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Rhodia Engineering Plastics Inc., the world's second largest producer of nylon 6/6, commenced North American manufacturing operations with the official opening of its 20,000 sq. ft. Mississauga-based ...
Rhodia Engineering Plastics Inc., the world’s second largest producer of nylon 6/6, commenced North American manufacturing operations with the official opening of its 20,000 sq. ft. Mississauga-based facility in December. The facility, located within an existing specialty chemicals facility owned by the company, is being used to produce Rhodia’s line of compounded polyamide resins, Technyl-PA6 and PA6/6. The plant has an initial capacity of 5000 tons, with floor space for additional lines that could raise capacity to as high as 20,000 tons. Neat nylon will be imported form Rhodia plants in France and Brazil.
Rhodia, which was formed from the merger of Rhone-Poulenc’s Chemicals, Fibres and Polymers operations, became a fully-independent company in October of this year.
According to North America area director Olivier Bach, the main factor behind the company’s decision to begin manufacturing nylon in North America was to follow and provide high levels of service for Rhodia’s global customers.
“Today a customer may design a part in Germany, build the tool in Asia and mold the part in Canada, America or Mexico,” says Bach. “The customer may need materials suppliers and support in all these geographic areas.”
Coinciding with the plant’s launch, Rhodia has also opened an automotive application development centre in Detroit. Chad Waldschmidt, Rhodia’s North American automotive director, says the main potential for growth in nylon in automotive is under-the-hood. One especially promising area is rocker/cam covers, where, Waldschmidt says, Europe is “light years” ahead of North America in the number of applications substituting thermoplastics for metal.
Another potential growth market for nylon is electrical connectors, circuit breakers and other components which have been traditionally made from thermoset resins. Vincent Bordereau, market manager, electrical and electronics, says most of these applications in Europe have already been converted to flame-retardant grades of thermoplastic, which are recyclable and better able to accommodate more complex designs.
Rhodia offers phosphorus-based, halogenated and non-halogenated grades of nylon.