Additives annual 2006: new additives and masterbatches add versatility, value to plastics.
The U.S. market for plastics additives is expected to grow 4.6% each year through 2009, according to a 2005 study by the Freedonia Group that analyzes the $5.5 billion U.S. additives industry. Gains are expected to be driven by higher demand for plastics, improving markets, and the rebounding demand for plasticizers and flame retardants. The fastest growth will be in seen polypropylene formulations for packaging, automotive, and electrical and electronics, the study says. Robust gains are expected in the use of light stabilizers, antistatic agents, antioxidants, and flame retardants.
This article covers recent developments in the major additive categories, with products grouped alphabetically by functional type and manufacturer.
Aesthetic Property Modifiers
Transparent black pigments have been developed by BASF to reduce the heat buildup of dark and black construction components. The transparency of Lumogen[R] Black FK 4280 and RFK 4281 pigments is said to cut solar heat buildup due to incident sunlight in half, providing longer service life. The pigments promise excellent heat resistance, color strength, and migration stability, plus extreme resistance to chemical and physical effects, good dispersibility, and insolubility in all common solvents.
Bayer Material Science has developed phosphorescent Luna[TM] color effects for use with its Makrolon[R] polycarbonate resin. The Luna effects, which glow in the dark after exposure to light, are available in Comet (natural), Helios (yellow), Nebula (leaf green), Asti (blue-green), Neptune (blue-grey), and Jove (coral). Targeted applications include safety markings and directional arrows, exit signs, and interior vehicle-trunk latches. The color effects are part of the Leda[R] family of special effects for compounded resins in Bayer's Fantasia[R] product line.
A new version of the Colibri[TM] Color Matching System has been introduced by Ciba Specialty Chemicals. Colibri 2 software enables matching of opaque, translucent, and transparent colors, and it is suitable for plastics, paints, and other colored materials. The accurate calculating and scaling of color recipes offer savings in time and cost to users, says Ciba.
Degussa Coatings & Colorants has expanded its Polytrend 7-Series of liquid colors for plastics by introducing Polytrend Color Infusion[TM] and Color Infusion Plus[TM]. A mixing system and newly developed colors enable customers to blend custom colors at the production site. Color Infusion Plus adds a metering and mixing unit that can be coupled directly to the processing system, enabling color changes without interrupting production.
Holland Colours Americas recently introduced several new products, including Holcoprill Amber, an encapsulated colorant for use in beer-container applications. Holcoprill colorants are free-flowing microbeads that enable highly precise on-line dosing. They combine the form and handling ease of a masterbatch with the quality and performance of microbead technology. Also new from Holland Colours are Holcovinyl LQ, a liquid colorant for use in PVC applications, and Holcobatch WPC, an encapsulated colorant for wood-plastic composites.
Improved ultramarine-blue grades for bottled-water caps have been developed by Holliday Pigments. Premier BC grades for still water and BC-R for carbonated water have been successfully tested under the extreme conditions of temperature and shear that are typical of cap-production methods. The company's ultramarine blues offer a favorable toxicity profile and satisfy requirements concerning trace-metal amounts. They are approved for food contact worldwide and are safe for toy production, Holliday reports.
Merck has introduced Colorstream[R] T10-04 Lapis Sunlight, the latest in its series of multicolor effect pigments. Colors transition from gold to silver and green to blue, in a multitude of nuances, says Merck. The company also offers Miraval[TM] pigments, which provide a sparkling luster quality and multicolor reflections. Among them are Magic Gold, Magic Copper, and Magic Blue, made with synthetic borosilicate flakes, for such uses as cosmetic packaging, sporting goods, and other high-value products.
The Color & Additives Masterbatches Group of PolyOne Corp. recently introduced environmentally friendly non-lead colorants for wire and cable applications that offer a cost-effective transition from heavy metal--containing colored compounds. OnColor[ TM] PProTint [TM] and PProTintPlus[TM] colorants mask the haze caused in polypropylene resin over multiple heat histories. Packaging converters can benefit from the technical and physical properties of clarified PP without sacrificing clarity and transparency. Also new from PolyOne is the OnColor Electronic Catalog on CD-ROM, intended to simplify the color-selection process by enabling users to search more than 250 standard colorants.
