Pumping up your POLYMERS
By Tom Venetis, editor
Demand for plastic additives is expected to increase a little shy of three per cent annually through 2009, according to a recent study by Cleveland, Ohio-based The Freedonia Group. Pumping up this gro...
Demand for plastic additives is expected to increase a little shy of three per cent annually through 2009, according to a recent study by Cleveland, Ohio-based The Freedonia Group. Pumping up this growth is the demand from plastics processors for new additives, fillers and colourants that will help to grow and develop such markets as construction, packaging and electronics.
This has meant an increasing number of new additives, colourants and fillers having come onto the market in 2005 and continuing into 2006.
PROCESSING MADE EASY
Arkema Inc. launched several new products to improve the properties of engineering resins and rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC) compounds. For impact modification of engineering resins, such as polycarbonate (PC), PC alloys (PC/acrylonitrite-butadiene-styrene (ABS), PC/polyesters (PE)) and PEs — such as polythylene terephthalate (PET) and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) opaque applications — Arkema has available Clearstrength E920, E950 and Durastrength 440.
Clearstrength E929 and E950 are MBS impact modifiers, which provide impact strength to engineering resins. E950 was made to enhance impact strength at very low temperatures while maintaining colourability, thermal stability and such mechanical properties as modulus. Durastrength 440 is an acrylic impact modifier that offers weatherability and thermal stability.
For rigid, PVC compounds, Arkema has the Thermolite heat stabilizer which has now been expanded with the addition of Thermolite 140 and 150 for PVC stabilization. Thermolite 140 is suited for stabilization of high throughput substrate extrusion and the 150 provides stabilization in high-shear processing used for profile extrusion and injection molding.
Responding to the increasing need for tracing and improving food, beverage and drug packaging, Ampacet Corp. has introduced AmpaTrace molecular tracers to the company’s masterbatches. The tracers allow flexible and rigid plastic packaging to be evaluated at any point in the supply chain to help in security, counterfeiting, quality and liability. Ampacet also released late last year Ampacet 101787 which removes taste and odour-causing molecules in low density polyethylene (LDPE), linear LDPE (LLDPE) and ethylene vinyl acetate films used in food and packaging. The active ingredient in Ampacet 101787 is highly porous and absorbs small, odour-causing molecules, especially ammonium-based, and polar compounds.
Ampacet 102765 offers double film blocking efficiency and reduces slip and haze by up to 40 per cent in high-clarity, flexible packaging made from such polymers LLDPE, metallocene LLDPE and ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymers used in food bag sealant layers, dry cleaner garment bags and shrink film.
Everlight Chemical Industrial Corp. has released a new set of UV stabilizers, including benzophenones and benzotriazoles.
Chemtura (created through a merger of Crompton and Great Lakes Chemical Corp. in 2005) is making available the Mark OBS organic-based stabilizer, a heavy metal-free, environmentally friendly alternative to the way manufacturers develop both PVC pipe and vinyl flooring. Chemtura also has a line of antioxidants — phosphates, phenolic, secondary amines and thioesters — that help polymer stability and improve colour stability over time for the automotive and construction industries. Blendex heat and impact modifiers enable manufacturers to achieve improved integrity in their polymers.
Ciba Specialty Chemicals came to market with new stabilization technology that provides faster densification. The Ciba Irgastab FS 302 helps promote densification of the polymer during molding and enables the production of high-impact products after shorter heating times or lower oven temperatures.
Other benefits include a broader processing window so high-impact parts can be produced over a wider range of heating times. The Ciba Tinuvin XT 833 is made to give improved weatherability to flexible PVC and PVC alloys. It also provides enhanced physical property retention compared to traditional ultraviolet absorbers added to exterior PVC.
BRIGHTER AND ‘COOLER’
Ask anyone in advertising and they will tell you colour is often the deciding factor in the success of a product. Sharp, vibrant, long-lasting colours and eye-catching special-effects are crucial for capturing customer’s attention.
For plastics processors working in everything from the construction industry, automotive to consumer packaging, having a wide selection of colours and special-effects technology is a must. And suppliers of colourants and masterbatches have stepped to the plate in 2005 and will be doing so again in 2006 to meet the growing demand for vibrant and eye-catching colours and effects.
