Arkema implements a price increase on its EVA copolymers range

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema, a France-based chemical manufacturer, has announced a price increase of EUR100/MT for its whole Evatane (high content ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer) range, starting May 1, 2015, as per the company's press release.

During the past months, the EVA market was undergoing a price erosion that affected profitability. Due to the price hike of ethylene, Arkema is forced to pass this increase to the market.

Marketed under the trademark Evatane, Arkema's EVA products are functional polyolefins used in diverse industrial applications, including hotmelt, cable, multilayer packaging film, technical polymer modification, solar panel, petroleum additives, bitumen and ink.

As MRC wrote before, in late April 2015, Arkema Fluorochemicals announced a new price increase in Europe of 15% for packaged and bulk grades for all Forane HFC products, with immediate effect or as contracts allow.

Arkema with annual revenue of EUR6.7 billion is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc. Arkema operates 11 organic peroxide plants on the three continents.

Bayer MaterialScience signed agreement with BioAmber for bio-based succinic acid

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bayer MaterialScience (BMS, Leverkusen / Germany) has signed an agreement with BioAmber (Plymouth, Minnesota / USA) for supply of bio-succinic acid for the new "Impranil" range of bio-based polyurethanes it has begun commercialising for textile applications, said Plasteurope.

"Impranil" can be used in footwear. The German group’s new bio-based waterborne polyurethane dispersions developed for the sportswear/footwear, automotive and fashion industries have a renewable content of as much as 65%. BMS said the performance of the renewable material matches the high level of conventional products, and the bio-based raw materials can be used without reformulation.

According to BioAmber, using bio-succinic acid in place of adipic acid lends unique properties to products in applications such as synthetic leather, wood and metal coatings, elastomers and foams. The US company estimates current adipic acid use in polyurethanes at 25% of the 3m t/y global market, equivalent to 750,000 t of annual consumption. The market is poised for rapid growth as manufacturers seek to increase the renewable content in their products, it said.

In March of this year, BioAmber began commissioning its new 30,000 t/y bio-succinic acid plant at Sarnia, Ontario / Canada, with commercial operation set to begin in Q3. The company has already signed supply agreements with a number of international customers.

As MRC reported earlier, Bayer MaterialScience expands technology and production by investing in a new ultra-modern technical centre for polyurethane foams and new production plant for coating raw materials. The total investment in both is more than EUR 45 million.

Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries.

Wacker presents innovative solutions for paints, surface coatings, construction applications and adhesives

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker Group has introduced numerous innovations for paints and coatings, and for the construction and adhesives industries, reported the company on its site.

The products will range from a novel silicone resin emulsion for water-repellent wood impregnation systems to a new series of polymeric binders for highly durable, brilliant exterior paints. Silane-terminated polymers yield high-performance adhesives that are extremely resistant to tearing yet highly elastic.

Wacker presented two solutions for modifying gypsum drywall products: a dispersible polymer powder for smooth, crack-free grout mortars and a water-repellent silicone additive. New polymer dispersions serve as excellent binders in flooring adhesives and in applications for high-quality exterior and interior paints and plasters.

New silicone resin emulsion SILRES WH provides wood with long-lasting protection against moisture and damp, as evidenced by the beading effect on impregnated wood. In contrast, the untreated wood soaks up wet immediately. By providing long-term protection, SILRES WH greatly reduces the frequency of renovating and recoating exterior woodwork.

Water and moisture can damage wood and open the door to later problems, such as fungal and insect attack - new SILRES WH silicone resin emulsion offers a long-lasting solution. The product can be used both for hydrophobic impregnation and as an additive in formulations for film-forming, pigmented wood stains. Also celebrating its premier was the new PRIMIS line of binders for high-quality exterior applications. The first of these products, PRIMIS AF 1000, combines organic and inorganic components, enabling the formulation of bright and highly durable exterior paints with reduced dirt pick-up. The new VINNAPAS LL 3031 dispersion is an impressively versatile binder for high-quality paint and plaster applications - as suitable for flame-resistant renders as it is for low-emission interior paints.

Wacker also developed VINNAPAS 4800 G, a polymeric binder specially designed for gypsum-based joint fillers in modern drywall applications. In gypsum-based grout mortars, this low-emission dispersible polymer powder produces outstanding tensile adhesive strength on gypsum plasterboard and joint tape, yielding particularly smooth, level surfaces with no cracks or seams. Another drywall product that Wacker presented was a highly efficient water repellent: SILRES BS POWDER S makes gypsum-based dry-mix mortars hydrophobic. This powdery additive is virtually free of volatile organic compounds and can be quickly mixed with water without raising dust.

