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Polyscope Polymers expands scope of Xiran SMA as additive for amorphous thermoplastics.

Styrene maleic anhydride, long established as a high performance thermoplastic in its own right, is now finding increasing use as a functional additive and compatibiliser in other amorphous and, to some extent, crystalline thermoplastics. Major SMA producer Polyscope is leading the way in expanding the use of this polymer as a property enhancer. The company's Xiran SMA additives can boost performance and value of various virgin and recycled resins, particularly ABS and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). They can improve thermal stability and widen the processing window, and make parts easier to bond, paint, print on, or plate at cost significantly below that of several other additives and proprietary polymer modification techniques. They also act as excellent compatibilisers between resins that are normally immiscible, such as PA/ABS.

Polyscope Polymers BV has its headquarters and production in Geleen, the Netherlands, and has sales and marketing offices in Detroit and Shanghai. It currently has the industry's broadest offering of SMA additives (as well as moulding compounds). Grades vary in molecular weight and maleic anhydride content, both of which have important effects on host polymer properties.

SMA's special properties derive from the combination of polar maleic anhydride (which also contributes stiffness, thermal stability, and chemical reactivity) and non-polar styrene (which also provides processing ease). This block copolymer is miscible in a wide range of plastics, which enables it to be used as a compatibiliser in multi-polymer systems.



Xiran SMA's high glass-transition temperature (Tg) range of 145-175[degrees]C makes it a very cost-effective means of boosting high temperature performance in PMMA and ABS resins. Dimensional stability is also improved. The addition of between 1.5 and 3.3% SMA typically raises Vicat softening point by around 1[degrees]C. Compounders and recyclers can take lower value, standard- or scrap-grade ABS and transform it into value-added high-heat ABS using SMA resin, which is less costly and far more accessible than competitive technologies like N-phenyl maleimide (NPI) and alpha-methyl styrene acrylonitrile (AMSAN). In ABS, SMA can yield Vicat B values of 85-120[degrees]C.

Since SMA is fully miscible in PMMA and is also clear, it can improve acrylic's thermal performance as well as resistance to stress cracking and exposure to chemicals like detergents--all while maintaining optical properties. For every 1[degrees]C increase in thermal performance desired in the base compound, as little as 1.8-2.3% SMA needs to be added.


Xiran SMA additives make parts easier to paint, plate, print on, and bond to a wide variety of other materials by increasing the polarity of the base resin. Processers can often skip the primer step in painting operations, saving both time and cost to produce finished parts. "Our technology is being driven by the search for higher quality and fewer defects," says Patrick Muezers, managing director, Polyscope Polymers.

The additives also increase the compatibility of PMMA and ABS base resins with glass and natural fibres, rubber particles, thermoplastic elastomers and polymers such as polyamides with which they are normally immiscible.
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Title Annotation:additives & colouring
Comment:Polyscope Polymers expands scope of Xiran SMA as additive for amorphous thermoplastics.(additives & colouring)
Publication:British Plastics & Rubber
Date:Jun 1, 2010
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