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K2010 Show

Spreading the good cheer!
To be held from 27 October to 3 November, the largest plastics exhibition in the world will pick up the pace of the plastics industry after the crisis-ridden year of 2009, it was noted at a multi-day press event in June hosted by Messe Düsseldorf, the organiser of the triennial K show. Ironically the 2007 show was held before the crisis and the 2010 one is making its appearance as the global recovery picks up pace. And given that the Asian countries are providing the impetus for global growth, it is not surprising that the number of exhibitors from China, India and Taiwan will be more than in 2007.
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K show to see greener and tougher materials
It is evident that the green revolution is here to stay. Faced with an increasingly eco-conscious society, the industry is stepping up its efforts with materials suppliers meeting customers’ requests for ecologically responsible solutions. This will be the trend at the K2010. Another trend is that for composites, with the development of more sturdy materials targeted at replacing metals in automotives.
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Stop press

Sucking plastics from the sea

Home appliances supplier Electrolux has launched a programme known as “Vac From The Sea” in a bid to collect plastic waste found in the world’s oceans, recycle it and turn it into new appliances like vacuum cleaners.

The company says its aim is to highlight pollution from plastic products and to raise awareness on the scarcity of recycled plastic materials.

It has already collected plastic waste from the West Coast of Sweden, outside of Bohuslän, which it says is severely impacted by sea debris. This specific coast, due to its geographical location, is exposed to the complex system of currents that runs through the North Sea and Skagerrak. Practically all surface waters in the North Sea sooner or later meet the Bohuslän coast, including the Jutland current.

About 20,000 tonnes of rubbish is dumped in the North Sea every year. The Bohuslän archipelago, with its thousands of islands and reefs, acts as a filter for the water masses on their way North. Most of the debris sinks to the sea floor and around 5,000 cu m of debris floats ashore on the beaches of Bohuslän. Most of the debris that reaches the country consists of plastic fish boxes, fishing gear and bottles.

Its next target is Kahuku beach North of Honolulu in Hawaii where the plastic debris comes from the Pacific Ocean.

Editor’s Note: Check out the website to keep up to date with the progress made: www.electrolux.com/vacfromthesea

Floating plastic island

In another reclaming of plastics waste project, Dutch company Whim Architecture has proposed a plan to build a floating island in the Pacific Ocean from plastic waste. It will roughly cover 10,000 sq km, around the size of Hawaii, and be made entirely from plastic waste.

The man-made habitat will use the 44 million kilos of plastic waste floating in the Pacific Ocean, feature solar and wind energy and use seaweed cultivation and compost toilets to make the island fertile.

Admitting that the island may not be economially viable, the company says the Recycled Island is not intended as a profitable venture but more a project aimed at cleaning the oceans of the plastic waste that is damaging marine life, to return a balance to the environment and to set an example of how an environmentally friendly habitat can be created.

Editor’s Note: More information is available from www.recycledisland.com/index.html


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E-News Update
July 2010
K2010 NEWS


Lead Feature

Single machinery source concept

Recently, two competing Indian machinery companies, extrusion specialist Rajoo Engineers and thermoforming machinery supplier Wonderpack Industries, merged to collectively serve the sheet extrusion and thermoforming industries globally. According to Wonderpack’s Founder/Managing Director Amit Shah, who initiated the collaboration (since Wonderpack merged with Rajoo), “The industry will benefit immensely from this collaboration. I look forward to taking this combined entity to newer orbits – both in terms of technology levels and footprint and I see very certainly it will soon become a force to reckon with at the global level.”
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Company News