In September of 2005, Clariant Masterbatches Division unveiled new colours and special-effects technologies at the HBA Health & Beauty America trade fair in New York. Its Enigma brand encompasses a wide-range of special-effects colour systems as glitter to smooth, high-gloss and soft luster iridescent flash. Natural colours such as toasted gold, sea glass, roasted orange and dark chocolate are also possible through Enigma.
Engelhard Corp. has released the Firemist Turquoise, borosilicate-based special-effect pigment that offers high reflectivity, brightness and transparency, and can be used in plastic, coating and printing ink applications. Based on thin borosilicate flakes, smooth surface and large particle-size distribution, Firemist Turquoise can achieve special-effects with negligible flow lines, multi-colour effects and increased light penetration to produce the look of enhanced depth.
Lumina Russet and Lumina Copper from Engelhard is a mica-based, non-metallic effect pigment that adds a metallic russet and copper effect to plastics, coatings and inks. Both are non-reactive and non-tarnishing pigments, and are compatible with both solvent- and water-based liquid coatings, as well as powder coatings.
Univar Canada Ltd. is expanding the Rightfit and Synergy colour pallets supplied by Engelhard Corp. The Rightfit organic pigments provide dispersibility, colour strength, lightfastness and weatherability.
Rightfit comes in a variety of colours and formulations. For example, for food packaging applications there are the 1226 Rightfit Yellow R, 1293 Rightfit Yellow, 1298 Rightfit Yellow 3R, 2920 Rightfit Brilliant Orange, 1112 Rightfit Scarlet and the 1115 Rightfit Red B. The Synergy pigments can expand formulation capabilities into plastics processing applications where light fastness, weatherability, heat stability and dimensional properties are required.
The Engelhard Magnapearl X2100, that Univar Canada carries, is a high-performance effect pigment that combines aesthetic appearance with performance attributes for the manufacturing of plastics, particularly masterbatches. Its attributes include easy handling, dispersion and higher throughput rates than conventional coated mica-based pearlescent pigments.
Clariant (Canada) Inc.’s Pigments and Additives Division has several organic pigments with high fastness, good dispersibility and an improved property profile.
The PV Fast line includes, PV Fast Red HB, a pigment for red colours, which features good temperature stability and lightfastness, and does not induce warping in crystalline plastics. PV Fast Red 3B is a red pigment with a bluish shade that has excellent temperature stability and high fastness properties.
Clariant also has two quinaquidrone pigments, PV Fast Pink E and PV Fast Pink E01. Clariant touts these pigments as complements to is range of colourants for plastics in the red spectrum. Both pigments are easy to process and feature good dispersibility. Other benefits include migration resistance and temperature stability, and both do not induce warping or shrinkage in crystalline plastics.
The PV Fast Yellow H2GR is a crystal modification of the C.I. Pigment Yellow 191. Based on the PRV Fast Yellow HGR, this calcium-laked monoazo pigm
ent has a high fastness and offers a greener hue.
Clariant (Canada) Inc., Pigments and Additives also released to the Canadian market Licocene, high-performance polymers based on polyolefines and manufactured with the aid of metallocene catalysts. The Licocene line ranges from isotactic to completely amorphous polyolefines that can be determined by Clariant. Licocene comes in three wax grades that optimize the properties of the carrier material in the masterbatch.
For example, Licocene with a polar modified PE wax grafted with maleic anhydride can enhance compatibility in PE compounds filled with natural fibers while a Licocene with a nucleation agent is ideal for the manufacturing of foamed polystyrene, EPS. Licocene also comes as a colourless and multifunctional lubricant that can be used for colour-sensitive applications for nylon and PE (PBT/PET).
A. Schulman Inc. Canada’s PolyBlack carbon black concentrates consist of a wide variety of pigment systems ranging from large to small particle sizes. They can be used in a variety of polymers ABS, G-PS, HIPS, LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE, and PP homo and co-polymers.
For example, PolyBlack Black 3225 is a black colour concentrate containing 50 per cent carbon black in PP homopolymer. This masterbatch is made to provide uniform opacity and a regular blue undertone with a pigment particle size of 75 nanometers. It is for general use in polypropylene (PP) injection molding applications. PolyBlack 4479-01A is a black colour concentrate containing 50 per cent carbon black based in a blend of polyethylenes. This masterbatch is designed to provide uniform opacity and a regular blue undertone.
