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K2010 Show

German industry on a high
With the German plastics and machinery association, otherwise known as VDMA, reporting an improvement in orders, it seems that the German industry is officially out of the doldrums, also confirmed by suppliers of machines and technologies. This news bodes well for the K2010 exhibition, which will be held in Düsseldorf from 27 October to 3 November.
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Polyolefins growth to come from Asia
Asia, especially China and India, has been pushing sales for European manufacturers. The polyolefins market is no different and the region will be the growth driver for the PP and PE markets, said Anton de Vries, LyondellBasell's Senior Vice-President of Olefins and Polyolefins. He said that an additional 30 million tonnes of polyolefins demand is forecast by 2014.
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Growth through speciality products
Ticona, the engineering resin arm of Celanese, is another business that feels the time is ripe for growth, especially in China and India. Recent activities include product expansions through acquisitions, said Maria Ciliberti, Commercial Director Europe.
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Blown away with new resin
Total Petrochemicals will be running its HDPE SB 1461 resin on a Sidel ISBM (injection stretch blow moulding) machine at 1,700 bottles/cavity/hour, boosting capacity, it says.
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All-electric and hybrid blow moulders
Various hybrid and all-electric blow moulders will be on display, reinforcing the need for energy saving machines.
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Wide improvements for hot-filling
In line with the strong global growth for wide mouth hot-fill PET jars as a replacement for glass hot-filling, Japanese Nissei ASB will introduce the HSB-6M reheat stretch blow moulder.
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Up scaled thermoformers
Thermoforming machinery with tilt technology and catering to non-traditional materials will be on display from TSL, Illig and Gabler.
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E-News Update
October 2010
K2010 NEWS


Lead Feature

Minerals from ashes, a real green story

Coal-fired power plants are being given a new spin. Environmentalists dread to think of the damage being done to the environment with this type of power plant, especially the carbon emissions.
But a UK-based company, RockTron Ltd, says it has found a solution to the fly ash waste that is spewed by the plants - convert it into a legitimate use and relieve the burden on the planet.

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Company News

Total goes for more PS in China
Total Petrochemicals is expanding the capacity of its PS plant in Foshan, Guangdong Province. The project is scheduled to be on-stream by the end of 2010 and will bring the capacity to over 200,000 tonnes/year.
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Record year for BASF, styrene unit on sale and Middle East set-up
BASF is putting its styrenics business under a new company known as Styrolution, with a view to selling it. Also, it is looking at setting up a plant for antioxidant blends in the Middle East, while in its third quarter results the company has raised its outlook for the year but cautions that the good spell may not continue next year.
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Chinese engineering resin plant for Solvay
In line with its strategy to expand its industrial base in fast moving markets like China, Belgian chemicals firm Solvay is setting up a compounding plant for speciality engineering resins at its Changshu site, in Jiangsu province. The EUR21 million plant is expected to start up in 2012.
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Clariant upbeat about China, but cuts jobs elsewhere
While Swiss speciality chemicals company Clariant continues to strengthen its presence in China, with the opening of a new headquarters in Shanghai, in a global restructuring exercise it is undertaking it will reduce up to 100 jobs in eight sites, but not in China.
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Plastics trading to be removed from LME
Having ceased the floor trading of PP and LLDPE last year, the London Metal Exchange (LME) will now put an end to the online and phone trading of plastics futures contracts in 2011, due to the insignificant level of volumes.
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Asian PVDF facility and organic electronic polymers for Arkema
French company Arkema will open its first Asian polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) plant in China next year. It will be located in its manufacturing complex in Changshu, Jiangsu province. Arkema has also acquired electroactive fluorinated polymer maker Piezotech, thereby enhancing its portfolio
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Titan's profit is halved
Malaysian chemicals firm Titan Chemicals posted a lower nine month profit due to lower polymer naphtha margins as a result of higher costs and lower polymer prices.
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UK firm to invest in PE plant in Pakistan
Pakistan will have its first PE plant as a result of a venture by UK-based private investment firm Trans Polymers that has the backing of investors from Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg and the UK. The 350,000 tonnes/year plant is expected to start up by 2013.
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Materials News