RTP Company has developed a line of universal masterbatches, UniColor[TM], which can be used to color all polymers, including engineering resins with letdown ratios of only 1% to 2%. Used successfully for injection molding, blow molding, and extrusion applications, UniColor is being marketed as a single product suitable for a broad range of resins. The masterbatches, based on a proprietary carrier, are available in standard and custom-blended colors.
New color concentrates from Teknor Color Company add a luxurious metallic look to plastics, in aluminum, blue steel, brass, copper, gold, and pewter formulations for health and beauty packaging. MetaLustre[TM] is designed to produce identical hues in packaging made from various resins, minimizing the development work normally required to ensure that packaging for a brand looks identical regardless of the plastic materials selected. Each concentrate is based on a proprietary blend of pigments and carrier resin developed for a specific color in a specific base resin. The range covers all resins likely to be used in health and beauty packaging.
To color polymers used in building applications, Teknor Color offers Tekpro[R] Construction Colors, a line of 14 light-stabilized colorants in hues of earthtone, wood, and stone, in concentrate and dry-color formulations. Each color can be customized to meet specific requirements of products such as roofing membranes, decks, and baseboard liners, including stabilizer formulations. Among many variations available is a concentrate for PVC. All the colors are new formulations based on light-stable pigments, containing stabilizers that provide UV resistance.
A silver-based antimicrobial technology portfolio for plastics and a screening methodology developed by Bio-Gate Bioinnovative Materials of Germany are being marketed globally by Ciba Specialty Chemicals. The Hygate[TM] technology is formulated for a range of plastics applications, including food-processing products. Numetrika[TM], Bio-Gate's antimicrobial testing technology, is said to provide consistency and reproducibility that have not been possible with traditional testing methods.
Cleanguard[TM] Biocides from International Specialty Products (ISP) are formulated to provide long-term protection at low-loading and low-toxicity levels in a wide range of applications. Fungitrol[R] 11 P, for plasticized PVC applications, includes Folpet as its active ingredient. It offers tough leach and UV resistance and unmatched thermal stability, says ISP. Fungitrol 400P, using IPBC as its active ingredient, is compatible with a broad range of polymers and applications. Fungitrol 820 combines a unique liquid IPBC formulation with a patented no-emissions biocide carrier.
PolyChem Alloy has introduced a portfolio of antimicrobial masterbatches and additives. The PolySept[R] line typically contains 10%-50% of an antimicrobial agent formulated into a resin, which may be PE, PP, PS, ABS, PA, PBT, or PC. Designed to meet a wide range of processing requirements, the products are thermally stable to >400[degrees]C and are said to be effective at inhibiting the growth of bacteria, fungi, mold, and mildew. Target applications include medical devices, consumer goods, and kitchen and bath appliances.
A biocide-containing color masterbatch for wood-plastic composites (WPC) has been developed by Teknor Color Company. TEK Deck Pro[TM], specially formulated for WPC decks and other construction applications, combines color, a UV absorber, and Vinyzene[TM] biocide from Rohm and Haas Company into a package costing 15% less than what the additives cost separately, says Teknor. TEK Deck Pro can be custom-tailored to meet specific customer requirements. The biocide is added to improve aesthetics by controlling fungal growth, which can cause staining. Vinyzene biocides, containing no heavy metals, have been shown to exhibit excellent performance in accelerated weathering and field trials.
Fillers, Reinforcements, & Impact Modifiers
Bayer MaterialScience has announced the commercial launch of its Baytubes[R] brand carbon nanotubes, having succeeded in producing high-quality carbon nanotubes on an industrial scale at relatively low cost. The multiwall tubes comprise up to 15 graphite layers and have a maximum mean diameter of 50 nanometers--more than 10,000 times thinner than a human hair.
Adding small quantities of Baytubes can make a plastic car fender electrically conductive so it can be painted without pretreatment. Films for antistatic packaging materials and EMI shielding of electronic components are among other target applications.
The first product in a new line of densified chopped-strand glass fibers was introduced recently by Johns Manville. ThermoFlow[R] 600, specially designed for PBT compounds, is said to exhibit outstanding color and mechanical performance plus superior heat-aging characteristics. The product provides superior polyester matrix bonding, and its strand integrity exhibits best-in-class fiber flow, resulting in more effective fiber distribution, says the manufacturer. ThermoFlow 600 can be used in electrical and electronic applications such as connectors, housings, relays, switches, and motor end-caps.
