ARKEMA to set new standards for PPA- based materials

(arkema) -- Arkema has expanded its Rilsan HT (high temperature) range with an ultra-flexible grade that is close to the flexibility of polyamide extrusion grades. Launched in 2009, Rilsan HT is the first flexible polyphthalamide (PPA)-based material to replace metal in high-temperature tubing applications.

With this breakthrough in ultra-flexibility, new opportunities for cost-effective alternatives to metal, rubber or fluorinated polymers in tubing assemblies are becoming a reality. With up to 70% renewable carbon content, Rilsan HT aptly fits many industries' focus on environmentally sustainable solutions.

In the PPA material class known for its success as a metal substitute as well as its inherent brittleness and restriction to rather rigid injection-molded parts, the first flexible Rilsan HT grade with an 820 MPa modulus marks a significant step-change. This latest member of the Rilsan HT family now shifts the modulus boundaries even further downward, close to 500 MPa.


China petrochemical sector to be far better in 2012

( -- The Chinese government's expansionary fiscal policy along with the first signs of stabilizing petrochemical and plastic prices in China will lead to a better performance of the Chinese petrochemical sector in 2012 compared with 2011, Barclays Capital said in a research note Wednesday.

A healthier petrochemical sector would propel a stronger performance of petrochemical feedstock naphtha in Asia in 2012, and would also be positive for gasoline. Naphtha plays a very important role, required for blending into finished gasoline.

"In 2011, a weakening petrochemical sector backed off a significant amount of naphtha, which weakened the gasoline balance by blending into it," the note said, adding that with the demand for naphtha underlined by the health of the Asian petrochemical sector, the cost of production of the gasoline chain was now closely tied with petrochemicals.

The note added that gasoline supplies were "comfortable" in 2011 due to the modification in the average output mix of those refineries endowed with some flexibility.


Reichhold announces price increase in North America

(jeccomposites) -- Reichhold, Inc. announced a price increase today of USD0.06 per pound on all unsaturated polyester resins, vinyl ester resins and flame retardant resins sold in North America for the composites industry. This increase is effective for all orders shipped on or after March 15th.

Bill Schramm, Vice-President Commercial North American Composites, stated "Persistent escalation of raw material prices and a limited supply of some raw materials continue to increase our costs, leaving us no choice but to raise our prices. Raw material costs are expected to rise continually through the first quarter primarily as the result of numerous planned outages and increased demand.
Crude oil continues to trade over USD100 per barrel and the cost spread between oil and natural gas continues to favor the latter which yields less propylene available for conversion to many composites raw materials. We continue to aggressively work with our suppliers to mitigate these increases and appreciate the understanding of our customers as we continue to do everything possible to limit the impact of rising costs and limited raw material availability upon product pricing and supply."


Styrolution ups Ineos ABS stake to 87% in open offer

(vccircle) -- Styrolution, a global joint venture between chemical giants INEOS and BASF, has acquired 4 per cent additional stake in the open offer for Ineos ABS India Ltd for Rs 42 crore (over USD8 million). The parent company now owns 87 per cent in INEOS ABS and will either have to eventually dilute its holding to meet minimum public listing norms of 25 per cent or come up with a delisting offer.

According to current listing norms, promoters either need to dilute their holdings to less than 75 per cent in public-listed companies or raise their holdings to above 90 per cent to delist from the stock exchange.
Styrolution was formed nearly a year ago when INEOS Industries Holdings Ltd and BASF SE announced their intention to combine their global business activities in styrene monomers, polystyrene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, styrene-butadiene block copolymers and other styrene-based copolymers, as well as copolymer blends, into a new joint venture.
The company serves a wide range of industries including automotive, electrical and electronics, 3C, packaging, toys, sports & leisure, household, building & construction, and healthcare & diagnostics. It has production facilities and sales offices in Germany, Italy, the USA, Mexico, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Korea and India.
INEOS held 83 per cent stake in its public-listed Indian arm and had to come with the mandatory open offer for minority shareholders as part of the global change in the parent company. Styrolution made the offer to buy 16.67 per cent in INEOS ABS India which it did not own, but managed to acquire only 4 per cent or 703,075 shares at the offer price of Rs 606.81 a piece.


BASF concentrates on alternatives to lead chromate pigments

(basf) -- BASF is going to stop producing lead chromate pigments by the end of 2014 at the latest and concentrate worldwide on the production and marketing of alternative products. These are offered by the company for the yellow as well as the red color range. They include pigments sold under the brand names of Sicopal, Sicotan, Paliotan, T-Shade, Paliotol, Paliogen, Cromophtal, Irgalite, Cinquasia and Irgazin.

⌠We have for years been in the possession of a large portfolio of organic and inorganic pigments that represent excellent alternatives to lead chromate pigments⌠, says Stefan Sutterlin, head of the business management pigments of BASF in Europe. As, however, a one-hundred-percent substitution for lead-containing pigments does not exist, customers above all from the coatings industry have so far resisted change. ⌠We are going to assist our customers, if they want us to, with the change-over⌠, explains Joachim Straner, head of marketing for pigments for industrial & decorative coatings of BASF in Europe. ⌠This means that we will help them plan their exit strategy, agree on the quantities that are to be phased out and the technical changeover, continues Straner.

BASF is one of the largest pigment producers worldwide and has a virtually unique product and technology portfolio. One of the oldest product groups is lead chromates which, due to their properties such as weather fastness and color strength, have been in great demand. Recently, the process for approval prescribed under the European chemicals regulation REACH concerning these substances has been started. Hence, from May 2015, it will no longer be permitted to put into circulation lead chromate pigments without approval by the authorities.

BASF produces lead chromate pigments exclusively on its site in Besigheim/Germany. This is where the future production of alternative products will gradually be developed and expanded.