Nouryon will build U.S. polymerization plant for Expancel expandable microspheres

Nouryon announced today that it has selected a U.S. location for a world-scale polymerization plant for its Expancel expandable microspheres, but it did not say where. The project will significantly strengthen the company’s leadership position in expandable microspheres, which are used to make customers’ end products lighter and reduce costs, it said in a news release.

Expancel microspheres
The microspheres are composed of a gas-encapsulated thermoplastic shell that can expand up to 60 times its original size without an increase in weight.

Nouryon’s Expancel is headquartered in Sundsvall, Sweden, about 250 miles north of Stockholm, and the company currently maintains an office in Marietta, GA, to service the North American market.

“This investment is an important step to meet the fast-growing demand for this product,” said Sylvia Winkel Pettersson, Director Expancel at Nouryon, in a prepared statement. “The planned facility will enable us to better serve our customers in the United States and globally.”

The project is scheduled for completion in late 2020, subject to final board approval.

Expancel microspheres are used both as a filler and blowing agent to lightweight end products, obtain surface effects and reduce cost by using less raw material. Composed of a thermoplastic shell encapsulating a gas, the microspheres can expand up to 60 times their original size without an increase in weight. They are used in a range of sectors, including automotive, building and construction, packaging and consumer goods.

Nouryon is the leading producer of expandable microspheres worldwide. The planned U.S. investment follows a recently completed capacity increase at Sundsvall, scheduled to be fully on-line in the second quarter.

The company is exhibiting at JEC World next week in Paris.

Formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, a company with a nearly 400-year history, Nouryon was launched in October 2018, following the acquisition of the business by the Carlyle Group and GIC.

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