Belgium-based material supplier Solvay has begun production at a new fluoroelastomers plant in Changshu, China. The facility will manufacture the company’s FKM type Tecnoflon products.
The facility is Solvay Specialty Polymers’ third fluorelastomer unit worldwide. According to Solvay, the production unit will benefits from the site’s existing specialty polymers operations and infrastructure, as well as from secure raw material supplies through its joint venture with nearby Shanghai 3F New Material Co., Ltd.
Tecnoflon resists aggressive chemicals and heats of more than 250°C and is reportedly easy to process via compression, injection and transfer molding, Solvay said. Typical end-use products include gaskets, shaft seals and hoses used in sealing applications in the automotive, industrial and oil and gas industries.
“This state-of-the-art fluoroelastomers facility considerably strengthens our global industrial footprint, extending our reach from Europe and the United States to Asia,” said Augusto Di Donfrancesco, president of Solvay’s Specialty Polymers global business unit. “Solvay Specialty Polymers offers the industry’s most diversified range of high-end polymers and our expansions in Changshu will bring us closer to our customers and support them in maintaining their competitive edge in their market segments.”
Solvay is also constructing a unit for the production of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) on the same site, to supply its Solef products. The site is due to come on-stream by early 2017. Applications for Solef include backsheet laminates used in photovoltaic modules, gas sampling bags, pump and filter diaphragms, anti-graffiti covering films, and copper plenum cables and for plenum rated optical fibre jacketing.