For industrial adhesives and waterproofing membranes, Wacker developed novel silane-terminated polymers: GENIOSIL XT allows manufacturers to produce highly elastic materials that exhibit exceptional tear strength upon curing – the binder thus offers a technically equivalent alternative to systems based on polyurethane. Wacker also introduced new VINNAPAS EF 8860 as a solution for flexible flooring adhesives. Besides exhibiting outstanding cohesion, adhesives containing this aqueous polymer dispersion also adhere well to the floor covering to be bonded. This makes this product ideal for flexible floor coverings such as carpets, PVC and linoleum.

In addition to excellent tensile adhesive strength - even after prolonged exposure to water - and outstanding crack bridging, the new VINNAPAS 4040 E dispersible polymer powder yields superb processing properties. This makes the binder ideal for formulating flexible sealing slurries for use in sewers, pipes, basements and bathrooms. VINNAPAS 8620 E, on the other hand, is particularly suitable for high-quality, low-emission tile adhesives. With this binder in the formulation, builders can reliably bond modern large-format tiles and very thin ones, as well as porcelain and natural-stone materials - even after heat, moisture, or freeze/thaw cycles.

As MRC informed earlier, in 2013, Wacker Chemie AG officially launched its new production plant for ethylene-vinyl-acetate copolymer (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 percent 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.

Thai PX to shut down aromatics plant in Thailand for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thai PX is in plans to shut an aromatics plant for maintenance turnaround, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Thailand informed that the plant is likely to be shut in June 2015. It is likely to remain off-stream for around two months.

Located at Sri Racha in Thailand, the plant has a benzene capacity of 277,000 mt/year, PX capacity of 538,000 mt/year and MX capacity of 55,000 mt/year.

We remind that, as MRC wrote before, in 2014, PT Indo Thai Trading (ITT) launched operations as a joint venture of Indonesia's Pertamina and Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), which will ultimately be responsible for marketing and distributing production from an integrated petrochemical complex planned by the two companies.

The incorporation of ITT is a "significant milestone" in the implementation of Pertamina and PTTGC's joint cooperation, noted Pertamina.

The proposed complex, which is scheduled to come on stream by 2019 in Balongan, West Java, is expected to include the production of about 1.2-million t/y of polyethylene and polypropylene and nearly 1-million t/y of other petrochemical derivatives such as monoethylene glycol and butadiene. ITT will be responsible for the marketing and sales of all production from this complex.

Hanwha Azdel to increase capacity for lightweight thermoplastic composites at Lynchburg

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hanwha Azdel, Inc. announced that growing demand for lightweight composites in North America and Europe has prompted the company to increase capacity for its Azdel SuperLite lightweight reinforced thermoplastic (LWRT) composite product at its Lynchburg, Va. production facility, said Plastemart.

The company is adding more space at the plant plus an entirely new production line that is due to come on stream in Q2-2015. Growing demand from customers in the recreational-vehicle (RV), automotive, commercial truck, building & construction, office furniture, and industrial market segments prompted the move to add capacity to support sales efforts in North America and Europe.LWRT composites are lower density forms of traditional glass-mat thermoplastic (GMT) composites with a higher fiber-volume fraction (ratio of reinforcement to resin).

These sheet-form composites are molded into a variety of parts using thermoforming (a low-pressure variant of compression molding) or used in sandwich panel constructions to create panels, which are usually faced with fabric, wallpaper, laminate, or film skins. The lightweight composite will not rust, corrode, or rot, significantly reduces panel or part weight, lowers sound transmission (provides acoustical damping), and offers thermal insulation. Further, third-party product testing to ASTM E 1333-96 standards by an ISO 17025 accredited testing laboratory has verified that the material contains no detectable levels of formaldehyde.

The RV industry is the fastest growing market segment for Azdel SuperLite and also is where the material can offer the strongest value proposition (halving weight and eliminating water-related issues).

Investment in the new North American production line is another milestone in Hanwha Azdel's goal of fully globalizing Azdel SuperLite LWRT, a patented technology that then Azdel, Inc. introduced in 1999 and that has revolutionized how transportation OEMs produce composite panels ranging from headliners to underbody shields to wall systems. These tough but light composite materials offer sustainable-mobility solutions and remain an important element of Hanwha Azdel's global business strategy. The capacity expansion will support North American and European customers by providing a more consistent regional supply of lightweight thermoplastic composite materials, whose global demand is projected to rise at more than 10% annually through the year 2020.

As MRC informed earlier, Hanwha Chemical is no longer considering buying parts of Dow Chemical's chloro-alkali business. South Korea's Hanwha Chemical had picked Credit Suisse to advise on possible purchases from Dow Chemical's chloro-alkali business but its interest is still in the early stages, Hanwha said earlier this year.

Hanwha Group is one of the largest business conglomerate in South Korea. Founded in 1952 as Korea Explosives Inc., the group has grown into a large multi-profile business conglomerate, with diversified holdings stretching from explosives, their original business, to retail to financial services.