Wacker introduces novel EVA binder for the paperboard and packaging industries

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Munich-based Wacker Group has developed a novel binder for coated paperboard and packaging applications, as per the company's press release.

The newly developed VINNAPAS EF 104 is vinyl acetate-ethylene-copolymer (EVA) dispersion that has been developed specifically for the coating of paperboard surfaces. The binder is easy to process and provides good print quality on coated paperboard. Plus, the dispersion complies with current food contact regulatory requirements. That makes VINNAPAS EF 104 particularly suitable for coatings on paperboard packaging, for example for breakfast cereals, frozen food, perfume or pharma products.

Thus, VINNAPAS EF 104 confers excellent print images on the end product and is thus an ideal binder for coatings used for offset, roto and flexo printing of coated paperboard packaging, for example for personal care and pharma products, or food and beverage packaging.

The new VINNAPAS EF 104 has been developed for demanding paperboard coatings, specifically for high-quality printed packaging. Thanks to innovative polymer modifications, this is the first binder based on EVA copolymers that offers a range of performance properties that has been possible only with alternative systems - until now.

VINNAPAS EF 104 provides good calendered sheet gloss, brightness and high opacity. Surfaces coated with the new binder facilitate a clear, sharp print image with bright colors and good ink gloss. The product offers exceptional dry and wet pick coating strength, which are critical for good print quality and converting of coated paper and paper board. VINNAPAS EF 104 further shows similar rheology behavior to alternative binders such as styrene acrylics and styrene butadiene latexes. Additionally, the new product can be readily formulated into a coating color and applied using conventional paper coating methods.

Besides, VINNAPAS EF 104 complies with numerous statutory food-contact regulations, such as those of the US-American Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the Commission Regulation of the European Union or the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut fur Risikobewertung BfR).

"Our novel binder VINNAPAS EF 104 shows excellent product properties and thus complements Wacker’s broad portfolio for paper and packaging applications", says Rob Cuscino, marketing manager at Wacker Polymers. "Until now, oil-based binders were predominantly used for coating high quality paperboard, but our new VINNAPAS EF 104 now offers a EVA-based alternative."

VINNAPAS EF 104 is therefore an ideal binder for high-quality coated paperboard packaging with a wide range of applications: from up-market folding boxes for personal care and pharma products, to printed paperboard for colorful food and beverage packaging.

As MRC wrote before, in 2013, Wacker Chemie AG officially launched its new production plant for EVA dispersions at its Ulsan site in South Korea. The additional 40,000 tonnes from the second reactor line increases the site's EVA-dispersion capacity to a total of 90,000 tonnes per year. The production capacity of the site has, thus, almost doubled, making the plant complex one of the biggest of its kind in South Korea.

Wacker Chemie AG is a worldwide operating company in the chemical business, founded 1914. The company is controlled by the Wacker-family holding more than 50% of the shares. The corporation is operating more than 25 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The product range includes silicone rubbers, polymer products like ethylene vinyl acetate redispersible polymer powder, chemical materials, polysilicon and wafers for semiconductor industry.

Iran in discussions with Maire Tecnimont for petrochemical projects at Assaluyeh

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iran and Maire Tecnimont have begun a new round of talks for building one of the Middle East's biggest petrochemical parks in Assaluyeh, Iran, reported GV with reference to Mehr News Agency.

Specifically, preliminary agreements have been reached for a 200,000-t/y acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plant and a rubber petrochemical park in Pars Special Economic Energy Zone that includes 36,000 t/y of styrene butadiene, styrene butadiene styrene and low cis-butadiene rubber to provide feedstock for the petrochemical industry. Operations are expected by mid-March 2017.

The two sides have also decided to form a joint working group to identify technical issues and new development opportunities in Iran's petrochemical sector.

As MRC informed earlier, Iran, as one of the main energy hubs in the world, with huge oil and gas reserves, is one of the leading producers of petrochemical products in the world.

In 2006, the total consumption of different polymer products was 202 million metric tons and it is estimated this figure reach to 316 million metric ton by 2016. This means only countries with huge feeding materials can be successful on raising production level, and gladly Iran is among one of those countries.

Currently number of active Iranian Petrochemical complexes are 53, with total production capacity of 59 million metric ton, producing range of polymers, chemicals, aromatics & liquid gas, located mainly at Iranian south region, next to Persian Gulf, called Assaluyeh and Mahshahr Special Economic Zones.

At the moment, there are 67 developments projects in the country which are under construction, adding 61 million metric ton on total production and estimated to fully run till 2018.

Italian plastics and rubber sector healthy and showing positive trend in 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Assocomaplast, the Italian trade association, which unites over 160 manufacturers of machinery, moulds and equipment for plastics and rubber, has completed the balance sheet of the sector for the year 2014, including ISTAT foreign trade data, reported GV.

According to the association, progress in exports maintained a constant rate until the end of 2014, sustaining therefore the Italian machinery manufacturers in a period where the domestic market showed only faint signs of recovery in the very recent months. Although there was a noticeable increase in purchases from abroad (up to 8 % over the entire year) the tendency for investments by manufacturers was described by the Assocomaplast as rather limited in the final quarter of 2014.