India becomes a focal point for companies
Companies are boosting their presence in India with materials supplier Lanxess to build a new compounding plant in Jhagadia to produce its PA and PBT materials; additives supplier Songwon Industrial to set up its Mumbai office as its Asian base and auxiliary equipment maker Conair to expand its plant to meet growth from the packaging sector.
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Dow/Mitsui team up for project
Japan-based Mitsui that set up its chlor-alkali division in 2009 has now entered into a joint venture with US-based Dow Chemical to build a 800,000 tonnes/year chlor-alkali facility, to be located at Dow’s integrated manufacturing complex in Texas. Mitsui's investment in this project is US$140 million.
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AkzoNobel doubles Chinese growth and sells National Starch
Speciality chemicals firm AkzoNobel has set ambitious growth plans for Asia, to double its current revenue in China within five years with a target of US$3 billion for 2015. In other news, the Dutch company is selling its National Starch business to American company Corn Products International for US$1.3 billion.
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Masterbatch facility to cater to the East
With the set up of its 25,000 tonnes/year black masterbatch facility in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai, Cabot Corporation expects to meet the demand in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The plant can be expanded to 75,000 tonnes in the future.

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Chinese facility for PU automotive products
In view of the growth, German company BASF is expanding its Cellasto microcellular PU spring aids and top mount products for the automotive industry, with a new facility in Shanghai, China, to be completed by 2011.
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Functional films put into focus
Another German supplier Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) is focusing on the functional films sector in Asia with the recent opening of a EUR7 million research centre in Singapore for the development of coated high-tech and nanotechnology films.
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Indorama ups output in Europe and US and looks at recycling
To increase its market share in Europe, Thailand-based Indorama is more than doubling the output of PET resin at its site in Rotterdam to 390,000 tonnes/year. Plus, to boost its presence in the US, it recently opened a 432,000 tonnes/year PET plant.
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Malaysia’s Titan sold to Honam
Malaysian polyolefins producer Titan Chemicals has been sold to South Korea’s Honam Petrochemicals for RM2.94 billion by Malaysia's largest fund management company Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and Taiwanese Chao Group, which together own 72.3% equity. Honam will also buy a 100% stake in Titan for US$1.2 billion in a takeover bid later this year.
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In brief

Cognis sold to BASF
Speciality chemicals company Cognis has been sold to BASF for an equity purchase price of US$860 million by its parent company Cognis Holding Luxembourg, which is controlled by Permira Funds, GS Capital Partners and SV Life Sciences. With the inclusion of Cognis’s net financial debt and pension obligations, the transaction will be valued at US$3.8 billion. BASF said that it will strengthen its portfolio with the purchase of Cognis, which supplies oleochemical-based polyols as well as renewably sourced materials for the coatings and adhesives sectors. Last year, Cognis had sales of EUR2.6 billion and profit of EUR322 million.

Integrated global company
With Dow Chemical’s sale of its global styrene-based polymers business, Styron, to Bain Capital Partners having concluded, a new standalone company has been created offering plastics (PS, ABS, SAN, PC and EPS) and synthetic rubbers (styrene butadiene, styrene acrylate, SSBR, Li-PBR, ESBR and Ni-PBR latex). In 2009, the company had US$3.7 billion in revenue, 20 manufacturing sites and 1,900 employees based in 30 countries.

Automotive unit to boost business in Asia
Having formed a business unit known as Borealis Mobility, chemical company Borealis will team up with Borouge, its joint venture arm in the Middle East and Asia, to supply polyolefin compounds for automotive parts, targeting Tier One and OEM customers in the global market. The new unit will provide “cost-effective material innovations, speed of responsiveness and hands-on technical and sales support to help customers in Europe and South and North America, allowing them to increase their competitiveness in the growing automotive markets of the East”.

Materials News

Plastics take flight, in a solar-powered plane
Solar Impulse, the long-range solar-powered aircraft, recently completed its first night trial flight flying on German materials company Bayer MaterialScience’s Makrofol PC film in the cockpit windows and a lightweight PU foam from Puren, based on raw materials from the Leverkusen company, in the cockpit cladding, engine cowling and the wings.
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Alternative technology for polyolefins
Total Petrochemicals has successfully produced PP using methanol based on alternative feedstock, with PE to follow suit, at its Methanol-to-Olefins (MTO) pilot project at its research centre in Feluy, Belgium.
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Dutch facility for electronics material
Dutch DSM Engineering Plastics has started up a new facility and has quadrupled capacity for its Stanyl ForTii polyamide in order to meet market demand for this new polymer, which is used in electronics. It is also the first new polymer introduced in the last decade.
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CNT-based PEEK from US partners