Chinese supplier secures EV deal
Compounder China XD Plastics has secured a contract to supply 2,000 tonnes/year of materials designed for automotive use. The first batch will be delivered early in 2011 and will be used in the production of the Hafei electric vehicle (EV) and certain brands of EVs manufactured in Taiwan.
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Corn-based composites good enough for housing
US-based Corn Board Manufacturing Inc. (CBMI) will utilise a patented CornBoard corn-based structural composite technology to produce board for building houses and furniture. According to CBMI, just 2 acres of leftover corn stover biomass would be able to produce enough CornBoard wood composite to build a two storey house!
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Conductive plastics making headway
Conductive plastic materials with high electrical conductivity promise to revolutionise a wide range of products including TV displays, solar cells and biomedical sensors, according to researchers at US-based McGill University that now have the ability to visualise and study the process of energy transport along one single conductive polymer molecule at a time.
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Starch-based bioplastic with "new" properties
Starch producer Roquette has developed the Gaïalene biopolymer, which it says is a completely new material with improved properties over similar materials. The French company also says the material has 50% plant material content, which is not the result of mixing or compounding but a product of genuine semisynthesis, hence the original properties.
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BASF out of oxo-biodegradable additves
BASF will focus on its biodegradable and compostable plastics, Ecoflex and Ecovio, for agricultural use. As a consequence, business with the additive Envirocare for oxo-biodegradable plastics was terminated effective July 1, 2010. Envirocare was part of the Ciba AG range and is used to manufacture polyethylene mulch films for agricultural use.
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Canada comes down hard on BPA
Canada has become the first country to take action against bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in some plastic materials. The government has declared BPA a toxic substance and is in the midst of drawing up regulations for the chemical.
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In Brief

Baerlocher to manufacture stabilisers in China
German PVC additives manufacturer Baerlocher has formed a joint venture with Chinese company Uniwel for the production of liquid mixed metal stabilizers in Jiangsu. The joint venture will be known as Jiangsu U & B Liquid Stabilizer Manufacturing. The products to be manufactured will be targeted at the calendaring industry as well as flexible extrusions and plastisol applications for the Chinese market and surrounding regions. Baerlocher says it will handle all the export sales.

Schulman expands to Brazil
Additives supplier Schulman will purchase Brazilian additives and engineering resin compounder Mash Compostos Plasticos to forge ahead in the country. Chairman Joseph Gingo said, "It is a large, diversified market with strong macroeconomic fundamentals. The Brazilian plastics industry holds significant growth potential because per-capita consumption of plastic is still much lower than in other countries. With this acquisition, and with our April acquisition of ICO, which included two facilities in Brazil, we are aggressively expanding our presence in that market and enhancing our ability to serve customers." Target synergies from the Mash acquisition are expected to result from improving working capital management and leveraging Schulman's global purchasing power.

Towards lead-free PVC
Polyol producer Perstorp has introduced a range of micronised polyols for high-performance PVC stabilisation. The Holtac portfolio contains a range of polyols with different melting points and hydroxyl numbers to allow customisation for specific PVC processing needs. Produced in Germany in Perstorp's own production facilities, the polyols are formulated and milled to a precise micronised size to meet the quality demands of the market. Advantages are smooth and lump-free PVC processing while the high purity of Holtac allows a stable melting point and predictable heat stability. Holtac polyols function as heat stabilisers in Ca/Zn stabiliser systems for PVC to counteract the degradation and yellowing of PVC compounds when they are processed at high temperatures.

Chinese automotive compounding plant
Belgian Tessenderlo Group is building a compounding plant in Changshu, near Shanghai, to serve automotive customers. To start up by 2011, the plant will have three compounding lines producing CTS Tefabloc TPE compounds for airbag covers, sealing applications, cables and interior parts. It will also make Marvyflo PVC sluch molding compounds for dashboards and door panels.

Eyeing the environment
Teijin's Biofront heat-resistant PLA has been used in the Katherine E Hamnett brand of eyeglasses that will be launched and marketed in Japan by the Yabushita Group. The plastic is used for the frames and is said to be a world's first for commercial eyeglasses. Yabushita expects to achieve 50 million yen in annual sales of the new product. Acetate is commonly used for the plastic parts of eyeglasses, but contact with cosmetics or hair-styling products can result in bleaching. Acetate also tends to warp under high heat and in some cases it can cause skin rashes. PLA has been used for nose pads because its antibacterial properties help to avoid rashes but conventional PLA has not been used for frames and temples because of its insufficient heat resistance.



