Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. will start construction of a manufacturing facility for Milastomer thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) at its affiliate and polypropylene compounder Advanced Composites, Inc. in Sidney, Ohio, in January next year. The 6,000-tonnes/year production plant is slated for completion in June 2019, with operational startup slated for October.
|Automotive interior skins is a growth application for Milastomer TPV.|
The primary ingredients of Milastomer thermoplastic olefin elastomer are olefin rubber and olefin resin. With its low density, light weight and excellent moldability, Mitsui Chemicals markets the soft resin worldwide as a substitute for vinyl chloride and vulcanized rubber. The many uses for Milastomer include auto parts, building gaskets, toothbrushes, golf club grips and more. Global demand is projected to rise, primarily for applications such as automotive interior covers, weather strips, air bag covers and steering bellows. Demand for use in automotive interior skins is expected to expand especially in North America.
Mitsui Chemicals currently operates production centers in Japan, Europe and China. The new facility in the U.S. will address growing demand in North America and serve as the company's fourth production base worldwide. For its part Advanced Composites, Inc., which will handle production of the TPV to be marketed by Mitsui Chemicals, operates PP compounding plants in Nashville, TN and Aguascalientes, Mexico in addition to the Sidney, OH site, with combined capacity of 440,000 tonnes/year.