Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport, TN) will expand production of hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins at its Middelburg, Netherlands and Longview, TX facilities. The Middelburg expansion, which is the third expansion of Eastman's Regalite production in the Netherlands since 2006, will increase capacity by more than 20%, with work forecast to be completed in the second half of 2011. In Texas, the company will increase capacity by more than 10% for its Eastotac hydrogenated aliphatic hydrocarbon resins. That expansion is scheduled for completion in early 2011.
In addition to use as raw materials in hot-melt and pressure-sensitive adhesives or as binders in nonwoven products, hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins are also used in a wide range of applications, including plastics and rubber modification. More highly hydrogenated grades will be more compatible with nonpolar polymers like polyolefins. They can also balance mid-block and end-block compatibility in styrenic block copolymer formulations. In addition to good compatibility with polyolefins, the materials work with natural rubber, butyl rubber, EPDM, SIS/SEBS block copolymers, polyisoprene, and amorphous polyolefins. Partially hydrogenated grades are compatible with SBR, SBS, polybutadiene, and EVA.