Nanocyl S.A., a Belgian manufacturer of carbon nanotubes, has launched Nanocyl[R] 9000, a high-density polyethylene nanocomposite powder. The additive contains a very high loading of nanotubes predispersed in a polymer carrier, using a proprietary technology. Its primary use is as a concentrate for easier handling and superior dispersion of nanotubes in thermoplastics. Nanocyl 9000 is compatible with polyolefins and engineering thermoplastics (PC and PA66). Typical loading levels start at 2%.
Two new flame retardants for flexible polyurethane foam used as cushioning in furniture and automotive applications have been introduced by Chemtura Corp. Firemaster[R] 600 and Firemaster[R] 602 are said to be 10% more effective than Firemaster 550 and 552. The new products exhibit outstanding scorch resistance and cigarette smolder, have minimal effect on foam processing, and offer a favorable environmental profile, says Chemtura. Firemaster 602 is specifically formulated for mechanically cooled foams.
A unique translucent flame-retardant system for film has been introduced by Polymer Products Company. Endura FR-6973 is said to provide improved transparency and more vibrant colors than conventional FR products. Used at 10% to 15% let-down ratios in either LDPE or LLDPE, Endura FR-6973 passes stringent FR standards while providing over 85% light transmission, says Polymer Products. Like other brominated flame retardants, it should be used in. conjunction with acid-resistant UV stabilizers. Polymer Products also offers a combined system of flame-retardant and UV additives in Endura FR-6930 for this purpose.
A non-halogenated flame retardant for polyamide injection-molded parts and extruded films that can meet Europe's tough new environmental regulations has been introduced by Techmer PM. PNM13319 is well suited for polyamides in electrical and electronic applications. Also new is an improved halogenated FR concentrate, PNM13318, which shares many of the same properties of PNM 13319. Both can be used to formulate polyamide systems that will pass UL's most stringent specifications.
Ciba Specialty Chemicals has launched a high-performance nucleator for polypropylene. Irgastab[R] NA 287 is suited for a broad range of products, from crates and containers to bottlecaps and closures. Benefits are said to include faster cycle times for increased output, material savings because of improved mechanical properties, and reduced scrap as a result of minimal warpage.
The product was designed to improve physical and mechanical properties of PP, including stiffness, impact properties, hardness, and heat-distortion temperature. It can help achieve down-gauging and weight reduction of finished parts.
Milliken Chemical has developed a new hyper-nucleating agent for polyethylene blown film, improving clarity and retaining or enhancing its physical properties while increasing processing throughput. Designed specifically for extrusion applications, Hyperform[R] HPN-20E can be used to nucleate LLDPE resins. It is said to create a more efficient, easily handled alternative to the current technology of blended LDPE and LLDPE. The additive has also been shown to provide improvement in moisture-barrier performance by significantly reducing moisture vapor--transmission rates.
Axel Plastics Research Laboratories has introduced a new MoldWiz process aid for high-impact and soft-touch TPO resins. MoldWiz INT-33PAS has been shown to provide excellent release of parts from molds without leaving a residue and to minimize post-mold fogging when volatile additives leach to the surface of finished parts, especially with molded-in-color components in the automotive industry. Also new are INT-33CRS, a process aid for improved resin flow and release in the molding of TPO instrument panels, and INT-33UDK, a mold-release lubricant for polycarbonate.
DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers has introduced Entira[TM] Strong, a polymeric additive that helps improve the processability and performance of tapes, filaments, and films made of oriented polypropylene and polyester. It offers increased hot drawability and tenacity, plus reduced dusting to minimize wear on equipment and splitting. Dry blending 2%-3% of the product with a base resin enables the stretch ratio to be increased 20%-30% above standard levels, with no reduction in elongation at break, the company says. Productivity is increased because fewer breaks occur during weaving and strapping operations.
DuPont Performance Elastomers announces that Viton[R] FreeFlow[TM] Z200 fluoroelastomer process aids have been declared compliant with food-contact regulations in Europe for use in packaging films. This means that the additive now has food-contact approval in all major global markets. Viton FreeFlow was designed to increase film-line yield and eliminate melt fracture, leading to a film with excellent clarity, limited haze, high gloss, and robust tear and puncture resistance.
