As global competition intensifies, suppliers are relying more and more on innovation to maintain market presence in tough times. A slew of new grades including specialized products with tailored properties, upgraded workhorse additives, and formulations for specialty polymers were highlighted at this year's key plastics venue, NPE 2003 in Chicago
Novel makeup allows tailoring foam for PVC
Highly loaded, resin-encapsulated chemical blowing agents, based on azodicarbonamide, include 30 to 50 percent active ingredients. Holcocell 198 provides maximum gas yield in vinyl, fast cycle times, and dust-free handling. Dispersions are made without exposing the additives to a melt temperature heat history. The carrier releases the ingredients early in injection or extrusion, yielding good cell distribution. Holland Colours, www.hollandcolours.com
Hydrocarbon agent comes in masterbatch for easy dosing
A proprietary process allows Expancel MB to include up to 40 percent encapsulated microspheres of hydrocarbon gases in polyolefin pellets. This eliminates the complexity associated with using flammable hydrocarbon gases to produce a finished injection molded or extruded product. During extrusion, the blowing agent won't escape through the molten polyolefin but will produce a homogeneously dispersed, 100 percent closed-cell foamed part. PolyChem Alloy, www.polychemalloy.com
Product designed to color liquid silicone applications
Holcosil LSR pigment pastes for coloring injection molded silicone are thermally stable to 250C. These dispersions in carriers of vinyl-functional silicone fluids have high dispersion. Relative hiding power is 95 to 105 percent. Viscosity ranges from 15,000 to 30,000 MPa. Holcosil LSR conforms to FDA and BgVV food contact regulations. Holland Colours, www.hollandcolours.com
Carbon black offers pipes premium performance
As a complement to existing carbon black grades Elftex 254 and TP, this new P type provides compounders with improvements for pressure pipe applications regarding particle size, compound moisture absorption, dispersability, and chemical impurities. It reportedly gives higher UV-light-absorbing efficiency and better weathering performance than conventional carbon blacks. Cabot, www.cabot-corp.com
Low-dusting pigments help protect operators’ health, safety
Hostaprint, two pigments based on vinyl chloride-vinyl acetate copolymer carriers, are suitable for coloring extremely thin PVC films. Red BNP, a red pigment with bluish hues, can be used to replace cadmium pigments. Yellow H2R has a reddish tint. It has high color intensity and is recommended for diayl and lead chromate pigments. Clariant, www.pa.clariant.com
Titanium dioxide provides superior weathering protection
High-performance pigment 2222, has good dispersibility and is photo-chemically stable. It offers a blue tone and greater hiding power than the standard grades of TiO2 used to protect PVC siding or window and door profiles in high UV-light application areas. Produced by the chloride process, 2222 is specially post-treated to optimize surface resistance to discoloration. It has a narrow particle size. Kronos, www.kronos- tio2.com
Concentrates target TPEs to give soft-touch items vivid tones
Intense coloration for soft-touch thermoplastic elastomer applications can be dosed economically. TEKlite TPE color concentrates come with high pigment loadings in polyethylene carriers. They avoid over-coloring through reduced concentration levels, yet they can reportedly achieve vivid hues. Typical let-down ratios are 50:1 (2 percent) for all colors except black. The concentrates can be used with most olefinic and styrenic TPEs including thermoplastic vulcanizates. Teknor Color, www.teknorcolor.com
Color-intensive crystal effect is based on aluminum oxide
Xirallic pigments, based on synthetic-substrate aluminum oxide, employ a crystallization process that produces platelets with perfectly planed surfaces as well as a tight particle-size distribution. The substrate is coated with highly refractive metal oxides. It gives plastics a glitter effect with a distinct shimmer behavior and is said to distinguish itself through strong, pure colors. The effect increases with sunlight. Coating with iron oxide leads to bronze, copper, and red effects. Merck, www.merck-pigmente.de
Opaque red shades optimized for thin-film applications
Irgazin DPP red ultra-opaque possesses a bluish-red tone which can be used to give high color intensity to thin films. Generally when such a shade is required, a bluish component has to be added to the red opaque base pigment. But bluish shaping pigments tend to be transparent and they can impair hiding power. Irgazin DPP is a bordeaux color that reportedly has high color strength and good opacity. Ciba Specialty Chemicals, www.cibasc.com
PROCESSING AIDS AND LUBRICANTS
Additives help reduce overall process energy requirements
Minapol additives reportedly improve most polyolefins used in injection, blowmolding, extrusion, and thermoforming, by increasing the resin's thermal conductivity. If processing is heat-transfer limited, the reported result with Minapol is an increase in output rates of 15 to 30 percent. Molding cycle time can be reduced or extrusion line speeds increased. These proprietary mineral-polyolefin combinations help maintain polymer properties in thin-walled parts. Heritage Plastics, www.heritage-plastics.com
Aerogels improve plastics performance
Nanogel, a hydrophobic silica aerogel, enhances processing and improves resin end-use performance. Nanogel is lightweight and provides efficient thermal, acoustic, and electrical insulation. These aerogels can be used for thickening, rheology control, and reinforcement in lightweight composites. Available in translucent or opaque grades, they come in particle sizes ranging from 8 µm to 1 mm beads. Cabot, www.cabot-corp.com
Spray-on convenience offered In high-temp release
MCGA16A synthetic mold lubricant, produced to withstand temperatures up to 260C, can be sprayed directly onto the mold surface. This polytetrafluoroethylene based product can replace white lithium grease, which liquefies at 66C. Although MCGA16 makes metal mold parts slippery, it feels slightly sticky, reflecting its ability to adhere to close-fitting pins and inserts.