A. Schulman announced it will be soon releasing 100:1 letdown colour concentrates for automotive interior applications. According to representatives at A. Schulman Canada, these letdown colour concentrates have been run in domestic OEM trim applications with positive results. These colour concentrates will be compliant with new 5000 KJ weathering standards for exterior trim. A Schulman Canada also announced that it has successfully developed colour concentrates for use in the production of Class A automotive surface components — those molded with long-glass fibre filled material.
Ampacet Corp. earlier in the year offered Canadian plastics processors its Performance Plus line of colour and masterbatches for use with engineered thermoplastics, including nylon, PC, ABS, styrene acrylonitrile and PE.
ADDING STRENGTH, RESISTANCE
Canada Colors and Chemicals Ltd. has added to its portfolio of value-added technologies chemical additives and modifiers, the most recent being those that help plastics processors to reduce the finished unit-cost of products. The new additives and modifiers include Vitroco – Vitrolite, a naturally occurring material that in modest doses will change polymer rheology, allowing changes in process configuration for increased output, lower total machine energy usage and reducing additive doses for equal performance.
The material in Vitrolite is a rare volcanic ash that has no crystalline silicate content and is amorphous silicate that has the same hardness as titanium dioxide. Added at only 0.5 per cent, it does not contribute to equipment abrasion.
Reagens-Italy and Reagens-Germany – PVC Heat Stabilizers of all chemistries (Barium, Zinc, Calcium-Zinc and various tins); Reedy International – Chemical Blowing Agents (CBA); Sherwin-Williams Chemicals – Kemgard, a molybdenum-based smoke suppressant; and Norac – Stearates, which are made with a unique saponification process which imparts greater friability to these products.
Ingenia Polymers has released several new additive stabilizers, including the Ingenia Superblend High Active Concentrate that is more resistant to hydrolysis and an ideal choice for difficult to disperse additives or complicated transfer conditions; Ingenia Superblend Prill, a robust method to add sophisticated additive formulations in an encapsulated form; Ingenia Superblend Compact, a compressed 100 per cent low-dusting additive blend prepared for compaction technology; and Ingenia Superblend Pellet, a 100 per cent active, non-dusting additive blend with all the advantages of the Suyperblend Prill, but in pellet form for difficult additive formulations and special addition needs.
Altuglas International, a business of Arkema, has introduced a new line of weatherable acrylic polymer beads for use as matting agents in a wide variety of polymers, including PVC and ABS. Available as Plexiglas BS 100 acrylic polymer and Plexiblas BS 130 acrylic polymer, the products consist of very fine pearls that can be blended into a polymer. Because the products come as a fine power, it allows for homogeneous distribution and dispersion in the molten polymer during processing. The particles are distributed at the surface of a product, giving it a high-quality textured look.
Milliken Chemical’s Millad 3988 clarifying agent can be used with cPP blown film and contributes to process stability. It also offers enhanced optics with an 80 per cent reduction in haze, increased gloss, improved stiffness and reduces moisture transmission by some 25 per cent.
Chemtura also released several new additives into the Canadian market, the most recent being the Polybond Coupling Agents that deliver a more realistic look to wood-plastic composites.
Bergen International LLC has introduced a new exothermic, XO-230 chemical foaming agent that has been formulated to use in high-temperature polycarbonate foaming applications such as structural foam molding, injection molding and extrusion. XO-230 has been formulated not to produce any moisture, thereby eliminating any brittleness due to polymer degradation. It is provided in pelletized masterbatches.
FILLERS FILL OUT
NYCO Minerals Inc. has released Nyglos STPO (soft thermoplastic polymer olefins), a white, naturally occurring additive that can be loaded at low concentration level for improving melt strength and scuff resistance. NYCO’s NYAD 5000 offers plastics processors performance improvements in engineering alloys. These include improved surface reflectivity, plateable adhesion and lower CLTE versus fine talc.
In order to enhance the overall performance of ATH- and MDH-filled compounds, Huber Engineered Materials developed a broad line of surface modifications to aid processing or to improve physical, electrical, flame or chemical resistance properties in wire and cabling compounding. Hymod ATH offers a number of advantages over untreated grades with similar particle size characteristics. In applications requiring stringent fire retardancy and smoke suppression, Hymod ATH offers up to 70 per cent higher loading, lower viscosity, increased productivity throughput, ease of dispersion and increased uniformity, enhanced mechanical properties, improved water resistance and chemical coupling.