Honeywell Specialty Materials recently announced the expansion of its high-performance specialty lubricants for PVC extrusion. The Rheochem[R] family has grown from four to ten standard formulations. The lubricants enable the extrusion of PVC compounds with improved efficiency, at lower melt temperatures, and with a lower incidence of burning, discoloration, and plate-out, says Honeywell.
A Korean electronics manufacturer is using polycarbonate modified with CBT[R] resin from Cyclics Corp. to produce a 0.2-mm-thick digital memory card that previously was molded with ABS. This is the first commercial application of CBT resin used as an additive to improve the molding properties of PC, say Cyclics and PolymersNet Co. Ltd. of South Korea. Adding small amounts of CBT resin to PC has been shown to increase the melt flow by 30%-50%, under most conditions, while maintaining good mechanical properties, enabling processors to mold large and thin-walled parts of PC.
Struktol has introduced new engineered processing additives for wood-filled composites. The products are formulated blends of lubricants designed to provide improved surface quality, increased output rates, and a wider processing window, leading to overall improved processability, the company says. Struktol TPW 012 is an optimized blend of oleo chemicals and waxes for rigid PVC compounds. TPW 113 is recommended for wood-filled polyolefins in which improved filler dispersion and surface quality are required.
A viscosity modifier designed to reduce an extruder's cycle time and energy consumption by reducing backpressure has been introduced by Techmer PM. PM 13030 has been shown to improve throughput of viscous polyolefin resins such as ultra-high-molecular-weight HDPEs without affecting the physical properties of films, profile extrusions, or molded products. Target applications include food packaging, thermoformed parts, and pipe.
A new process-aid masterbatch for polypropylene films has been introduced by the Italian manufacturer VIBA SpA. Vibatan Process Aid 100 is said to increase the production of cast and blown extruded film by increasing melt flow and enabling higher extrusion speeds while using less energy. Vibatan is said to have no effect on the optical properties or printing performance of the film.
A novel masterbatch designed to prevent rodents from damaging wire and cable insulation is available from Aversion Technologies. RodRepel[TM] produces a foul taste. It is 100% organic, nonhazardous, and is compatible with all thermosetting and thermoplastic polymers. The universal masterbatch, based on LDPE or EVA, is added at 1%-5%. Lab testing with cable insulation containing RodRepel demonstrated that cables bitten by rats produced an adverse reaction in the animals without harming them, None of the test animals bit into the cable again, the company notes.
Chemtura offers the Anox[TM] line of stabilizers, which includes Anox BB, binary blends of hindered phenols and phosphite antioxidants, and Anox TB, ternary blends of primary antioxidants, secondary antioxidants, and thioesters.
The company recently announced a 30% capacity increase for its Anox NDB (no-dust blends), a family of homogeneous blends of additives incorporated into free-flowing, dust-flee, mechanically resistant physical formulations.
The Polymer Additives Division of Ferro Corp. has introduced five nonlead, mixed-metal heat stabilizers that are said to offer improved performance over currently available alternatives to lead stabilizers. Therm-Chek[R] 7208P is a calcium-zinc powder stabilizer for PVC compounds in high-temperature cable and automotive-wire applications. It provides outstanding dynamic and static thermal stability for excellent color-hold and a broad processing window, yielding compounds with processing characteristics similar to those of lead. Other new non-lead stabilizers are available to meet specific requirements in wire and cable applications.
GE Advanced Materials, Silicones, recently introduced Niax[R] L-6630, L-6635, and L-6636 silicone stabilizers, which help minimize the formation of surface defects during continuous lamination of polyisocyanurate and polyurethane foams for metal sandwich panels. The Niax additives can reduce or eliminate the formation and growth of large gas bubbles or voids between the foam and metal substrate of the panels. Effective void reduction affects line speed, expansion rate, reactivity, and foam thickness.
Surface Property Modifiers
An additive masterbatch for polyolefins designed to enhance printing-ink adhesion has been developed by A. Schulman. Part of the Polybatch[R] Film Concentrates family, the product is said to eliminate the need for surface treatment prior to printing. It opens new opportunities for applications in which printing has been compromised because of inadequate dyne level (surface energy), says Schulman, noting that most film producers would benefit by introducing the additive to their film structures.
