerating growth and innovation and in new product development across all our business units" says Adam Watson, Business Development Manager for Polymer Modifiers. "These three Polybond coupling agents represent the beginning of a planned series of new product launches in our polymer additives business" adds Watson. He says, In the coming years our Polybond and Royaltuf polymer modifiers will continue to see enhancements, designed to offer our global customers the broadest possible portfolio."

Asian expansions

Addivant also recently opened a Customer Formulation Center in Shandong, China. Speaking to PlasticsToday at Chinaplas, Rogasik said the center's focus would be on non-dust blends for polyolefin compounds in the industrial sector. "Globally, automotive, medical and electronics, and film and packaging are our priorities," he added.

Rogasik noted that Addivant is under-represented in Asia. "Our market share is low here compared with the rest of the world, hence the recent investments in the region. This includes a series of capacity expansions at its production facility at Pyongtaek, South Korea for Alkanox 240 phosphite antioxidant. Capacity has already been increased by 40% and a further expansion is currently underway, with completion scheduled by early 2015.

The Middle East also represents a growth market for Addivant and the company is also investing significantly here. The company is doubling production capacity for hindered phenolic antioxidants (Anox 20 and Anox PP18) as well as Alkanox 240 to 10,500 tonnes annually. Plans are also underway to expand production capacity of the Anox NDB (non-dust blend) product line to 24,000 tonnes per annum.

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