The trade association estimated the production of the Italian plastics market to reach a maximum of EUR 4 billion based on surveys of its members. The trade balance further increased and passed the EUR 2 billion threshold, followed by the domestic market just remaining below that level.

The most recent survey by the association described a generally optimistic outlook among nearly one third of the interviewed companies, who expect a further growth in orders and turnover for the present half-year. Another third expects an increase of export shares.

Within the other EU states a clear increase of Italian machinery sales is noted, while the total trade with non-EU countries has dropped. This is likely due to the negative performance in Russia (-11.9 %), which again is partially the result of the sanctions applied in response to the Ukraine crisis and the collapse of the rouble.

The lacklustre sales trend to Brazil (-11 % with respect to 2013) affected the overall performance in South America, while an upswing in supplies to Chinese converters (also to Vietnamese, Indonesian and Indian, just to mention the most significant) compensated a slow-down to South Korea, Japan and Thailand.

Among the destination markets the USA (+21.5 %) took second place from France (-10.4 %, now in third place), while Germany, in keeping with established tradition, remained in first place by a wide margin (albeit somewhat decreased).

We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, in 2013, the Ministry of Economic Development of Italy closed the remained plant of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in the country, thus, giving the green light to sales of "Vinyls Italia's facilities, the only Italian PVC producer.

New foam technology from Huntsman offers cool comfort

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Huntsman has developed Rubiflex Cocoon polyurethane-based foam technology, which can be used to manufacture cool, breathable, flexible foams for bedding, furniture and seating applications, said the producer on its site.

According to Huntsman, the Rubiflex Cocoon foam system is designed to enhance comfort by reducing the build up of heat and humidity in foam mattresses, pillows and seat cushions, caused by the body when it is at rest. Combining the best properties of memory and high-resilience foam solutions, the Rubiflex Cocoon foam system makes it possible to fabricate foams that provide good support and pressure distribution - gently cradling the body and minimising pressure points to promote quality sleep and relaxation, says the company.

With the Rubiflex Cocoon foam system, comfort is further heightened by the system’s humidity management properties. Special hygrothermal properties help dissipate the natural accumulation of heat and humidity generated by the body when it comes into contact with mattresses, pillows, toppers, armchairs, sofas and car seats, says Huntsman.

Offering a good balance of hydrophilic and hydrophobic segments, the polymer structure of the foam system facilitates water vapour permeability and humidity transmission. With an open cell structure, the natural increase in humidity produced by the body is dispersed effectively.

Foams based on Rubiflex Cocoon technology have a dry silky feeling and work well in all climates. They are durable and resilient, retaining their original feel, thickness and shape over time - despite changes in temperature conditions. Rubiflex Cocoon-based foams also have a good wet compression set and good tear strength. Conforming to LGA and CertiPUR standards they meet low VOC requirements. Furthermore, they can be vacuum packed and are suitable for use in adjustable mattresses, says the company.

As MRC wrote before, in October 2014, Huntsman Corporation completed the acquisition of the Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) businesses of Rockwood Holdings, Inc.

Huntsman Corporation is a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. The company's operating companies manufacture products for a variety of global industries, including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, textiles, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology, agriculture, health care, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and packaging.

BASF unveils its largest construction chemicals production site in India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has unveiled its largest construction chemicals plant in India at Nellore (Andhra Pradesh, South-East India), as per the company's press release.

This is BASF’s fifth construction chemicals plant in the country. With its state-of-the-art technology and strategically located close to regional growth centers, the plant will enable BASF to respond in a timely fashion to customers’ needs in the Southern part of India and to support them with high-performance solutions in the highly competitive market.

At the new plant, BASF produces standard and custom-made performance-based concrete admixtures such as MasterGlenium, MasterPolyheed, and MasterRheobuild. In addition, solutions such as MasterTile, MasterSeal, MasterTop, and MasterEmaco series are manufactured, with the potential to expand to higher versions of MasterTile and MasterProtect. The site also houses a multiple-tank storage facility and a well-equipped concrete lab that enables Master Builders Solutions experts to deliver tailor-made recipes through formulation excellence.

"With the new plant at Nellore, BASF offers a comprehensive range of solutions to help construct buildings that can be more energy-efficient, durable, and require fewer resources for maintenance," said Mr. Ralf Spettmann, President, Construction Chemicals, BASF.

Raman Ramachandran, Chairman and Managing Director, BASF India Limited and Head, BASF South Asia added, "India is an important strategic market for BASF and we must be able to respond locally in a timely manner. The Nellore site enables us to stay close to our customers and offer them customized solutions to meet the growing demands for multi-story buildings, long-lasting infrastructure constructions and more energy-efficient construction techniques."

Other construction chemicals production sites in India are located in Turbhe, Navi Mumbai, Nalagarh, and Kolkata.

As MRC informed previously, in April 2015, the new Master Builders Solutions Training Center at BASF's site in Oldenburg, Germany, has been officially opened. The new training center in Oldenburg has been created to train and inform customers and BASF's Master Builders Solutions experts on the professional application and handling of Performance Flooring and Waterproofing products and systems - thus fostering their professionalism, knowledge and experience.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries. BASF had sales of over EUR74 billion in 2014 and over 113,000 employees as of the end of the year.