Machinery News

World record set for blow moulding machine

US-based Wilmington Machinery claims to have set a world speed record in rotary co-extrusion blow moulding (EBM) bottle production. It is using a dual parison technology that allows production rates from 800 to 1,200 bottles/minute.
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Rajoo reports higher sales and shows rPET line at K

Indian extrusion machinery provider Rajoo Engineers expects a sales increase of 55% in the 2009/10 financial year, which is said to be significant and bullish, with the top line to grow by 20%, according to Sunil Jain, President of the company.
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Exhibition News

Composites show in China
A new platform for the composites industry, China International Advanced Materials Industry Exhibition (CIAMI) will showcase a range of materials at its inaugural showing from 8-10 November in Shanghai.
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Rubber Journal Asia

Phthalate-free plasticiser
Lanxess has introduced a new plasticiser for polar rubber products crosslinked with sulphur. It is said to improve the low-temperature flexibility of vulcanisates and replaces phthalate-containing Vulkanol 81 in the Lanxess portfolio.
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Wacker acquires Korean silicone facility and opens Chinese plant
Wacker Chemicals Korea is acquiring the Lucky Silicone brand from Henkel Technologies, including a facility in Jincheon. It also recently opened a silicone polymer facility in Zhangjiagang, China, that manufactures intermediates and downstream silicone products, including fluids.
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In Brief

SSBR plant in Singapore
Lion Copolymer has added on the Sabor acrylonitrile-styrene-butadiene terpolymer to its portfolio of performance elastomers and chemical foaming agents including Royalene, Trilene, Copo, Carbomix and Celogen. As the first NSBR, Sabor enables replacement of NBR-type products, NBR/SBR blends and NBR in NBR/PVC compounds. It also offers several improvements in performance such as enhanced processing and end-use performance in many automotive, industrial and consumer goods applications, particularly where improved mechanical properties and aggressive fluids resistance are required.

Hexpol buys Excel
Polymer materials supplier Hexpol will be acquire global rubber compounding group Excel Polymers for US$212.5 million. Significant synergies are expected to arise from the transaction especially on the cost side. Hexpol intends to pursue a rights issue corresponding to SEK550 million following the completion of the acquisition. Excel Polymers offers a comprehensive portfolio of compounded polymer materials and performance additives for rubber parts manufacturers.

IRC secures contracts
International Rubber Company (IRC), a subsidiary of the private equity arm of Dubai Investments PJSC, Masharie, and a manufacturer of synthetic rubber profiles and moulded plastic products in the Middle East, has secured contracts worth AED4 million for new projects in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The new business includes a contract for the supply of EPDM gaskets for projects in the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh, King Abdullah Economic City, Jeddah, and in NDIA, Qatar.

Bridgestone pumps up Indian capacity
To capture a third of the passenger car market in India, Japanese tyre maker Bridgestone is ramping up manufacturing capacity and dealership networks across the country. The company says the Indian market is its top priority in the Asia Pacific region and it has expansion plans on the drawing board. The company has a facility in Pithampur, near Indore, into which it is pumping an investment of Rs259 crore for expansion. This will increase capacity by 40% to 15,000 tyres/day by next year.

BKT invests in expansion in tyre facility
Another tyre producer in India, Balkrishna Industries, is investing US$50 million to increase its capacity from 130,000 to 160,000 tonnes/year at its three tyre manufacturing plants. Balkrishna manufactures pneumatic tyres for agricultural, industrial, construction, earth moving and lawn and garden equipment.


. Injection Moulding Asia

Improved nylons for automotive and electronics use
Speciality chemicals firm Lanxess has two new 35% glassfibre Durethan grades for physical and chemical foaming, allowing blowing agents to dissolve easily for homogeneous single-phase solutions. These are targeted at under-the-hood automotive cylinder head covers and fan shrouds and for plugs/connectors, lamp sockets/holders and housing components for thermostats and DIY tools.
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Green nylon and ABS for electroplating
Another company that has improved its nylon grade is BASF. Its flame retardant Ultramid FRee S3U40G5 Balance, which is based on castor oil-derived sebacic acid, is available in light colours, which is becoming important for specific electronic components.
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