Solvay Advanced Polymers is partnering with Entegris Inc’s Tego Polymers unit to develop a carbon nanotube (CNT)-enhanced PEEK material targeting medical, aerospace, automotive and oil and gas applications. Solvay will supply its KetaSpire PEEK resin to Entegris who will sell compounds based on its CNTs.
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Orange and red hues on a different take

While Lanxess has introduced a halogen-free red dye for automotive and packaging use, BASF is promoting an orange pigment for demanding applications.
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New reinforced-PA with higher chemical resistance
BASF’s polyamide 610, on the market since the K show in 2007, is being joined by four grades, with a glass fibre content of 30-35% and more resistance to chemicals, targeting applications in overmoulding of metal and electronic components that come into contact with aggressive fluids.
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In brief

No jv but BASF will produce additives in the Middle East
BASF and Astra Polymer Compounding of Saudi Arabia have decided not to set up a joint venture to produce customer specific antioxidant blends (CSB) in the Middle East. The joint venture was in line with an agreement reached between Astra and the additives business of Ciba, which was acquired by BASF in 2009. However, the termination of the joint venture will have no impact on the existing tolling agreement between the companies to produce customer specific antioxidant blends for the region. BASF said it is currently finalising its evaluation of several investment options for the production of blends.

Machinery News


Foams for thermoforming from new technology
Davis-Standard has paired its tandem foam extrusion process with MuCell Extrusion’s carbon dioxide gas injection system to produce microcellular foams with widths of up to 1,320 mm for thermoforming applications, especially where top-load and impact properties are critical. UK-based block foams producer Zotefoams is the first to implement this technology producing foams using LDPE, PP and PA.
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In brief

Reimotec fully owned by Reifenhäuser
Extrusion machinery supplier Reifenhäuser that was already the majority shareholder of Reimotec has acquired the remainder of the company. Troisdorf-based Reifenhäuser will acquire the shares from the Morton-Finger family as well as for Motech GmbH. Both companies are based in Abtsteinach, Germany. Reimotec makes extrusion lines that produce technical monofilaments, artificial grass and strapping tape.

Exhibition News

Asian composites show rides on strong market growth
The EUR18 billion composites market in the Asia Pacific region is set to more than double and reach 10 million tonnes by 2015, with significant growth expected in the major markets of China and India, as well as in the Middle East, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. It is against this backdrop that the JEC show will take place from 12-14 October in Singapore.
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Rubber Journal Asia

Evonik considers selling its carbon black unit
Germany-based Evonik Industries has reorganised its carbon black business and is examining an option of selling it off. The company said that this is one of three options, including optimising it as an independent unit and looking at a partnership solution.
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Lanxess increases butyl output and promotes new grade
Lanxess will expand the capacity of its butyl rubber plant in Zwijndrecht, Belgium, by 10% to meet growing global demand for regular butyl and halobutyl synthetic rubber. The company will invest EUR20 million to increase capacity by 14,000 tonnes/year to total 149,000 tonnes/year by the second quarter of 2012.
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Top Glove to produce more, with sales boosted by oil spill
The world’s largest glove maker, Malaysia-based Top Glove Corp. plans to invest RM80 million until next year to set up three new plants and increase production lines, bringing the number of its factories and production lines to 20 and 459, respectively, producing 41.2 billion pieces of rubber gloves a year. Top Glove currently has 17 factories, out of which 11 are in Malaysia, four in Thailand and two in China, producing 33 billion pieces of rubber gloves a year, or 33% of the world rubber glove market.
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. Injection Moulding Asia

StackTeck gains entry into Asian markets
With Canadian tooling specialist StackTeck having acquired Hong Kong-based Matrix Technology Specialists it will have an entry point to the Asian markets. The new company, StackTeck Matrix Systems will have operations in Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam.
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Chen Hsong banking on Chinese growth
In its fiscal year ending in March, Hong Kong-based injection moulding machinery maker Chen Hsong says that China was the only bright spot among world economies and its sales grew by 39% to HK$1,359 million (compared to HK$981 million in 2009) in the country, against the backdrop of lower exports.
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