Bayer MaterialScience LLC has expanded polycarbonate (PC) film production at its South Deerfield, MA plant in response to growing demand for the product in a range of applications, including instrument panels, trade show displays, membrane switches, control panels, and decals. The expansion will add the capability to create gloss and gloss-and-textured Makrofol PC and Bayfol PC-blend films.
The 147,000-ft2 site has been existence for more than 30 years. One year ago, Bayer MaterialScience absorbed Deerfield Urethane Inc. and the South Deerfield plant, adding PC film extrusion to the TPU and elastomer film and sheet extrusion, which already occurred there under the Dureflex brand.
End markets for the extruded polycarbonate film include automotive, appliance, security/smart cards, medical, nameplate/labels, packaging, point-of-purchase signage, telecommunications, and hand-held electronics.
That merging of TPU, elastomer, and PC films by Bayer MaterialScience pooled all the company's specialty films businesses under one strategically aligned organization called Functional Films, which is a component of its Coating, Adhesives and Specialties (CAS) business unit.
Specialty films demand in the U.S. is forecast to grow 4.7% annually through 2012, according to a report from The Freedonia Group, bolstered by demand in high-growth areas like photovoltaic modules and biodegradable bags.
Freedonia pegs the total U.S. specialty film industry at $6 billion, with applications within barrier, decorative, microporous, safety/security, conductive, light control, and biodegradable products. In April 2010, PC film competitor Teijin announced plans to increase sales of its polycarbonate retardation film for circular polarizer 3D glasses. —PlasticsToday Staff