The sprayed-on lubricant is said to maintain its physical properties under load, resist breakdown, and provide lubrication even when temperatures exceed 260C for a limited time. It is waterproof and non-toxic. Molders Choice, www.molderschoice.com
Vegetable-based slip agents target thermoplastic resins
Kemamide ELO provides slip and anti-block properties. Since it is vegetable-based, it can be used where market preferences seek alternatives to animal-derived products. ELO is a high-performance torque release agent that minimizes taste and odor effects of ozone sterilization. It has no fatty acid chains to react to ozone or heat. It is stable in bottle cap and closure applications. Crompton, www.cromptoncorp.com
Additives provide heat, UV-light protection for pipes, lineals
Mark 2910 self-lubricating PVC pipe stabilizer eliminates the need for paraffin wax as a lubricant. In PVC pipe extrusion, this liquid stabilizer imparts good gloss and reduces plate-out. Grade 2289 targets window profiles, which are exposed to intense solar light. It gives both heat and UV protection and prevents yellowing or chalking. Crompton, www.cromptoncorp.com
Environmentally-friendly solution stabilizes rigid, flexible PVC
A magnesium-aluminum-hydrotalcite to costabilize PVC applications is non-toxic, lacks heavy metals, and can be formulated together with calcium/zinc systems. Sorbacid 911 effectively deactivates hydrogen chloride formed during thermal degradation of the polymer in processing. This finely structured powder disperses well in the melt. It does not contribute to lubrication of PVC compounds, it shows negligible plateout behavior, and it does not deteriorate the insulating polymer properties due to low water carryover. Süd-Chemie, www.sud-chemie.com
Grade provides range of polymers with protection
Anox 20, a hindered phenolic anti-oxidant with a non-organotin catalyst, will be available commercially in the last quarter of this year. This primary anti-oxidant can be used to protect polyolefins, styrenics, engineering thermoplastics, tie layers, and elastomers from the effects of heat and oxygen. Great Lakes Chemical, www.greatlakes.com
Formulation provides long-term results in tough conditions
Patented anti-oxidant blends in the Naugard 900 Series are said to give up to five times more protection against polymer failure compared to conventional materials. They impart long-term heat aging and process stability to thermoplastics, with low emissions and no blooming. They enable components such as under-the-hood vehicle items to function in harsh environments. Crompton, www.cromptoncorp.com
Low-smoke PVC applications require special suppressant
A smoke-suppressant and flame-retardant additive for rigid and flexible PVC applications is based on ammonium octamolybdate. It reduces the amount of aromatic species released as smoke when charring occurs.
Smokeblock AOM100 can be used as a partial replacement for antimony trioxide flame retardant in many applications. It meets or exceeds specifications such as UL910 for wire and cable installed in ducts and plenum. Great Lakes Chemical, www.greatlakes.com
Nano-composites resist fire in light applications
Nanoblend Concentrate, an FR based on nano-clay, can be used in PVC applications demanding reduced weight but increased stiffness. The nano-clay particles are roughly one ten-thousandth the diameter of a human hair, and can replace traditional mineral or glass reinforcement and flame-retardant additives, thereby providing two benefits with one additive. PolyOne, www.polyone.com
Additive nixes heavy metals and halogens but protects resin
A patent-pending non-halogenated flame retardant, JZH, is suitable for cable insulation, extrusion, and injection molding. Based on polyolefins, this material reportedly has outstanding electrical properties, good rheology, low weight, and high impact-strength features. It can be an alternative to existing low smoke PVCs, fluoropolymers, or metal hydrate based polyolefins. Its good flow means higher extrusion line speeds. Americhem, www.americhem.com
Processability, cost balance highlight grade for wire, cable
A non-halogenated material is said to provide optimum equilibrium between cost, fire security, and processability. PM9368E12 achieves a minimum limited oxygen index of LOI 31. It provides good heat stability and can boost throughput of wire and cable at processing temperatures up to 276C. The fine size of the material's particles reportedly minimizes the effects of the filler on melt flow. It also imparts UV-light resistance for outdoor applications. Techmer PM, www.techmerpm.com
New products introduced to meet stricter emerging EU regulations
New environmental directives coming into force in the European Union have spurred the launch of a new flame retardant which is both halogen- and red phosphorous-free. Technyl Star S60G1V30 is a 30 percent glass-filled grade, rated UL-VO. It targets electrical applications including appliances, industrial controls, switching gear, rotary switches, and timers.
