Canadian Plastics

Additives Report 2009

By Mark Stephen, Managing Editor   

Foaming & clarifying agents

Foaming & clarifying agents

Clariant Masterbatches’ Hydrocerol chemical foaming agents (CFAs) produce foam by decomposing at processing temperatures. Clariant claims that Hydrocerol CFA masterbatches reduce bottle weights by at least 10 per cent with no loss of physical or mechanical performance. Additionally, the foaming agent is said to reduce melt viscosity of the base resin, allowing for faster extrusion rates and reduced cooling time.

Milliken Chemical has developed a clarifier for packaging designed to bring the cost and performance advantages of polypropylene (PP) to new markets and applications. Millad NX8000 is described as providing 50 per cent better clarity to PP than the current industry standard while meeting environmental packaging considerations. Milliken said that PP modified with the NX8000 line does not impart taste or odour into such products as water bottles, medical devices, appliances, and cosmetic and personal care packaging.



Chemtura is offering the new Mark Series mixed metal, liquid stabilizer range of additives, designed to perform in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) applications where traditional liquid mixed metals are currently used. The new stabilizers are available in two ranges, the Mark 800 Series and Mark 900 Series. The latest contribution to Chemtura’s “Greener is Better” theme, the new stabilizers are intended to be a more sustainable additive solutions than the products they replace. Mark 800 and Mark 900 products complement Chemtura’s existing Reach stabilizer ranges, such as the Mark OBS, Mark EZ, and Mark CZ Series.

Process aids & mold releases

Ciba has introduced two new dispersants for industrial and automotive coatings. Ciba EFKA 4310 and Ciba EFKA 4320 are designed to improve the stability of pigment dispersions and their compatibility with resins, increasing flexibility in manufacture and allowing substantial cost savings. EFKA 4310 and EFKA 4320 extend Ciba’s range of dispersants produced by CFRP, providing the benefits of controlled molecular structures to a wider range of applications. EFKA 4310 and EFKA 4320 perform well with a broad range of organic pigments and carbon black, according to Andreas Tuerk, global head of Ciba’s Business Line Paints & Coatings. EFKA 4310 is well suited for use with a wide variety of resins, Tuerk said, while EFKA 4320 is designed for thermoplastic acrylic systems and also compatible with numerous different resin types.

An internal mold release, INT-DCP220, manufactured by Axel Plastics Research Laboratories, is designed to resolve poor release and to maintain molds in clean condition longer — processing difficulties that are frequently associated with molding DCPD (dicyclopentadiene) resin. “INTDCP220 has increased the ease with which parts can be de-molded and significantly contributed to maintaining molds in cleaner condition, allowing molds to remain in service for as much as five times as long,” said Nancy Teufel, Axel’s global product manager. Marketed under Axel’s Mold- Wiz brand, the resin additive is a 100 per cent active, synergistic blend of complex organic materials said to be well suited to demanding RTM molding applications, especially in the automotive industry.

Fyrolflex SOL-DP, a solid phosphate ester flame retardant soon to be made available from Canada Colors, is designed for use in thermoplastic resins such as polyphenylene ether alloys, polycarbonate (PC) and PC alloys and other engineered resin applications. Because it is a melting solid powder, the flame retardant can be metered in conventional plastics processing equipment, according to Canada Color’s Victor Satov, sales marketing manager, Polymer Additives. Fyrolflex SOL-DP is described as being heat stable and able to tolerate the high temperature processing required of many ER polymer resins. Its high flame retardancy efficiency achieves UL94/V0 ratings at lower use levels, allowing for better mechanical characteristics in the final composite.

Flame Retardants

Pigments & colourants

The latest special effect to be introduced under Clariant Masterbatches’ Enigma brand, the Fade effect is designed to allow for seamless transitions from one colour to another along the length of a container. According to Dragos Gavriluta, general manager of Clariant Masterbatches in Canada, the colour shift is accomplished entirely in the blow molding process using Clariant’s Fade formulation technology, so this look can be both dramatic and cost effective. The Fade effect has been tested and applied using high-density polyethylene (PE), high-gloss PE, matte or soft touch PE, and PP. “Any two tones can be used together, fading light to dark or dark to light, high-contrast or more subtle, glossy or matte,” Gavriluta said. “An opaque colour can be faded over a translucent or transparent base. Other Enigma effects, including sparkling reflective, pearlescent and even glow-in the-dark phosphorescent, can be combined with opaque or semi-opaque colours.”

With the demand for near infrared (NIR)-reflecting black pigments for paints and coatings constantly growing, BASF is making available Paliogen Black, Lumogen Black and Sicopal Black pigments. In contrast to standard black carbon pigments, the BASF products are said to reflect most of the NIR radiation. “Because they swallow up the visible light completely like any conventional black pigment, the optical impression of blackness is preserved,” said Ruth Bauer, marketing expert for special effect pigments at BASF. “The lower NIR absorption compared to other black pigments results in a temperature decrease of up to 20C on the surface, meaning that there is less strain on the material.”

