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.

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.

Trinseo raises prices for latex technologies in Europe and Middle East

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, and its affiliate companies in Europe has announced effective immediately or as contract terms permit, the company will increase the price for all latex products sold into the Paper, Board, Carpet and Textile, and Adhesive and Construction Latex markets in Europe and the Middle East, reported the company on its site.

The increase will be EUR40 per wet metric ton for all styrene butadiene and acrylic latex products.

"Trinseo is investing considerable resources to develop new technologies for its Latex markets and is focused on maintaining a high expertise service profile. At the same time margins have continued to decline in the past several years. This price increase is necessary to correct margins to reflect the efforts being made by Trinseo," says Jan Muller, Global Business Director Latex.

As MRC informed previously, Trinseo increased April contract and spot prices of all polystyrene (PS) and copolymer grades, as stated below:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS), STYRON and STYRON A-TECH high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR320/tonne;
- MAGNUM ABS and TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR230/tonne.

Trinseo is a leading global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, dedicated to collaborating with customers to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions. Trinseo’s technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Trinseo had approximately USD5.1 billion in revenue in 2014, with 19 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,100 employees. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in the first quarter of 2015.

Ompet joint venture makes progress on planned Sohar PTA/PET project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Oman International Petrochemical Industry Co. (Ompet) joint venture has advanced a purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) project planned for Sohar, Oman, according to GV with reference to the Oman Observer.

Ompet, a venture of Oman Oil Co. (50%), LG International (30%) and Takamul (20%), is planning an estimated USD 600-million project to produce 1.1-million t/y of PTA and 250,000 t/y of PET.

Technology for the PTA and PET production will be supplied by BP and Uhde Inventa-Fischer, respectively. Worley Parsons is the project management consultant.

In December, the venture reached a deal with Sohar Port and Freezone on leasing a plot of land for the project, to be built adjacent to Oman Oil Refineries & Petroleum Industries Co.’s aromatics complex, which will supply paraxylene feedstock to Ompet.

Ompet expects to achieve financial closure and award an engineering, procurement and construction contract by the middle of the year, with construction beginning by the end of this year. Completion and the start of operations are targeted by 2018.

As MRC reported earlier, in May 2014, ORPIC said it had awarded two contracts for construction of a USD3.6 billion plastics production complex, the Liwa Plastics Project. The plant will be built in Oman's northern industrial city of Sohar, next to ORPIC's oil refinery and petrochemical plants. The Liwa Plastics Project is due to be completed in 2018, doubling ORPIC's profitability by allowing it to extract more value from Omani crude oil and natural gas, the company said.

The project will boost ORPIC's annual production of polypropylene and polyethylene to 1.4 million tonnes, increasing Oman's exports, while additional production of 1 million tonnes of plastics will help to develop downstream industries within the country, ORPIC added.