S60G1V30 reportedly will not influence colors or laser marking. Nor is it said to hinder impact strength or stiffness. Flammability test results are claimed to be as good as those for brominated products, and mechanical performance is similar to that of phosphorous-added grades. Rhodia Engineering Plastics, www.rhodia-ep.com
Agent designed specifically for styrenic polymer systems
Saytex BC70HS flame retardant is a stabilized hexa-bromocyclododecane with a reported good balance of thermal stability and flame retardancy. This material can be used in injection molding at temperatures up to 240C. It allows high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) applications to pass IEC695-2-1/2 Glow Wire as well as UL94 V2 tests. It does not require antimony oxide to perform, but it reportedly does promote resin color stability. Albemarle, www.albemarle.com
Retardants for engineering polymers
Great Lakes Corp. launched Firemaster CP-44HF flame retardant, a high flow, polybrominated styrene copolymer that offers compatibility in thermoplastic polyesters and high temperature polyamides. The flame retardant provides higher thermal stability, increased flow and demonstrates improved compatibility in the host polymer, namely engineering polymers such as PBT, PET, other specialty thermoplastic polyesters, and most polyamides. Its molecular weight allows Firemaster to work well in applications such as connectors, where the miniaturization and thin walling of parts is key. The fire retardant also provides excellent physical properties in unreinforced polymers or fibers, non-blooming, improved efficiency with synergists, and, in some applications, a reduction in drip suppressant levels. Great Lakes Chemical Corp., www.greatlakes.com.
PROPERTY AND IMPACT MODIFIERS
Ultralow-temperature impact modifiers target engineering resins
Impact modifiers for applications experiencing temperatures as low as -55C are designed for polycarbonate, nylon, and polybutylene terephthalate. Abust and Mebust are virgin impact modifiers with butadiene content in excess of 65 percent, but they have no melting point. They can be mixed with engineering resins with a melt temperature in excess of 250C. These materials are free-flowing and have a moisture content of less than .05 percent, which minimizes flammability and improves handling. PolyChem Alloy, www.polychemalloy.com
Additive wins FDA, European approvals
UV absorber Uvinul 3030 can be used in plastics applications which come into contact with foodstuffs. These include packaging, storage vessels, and kitchen appliances. They have high thermal stability and low volatility, which makes them suitable for polycarbonate, PET, and polyether sulfone, which are processed at high temperatures. It won't affect polymer transparency. BASF, www.basf.com
Foul taste scares off rodents
A rodent repellent additive for polyolefins sends animals, including rabbits and deer, scampering after one nibble. PM12211E63 is non-toxic and does not harm pets, but provides injection molded and extruded plastics parts with a foul taste. The basic formulation, in a linear low density polyethylene carrier, can be adjusted for use with most polymers. Techmer PM, www.techmerpm.com
Scavenger dealfor BP, ColorMatrix
An oxygen scavenger for mono-layer barrier PET beverage bottles, Amosorb, is being licensed from BP and marketed globally by ColorMatrix.
Amosorb enhances the gas barrier properties of polyester without requiring more expensive multi-layer structures, coatings, or changing existing processing equipment. The material does not sacrifice flavor in carbonated, still, or alcoholic beverages.
Recycling of the PET container is said to be simpler than with multiple layers. BP, www.bp.com; ColorMatrix, www.colormatrix.com
Agent can be applied indissolved form to surfaces
An anti-static, suitable for rigid and semi-rigid PVC, polystyrene, ABS, and polypropylene, can be applied to the application’s surface when dissolved. Statexan K1 is a mixture of secondary sodium alkyl sulphonates and comes as a light-colored, waxy flake. It prevents electrostatic pickup from occurring during processing and finishing. Weathering can impair the anti-static properties and adversely affect its light fastness. Bayer, www.bayer.com
Low-temperature fluoroelastomers address sealing issues
The new Dyneon LTFE 6500X is a line of low-temperature fluoroelastomers for use where low-temperature sealing is an issue. With a reported TR10 and Tg of -40 degrees C, the 6400X delivers low-temperature sealing capability while maintaining good chemical and heat resistance. The product is also said to deliver excellent fuel and oil resistance, low compression set, and good permeation resistance.
As a result, the 6400X offers parts makers design flexibility—part designs no longer need to compensate for property trade-offs typically seen with fluoroelastomers at low temperature. Dyneon LLC, www.dyneon.com.
Agent reduces warpage, improves physical properties
HyperForm HPN68 nucleating agent for polypropylene (PP) solidifies the polymer faster in injection or extrusion than standard grades. It reduces warpage due to anisotropic shrinkage.
It is claimed to provide the fastest known crystallization rates of PP while enhancing an application’s flexural modulus. Cycle time reduction also can be achieved. Milliken Chemical, www.millikenchemical.com
Robert Colvin [email protected] Greg Valero [email protected]