An Ampacet slip additive developed for polyethylene-based packaging films promotes adhesive lamination to fills made with different polymers, including PET, with little or no change in the coefficient of friction. Ampacet 102794 is designed to resolve a problem in the production of flexible packaging in which friction increases as the adhesive and, often, the PET film slip out of the PE layers. The product minimizes interaction with the polyurethane adhesive commonly used in lamination, says Ampacet. Use of the product is said to keep fill movement predictable and problem-free through form, fill, and seal machines and other equipment.
Ampacet has also developed an improved antifog additive masterbatch for polyethylene-based packaging fills. Ampacet 102163U is said to reduce the formation of water droplets, retaining film clarity and shelf appeal of packaged products. Tests have shown the product to improve film clarity better than conventional antifog products.
Ciba Specialty Chemicals has introduced Irgaclear[R] XT 386, a high-efficiency clarifier for polypropylene. Derived from a new chemistry platform that features high thermal stability and high chemical integrity, the product improves the organoleptic properties of clarified polypropylene vs. conventional clarifier technologies, says Ciba. It also tolerates higher compounding and processing temperatures than many other clarifiers. Another recent launch by Ciba is Irgasurf[R] SR 100, an additive to increase scratch resistance of automotive polypropylene and thermoplastic olefin compounds.
A food-approved slip agent for polystyrene processing has been developed by Croda Polymer Additives. IncroMax PS is said to decrease surface friction by up to 40% and mold-release force by up to 32%. Other benefits include improved packing and de-nesting of molded parts, reduced scratch and scuff, easier processing, and less waste, says Croda. As little as 0.5% of IncroMax PS reduces the static and kinetic friction on the surface of polystyrene.
A new antistat for electronic packaging was recently launched by Daniseo USA. Grindsted[R] PGE 308, designed to provide antistat properties for a year or more, has demonstrated excellent performance in LDPE, LLDPE, and HDPE applications. It is said to exhibit good heat and processing stability and has no corrosive effects on polycarbonate. Also new from the company is Grindsted[R] PGE O 80, an antifog for PE film applications, which testing has shown to be more efficient and longer lasting than conventional PE antifog products.
DuPont Company recently introduced an ethylene copolymer, Biomax[TM] Strong 100, to modify polylactic acid (PLA) for improved toughness in packaging and industrial applications. PLA is a com-based, biodegradable polymer used primarily in food packaging as an alternative to PET. Blends of Biomax Strong 100 and PLA can be processed in the same equipment and under the same processing conditions recommended for PLA. Even small amounts of the additive provide toughness benefits, says DuPont. Melt thermal stability of PLA is also said to be improved with the new product.
DuPont-Mitsui Polychemicals Co. Ltd. has launched Entira[TM] AS antistatic additive for thermoplastic resins used in packaging. It is said to offer high-frequency weldability and high moisture permeability. It provides permanent antistatic properties with little bleeding, excellent processability, and miscibility with polyolefins.
New calcium stearate products developed by Ferro Corp. are said to provide improved surface quality and cost-effective processing benefits in surface-critical applications of rigid PVC and polyolefins. Available in powder and granular forms, the products are designed to maintain the functionality of calcium stearate as an acid scavenger and lubricant while improving surface quality in applications having a high sensitivity to surface imperfections.
Ingenia Polymers has introduced a high-clarity antiblock masterbatch for polyethylene film. Ingenia 1091 offers permanent antiblocking, maintaining low film haze and higher clarity than conventional antiblocking agents, says the company. In tests, 1091 outperformed diatomaceous earth, typically used as an antiblocking agent for blown film, in minimizing haze.
Techmer PM has developed a new film clarifier, PM13199, which is said to reduce haze by up to 50% in linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) film. The clarifier was designed to enable processors to use less expensive, stronger LLDPE rather than LDPE because of the improvement in clarity that it produces. Compared with LDPE, LLDPE allows film thickness to be trimmed by as much as 25% because of its added strength, says Techmer PM.