A new series of concentrates for engineering- grade copolyester thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) from Teknor Color Company include a wide range of colour choices, all of them fully compliant with the European Union’s RoHS Directive. The new colours have been designed for use with high-performance TPEs like DuPont Hytrel thermoplastic polyester elastomers. The 12 colours in the new series are black, blue, light blue, brown, grey, green, orange, purple, red, rose, white, and yellow. According to Teknor Color, potential applications include wire and cable insulation, jackets, and fiber optic buffers, as well as injection and blow molded parts, film, sheet, and profiles.

Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has developed the new Rx Medical line of LEDA compounded colour technology for designers hoping to break the traditional beige and white barriers associated with medical applications. Intended for use with BMS’ Makrolon PC and Bayblend PC/ABS resins, the Rx additives meet the FDAmodified ISO 10993-1, the accepted standard for biocompatibility of materials used in the manufacture of medical devices.

Ampacet recently introduced ProBlend, described as a “colour leveling” additive that offers package designers a broader palette of colour possibilities by allowing all colours to run at the same speed without adversely affecting shrinkage, quality or efficiency. “Most molders won’t slow down or speed up the equipment to accommodate the colour they’re running,” said Morgan Gibbs, director, Technical Services and Development at Ampacet. “The practice of running different colours at the same speed often causes differences in tolerances that may result in intermittent container leakage issues, and the ProBlend colour leveling additive helps solve this problem.”

Shepherd Color is introducing a new colour into its Precise product line. Yellow 40P140, CI Pigment Yellow 53 is bright yellow in colour, and is said to meet approval for FDA guidelines, as well as Toy Safety EN71.3, Council of Europe AP(89)1 and the French Positive List. Part of the company’s Arctic range, Yellow 40P140 can be used to minimize heat build up and red
uce overall energy costs, and is suitable for such outdoor opaque thin films as profiles, windows, doors, siding, marine docks and agricultural films.

Ciba has launching a new “colourtravel” effect pigment. Ciba XYMARA Fireball is said to combine unique effects and shade depth with superior technical properties, making it suitable for exterior automotive coatings and other high-performance applications, including consumer goods such as mobile phones and electronic devices. Applied as a standalone pigment in coating applications, XYMARA Fireball gives a shade that varies from orange/gold to a deep cherry red. “With its platelet character, it adds a discreet sparkle when used in an effect colour formulation,” the company said. “Inherent transparency makes it suitable for use in combination with different chromatic transparent pigments as well as in a multilayer paint system, giving new, unusual effect shades with exceptional depth.”

Biopolymers & antimicrobial agents

Designed for use in extrusion, injection molding and calendaring, Arkema’s new Biostrength 900 metal release additive is said to enable consistent processing of poly-lactic acid (PLA), a bio-based alternative to petrochemical-derived products. Arkema claims that Biostrength 900 enables a wider processing window during PLA processing — leading to lower scrap rates — and also minimizes variations in processing temperatures and shear, enabling injection molding and calendaring operations that previously were problematic.

DuPont has expanded its Biomax packaging offerings to include renewably sourced Biomax Thermal 300, a proprietary heat-stabilizing modifier that allows PLA thermoformed packaging to withstand temperatures of up to 95C. The material, which contains 50 per cent renewably sourced content by weight, is said to be U. S. FDA-compliant. Accord ing to DuPont, the addition of Thermal 300 to PLA at low levels also has a minimal impact on the material’s clarity, while accelerating cycle times during two-stage thermoforming.

Biosafe antimicrobial additives, available from RTP Company, are said to provide permanent protection of plastics and non-woven fabrics at less cost than conventional silver-based additives, while eliminating problems like discolouration, opacity, and concerns about heavy metals. Available as both a powdered additive and as a masterbatch, the Biosafe antimicrobial protects products from staining, pitting, deterioration; does not compromise end-product safety by migrating out of the plastic or being rubbed off the surface; and does not compromise optical properties when used with high-clarity resins. According to RTP Company, Biosafe chemistry is FDA-listed as a modifier to medical devices and has received its EPA label approval

Other Additives

On-site or field-applied UV coatings is a fast emerging technology capable of helping manufacturing plants, warehouses, and other facilities meet environmental regulations, decrease downtime, and reduce labour and maintenance costs. Cytec Industries has launched the Ebecryl 891 resin, an UV curable acrylate specifically developed for on-site or field-applied applications on concrete flooring. According to Cytec, the new modified polyester acrylate provides a balance of properties required to protect concrete flooring, in particular viscosity, abrasion resistance, and cure speed. When formulated with Cytec’s other Ebecryl UV curable resin systems, more specific properties can also be achieved, including toughness, adhesion, and chemical resistance.

Resource List

Ampacet Canada Co. (Kitchener, Ont.);


Arkema Inc. (Oakville, Ont.);


Axel Plastic Research Laboratories Inc. (Woodside, N. Y.);


BASF Canada (Toronto);


Bayer Inc. – Bayer MaterialScience LLP (Toronto);


Canada Colors and Chemicals Ltd. (Mississauga, Ont.);


Chemtura (West Hill, Ont.);


Ciba Specialty Chemicals Canada (Mississauga, Ont.);


Clariant Masterbatches Division (Toronto);


E. I. DuPont Canada Company (Mississauga, Ont.);


Milliken Chemical (Spartanburg, S. C.);


Shepherd Color Company (Cincinnati, Ohio);


Struktol Canada Ltd. (Toronto);



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