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July 13, 2006

6 Min Read
E-Weekly News Briefs,  July 10 - 14


NSP approves BASF TPU for drinking water

BASF''s Elastollan 1190A16 thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is now approved under U.S. NSF (National Sanitation Foundation International) Standard 61 for liners in cured-in-place piping (CIPP) for potable-water infrastructure-rehabilitation projects. This standard is a nationally recognized health effects standard for all devices, components, and materials that contact drinking water. "It is estimated that some major cities lose about 50% of their potable water due to leaks," says Luc Lupien, senior market development specialist for BASF''s Elastollan TPU business in North America.

In the CIPP process, a tube made of TPU is laminated with a polyester fabric. The fabric is then impregnated with an epoxy resin, and the saturated pipe is installed into the old pipe. Heat is then introduced to cure the resin in order to affix the replacement tube to the original pipe wall. A complete wash is then done on the new pipe, resulting in a rehabilitated pipe that can last for decades.

BASF introduced its Elastollan LoTac TPU technology for rehabilitating sewer pipes in late 2005. A material with low tackiness is necessary in this application because air pressure is the preferred method to invert the replacement tube to the original pipe. The first potable-water pipe-rehab project in the U.S. will be in Naperville, IL. It will be implemented by Sanexen Environmental Services (Varennes, PQ).


Basell debuts frozen food-grade PP in America

Basell (Hoofddorp, Netherlands) is now producing polypropylene (PP) resin grades that have withstood freezer temperatures down to -40°F (4.4°C). "We are the first [PP] producer in North America to offer grades with this capability and this can open the door to many new applications for frozen-food packaging customers," says Dave McKeeman, Basell''s marketing manager for rigid packaging, North America.

Previously, food-packaging PP grades could only withstand refrigerated temperatures without cracking or breaking on impact. Pro-fax EP390S high-impact PP copolymer (opaque) resin and Clyrell EC140R polyolefin (transparent) resin are now available in North America to producers of injection molded tubs, trays, and cups ranging from 4-ounces to 1.75-quarts (1.65 liters). Both grades can withstand microwave temperatures and are dishwasher safe.

The grades also offer excellent "snap fit" for lids-even at freezer temperatures. Optional tamper-evident breakaway tabs can also be engineered into the lid to produce an additional differentiating feature, according to McKeeman.


Heritage opts for Ecoflex in compostable bag

Ecoflex biodegradable copolyester from BASF is being employed by Heritage Bag (Carrollton, TX) to produce compostable bags for food-waste disposal. Heritage''s BioTuf bags are approved by the Biodegradable Products Institute (New York, NY) and are certified via ASTM D6400-04 for their ability to biodegrade swiftly and safely during municipal or commercial composting. BioTuf bags incorporate calcium carbonate filler called Minapol developed by Heritage Plastics (Picayune, MS).

"The process used to make BioTuf liners requires a polymer with good melt strength and excellent toughness. Thanks to Ecoflex and Minapol technology, we are able to meet these needs with a bag that is environmentally friendly and very competitively priced," says Peter Klaich, director of compostable and biodegradable products at Heritage Bag.


Tech support augmented for Santoprene

Technical support at ExxonMobil Chemical''s (Akron, OH) Santoprene specialty products technical center in Akron, OH has been strengthened with the addition of a new vertical injection molding machine. It will be used to assist customers with insert and overmolding projects using Santoprene thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs). The new machine, with 130 tons clamping force and a rotary table, was selected because it is similar to those most commonly used in industry.

Gary Lawrence, engineering specialist, ExxonMobil Chemical said, "Our customers are becoming increasingly involved in insert molding and two-shot overmolding projects, and in the plastics industry, this type of work is generally undertaken on a vertical rather than a horizontal machine. With new equipment that replicates the industry norm, we have strengthened our technical support to customers worldwide." The vertical injection molding machine reportedly has a fast cycle time, accurate rotary table, and can produce a 7.5-ounce shot size.


Names in the News

Mold-Masters (Georgetown, ON) has appointed Patrick Bennett to the position of executive vice-president. "Over the past twelve months, the operations side of the business at Mold-Masters Limited has undergone a dramatic change with the implementation of lean manufacturing as well initiatives focused around strategic account management," says company President Jonathon Fischer. "Patrick has played a key role in facilitating these initiatives through the organization and helping our customers see the value of such initiatives. To ensure that we continue this trend, Patrick will be responsible for directing and coordinating the activities for global sales and marketing, as well as our production operations in the Americas."

The International Assn. of Plastics Distributors (IAPD; Leawood, KS) search committee has named Susan Avery as its new executive director. She comes to the IAPD with more than seven years of executive level experience with ARMA International-the Assn. for Information Management Professionals-where she became the association''s senior strategic advisor. Avery also has experience as an accountant and as a business and operations manager. She will assume full-time duties July 10 and will work with current executive director, Deborah Hamlin, through the 50th IAPD Annual Convention in Vancouver, BC.

Applied Extrusion Technologies Inc. (New Castle, DE), which claims to be North America''s largest processor of oriented polypropylene (OPP) films processor has appointed Thomas Mohr as president and CEO. Former President/CEO David Terhune resigned in February.

The 54-yr-old Mohr was previously president and CEO bioriented films processor Trespaphan, and president and CEO of films and tapes processor Vibac Group North America.

Jackson Craig, chairman of AET Films, said in a statement, "Thomas Mohr has successful turnaround expertise in a variety of companies and will guide AET Films through a necessary restructuring and growth process. The demand for OPP films is sound, and the highly fragmented industry offers attractive growth opportunities."

Erica Cocetta is manager of a new office in Udine, Italy for granulator manufacturer Weima (Ilsfeld, Germany). The firm sees a need for advanced granulation technology in Italy, it says.


Briefs

Saudi European Petrochemical (Ibn Zahr, Riyadh) has awarded Samsung Engineering (Seoul) a contract for the construction of 500,000-tonnes/yr PP plant. The plant will be erected at the Ibn Zahr complex in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The plant is scheduled for completion by the third quarter of 2008. This is the third PP plant being built at Ibn Zahr.

Leading European rigid plastics-packaging processor RPC Group (Higham Ferrers, England) has acquired two facilities, one each in Marolles, France and Mozzate, Italy, from Crown. Both companies will now be integrated into the RPC''s division focused on packaging for the beauty/personal care markets.

The price of the purchase was not revealed; the two acquired facilities generated 2005 sales of about €45 million and about €2 million EBITDA.

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