Also new from Techmer PM are a slip additive for PET film and sheets and an antifogging agent specifically for PP film and thermoformable sheet. PTM13320 slip additive is designed to improve extrusion efficiency and minimize sticking during downstream operations, while reducing scuffs and scratches. Another antislip, PM13025, is designed specifically for extruded polyethylene film bags shipped on pallets. It increases the surface friction, reducing slippage. The antifog product, PPM12927, is said to provide optimum clarity and transparency in PP film, offering an alternative to the antifogging additives developed for PE films that are commonly used with PP.
Forecasting Directions in Colors for Plastics
The global ColorWorks team of Clariant Masterbatches Division has launched a new trends-analysis and color-forecasting initiative called ColorForward[TM] 2007 to explore changes in culture and lifestyle and how they affect color choices and preferences. Important color themes in both mass-market and luxury consumer packaging include reflective light, see-through designs, and tactile experiences, according to Clariant.
Five societal trends linked to colors provide product designers and marketers with inspiration for the coming year. Updated editions of ColorForward, which incorporates a color wheel, color chips, and PowerPoint[TM] presentation, will be released annually, says Clariant. The company operates a global network of seven ColorWorks design and technology centers, helping customers bring color into the early stages of design, accelerate new products to market, and encourage more effective use of color.
The ColorWorks experts have determined that people are "seeking calm and simplicity in the midst of their fast-paced, high-pressure world." A positive effect can be achieved by pairing opposites: cool tones and warm tones of the same color, light with dark, flat with gloss, smooth with textured, or natural with artificial. People are also seeking "authenticity" and gravitate toward organic colors and color combinations that mimic nature, with dramatic variations in hue and texture.
A. Schulman Inc.
3550 W. Market St.
Akron, OH 44333
660 White Plains Rd.
Tarrytown, NY 10591
12220 Maycheck Lane
Bowie, MD 20715
Axel Plastics Research
P.O. Box 77 0855
Woodside, NY 11377
North America Regional
100 Campus Drive
Florham Park, NJ 07932
Bayer Material Science
D-51368 Leverkusen, Germany
+49 221 9902 160
90411 Nurnberg, Germany
+49 911/59 72 4-8300
199 Benson Rd.
Middlebury, CT 06749
540 White Plains Rd.
Tarrytown, NY 10591
382 Arbor Court
Winchester, VA 22602
Croda Chemicals Europe
Cowick Hall, Snaith, Goole
East Yorkshire DN14 9AA
+44 (0) 1405 860551
2135 Technology Dr.
Schenectady, NY 12308
Danisco USA Inc.
201 New Century Parkway
New Century, KS 66031
914 E. Randolph Rd.
Hopewell, VA 23860
Lancaster Pike & Route 141
Wilmington, DE 19805
300 Bellevue Parkway #300
Wilmington, DE 19809
DuPont Packaging &
P.O. Box 80026
Wilmington, DE 19880
1000 Lakeside Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114
GE Advanced Materials--Silicones
187 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT 06897
1501 Progress Dr.
Richmond, IN 47374
Holliday Pigments USA
1000 Coolidge St.
S. Plainfield, NJ 07080
101 Columbia Rd.
Morristown, NJ 07960
3200 Southwest Freeway #1250
Houston, TX 77027
1361 Alps Rd.
Wayne, NJ 07470
7500 Dutch Road
Waterville, OH 43566
Frankfurter Str. 250
+49 6151 72-0
P.O. Box 1927 M400
Spartanburg, South Carolina
1500 W. Shure Drive
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Rue du l'Essor, 4
+32 71 750-380
One Owens Corning Pkwy.
Toledo, OH 43659
PolyChem Alloy Inc.
240 PolyChem Ct.
Lenoir, NC 28645
Polymer Products Co.
100 Station Ave.
Stockertown, PA 18083
Color & Additive Masterbatches
33587 Walker Rd.
Avon Lake, OH 44012
Rohm & Haas Co.
Plastics Additives Business
P.O. Box 5439
Winona, MN 55987
201 E. Steels Corners Road
P.O. Box 1649
Stow, OH 44224-0649
18747 Laurel Park Rd.
Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220
Teknor Color Company
505 Central Ave.
Pawtucket, RI 02861
Via C. Magni, 1 -Zona Industriale
21049 Tradate (VA), Italy
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|Date:||Nov 1, 2006|
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