Toyota first to use plasma-coated polycarbonate of Sabic in rear quarter window

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Toyota’s special edition 86 GRMN sports car is the first production vehicle to feature a rear quarter window in polycarbonate (PC) material with a plasma-coat solution designed to deliver the highest level of durability performance, as per the company's press release.

The car’s rear quarter window is injection molded with LEXAN resin, an optically clear and lightweight-enabling PC material from SABIC. The window is about 50% lighter compared to a conventional glass solution.

Until now, manufacturers have produced rear quarter windows in PC using wet-coat only solutions. Depending on vehicle type and passenger position, wet-coat solutions can meet industry requirements for weatherability and abrasion resistance at that window location. In some cases though, a higher level of performance is required to meet driver visibility needs.

Because Toyota wished to achieve regulatory requirements at a global level, the Japan-based OEM turned to EXATEC plasma technology from SABIC. This flexible glass-like coating is deposited on top of a base wet coat to enhance performance. Applying this advanced coating made it possible to meet Toyota’s high quality requirements.

SABIC contributed materials and development expertise to the 86 GRMN window program.

"We are proud to have supported Toyota and its Tier suppliers with this first-to-market, plasma-coated rear quarter window on a very special car," said Scott Fallon, SABIC’s automotive business leader. "No other technology is available today with the same level of durability for PC-glazed windows than this plasma solution. It is a good example of the superior value that we can deliver to today’s automakers as they strive to build light, stylish and well-finished vehicles."

EXATEC plasma coating technology from SABIC can make it possible for PC-glazed windows, where regulations allow for their use, to meet legislated driver visibility requirements.

For larger PC-glazed surfaces like backlights and sunroofs, weight savings of up to 50 percent can be possible, helping automakers to improve fuel efficiency and lower emissions.

The 86 GRMN rear quarter window is Toyota’s first use of SABIC’s plasma-coat solution for a commercially available vehicle.

We remind that, as MRC reported earlier, in 2014, SABIC announced two LEXAN sheet solutions for aircraft interiors. These innovative, new offerings - clear LEXAN XHR2000 sheet and LEXAN LIGHT F6L300 sheet - will help provide solutions to airlines’ quest for differentiated cabin interior designs while also helping to take out significant weight, resulting in a more fuel efficient aircraft. Design engineers will benefit from these lightweight, durable materials which can help to reduce system costs, offer ease of fabrication and comply with the industry’s strict regulatory standards.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the worldпїЅs top petrochemical companies. The company is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

Linde invests USD250 million in neon business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Linde Electronics and Specialty Gases, a Linde subsidiary, is investing USD250 million to support its neon business, including a 40-million liters/year facility at the company's La Porte, TX, site, said Gasworld.

The new production unit will add 40 million liters annually to Linde’s neon supply, primarily to support customers in the semiconductor, lithography, and laser-vision correction markets. Linde is also upgrading purification and distribution capabilities at several locations around the world, as the company seeks to assure a long-term and secure supply of neon for its customers globally.

Customers in the semiconductor lithography and laser vision correction markets in particular will be supported by the expanded supply chain.

"This is an important part of our strategy to increase our overall neon supply and meet the growing needs of our customers," said Matt Adams, Vice-President, Electronics and Premium Products. "It is yet another example of Linde’s commitment to provide a robust supply chain of consistent quality products to our global customers."

As MRC informed earlier, Linde and Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals plan to invest USD4 billion into petrochemical projects in Iran, said a senior official in a report. Linde is considering investment in several Iranian projects, including Damavand Petrochemicals, in cooperation with Japan’s Mitsui, Marzieh Shah-Daei projects director at the National Petrochemical Company (NPC).

Linde is a global major focused on industrial technologies for gas treatment and gas separation with ethane, propane and heavier fractions stripping. In addition, the company designs and builds cryogenic plants for gas and helium liquefaction.


Air Liquide launches transformation strategy following Airgas acquisition

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Air Liquide launched a transformation strategy covering 2016-20 that targets revenue rising at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6-8%; annualized efficiency gains of more than EUR300 million (USD331.5 million); and synergies derived from the acquisition of Airgas totaling more than USD300 million, said Chemweek.

The company also sees return on capital employed (ROCE) of more than 10% after 5-6 years.

The plans were unveiled by Benoit Potier, chairman and CEO, during the company’s capital markets day, held in London. "The group has acquired a new dimension following the acquisition of Airgas and thus enters a new phase of its development. Our strategy for profitable growth over the long term is that of a customer-centric transformation," Potier said, announcing the program, dubbed NEOS.

The current business environment is characterized by moderate worldwide growth and major changes related to scientific and technological advances, and new usages and consumption patterns that impact the needs of the Air Liquide group’s customers. Air Liquide says it has identified three major trends that are sources of growth for all of its businesses: energy and environment transition, changes in health care, and digitization.

The acquisition of Airgas, completed in May 2016, has enlarged the group with combined sales of gas services increasing 30%. Air Liquide has strengthened its worldwide market leadership by rebalancing its European and American positions, particularly in the United States, the world’s largest industrial gases market and the most advanced in innovation and digitization.

Air Liquide is targeting growth in industrial merchant gases sales at a CAGR of 7-10%; health-care business revenue growth at 6-8%, including selective bolt-on acquisitions; and electronics-segment sales growth of 7-9%.

As MRC informed earlier, Air Liquide opened a 25-million-euro (USD27.6 million) research and technology center in Shanghai to address issues including carbon dioxide emission reduction and waste water treatment in China and Asia-Pacific.

L'Air Liquide S.A., or Air Liquide, is a French multinational company which supplies industrial gases and services to various industries including medical, chemical and electronic manufacturers.


Valspar expands packaging operations in Singapore

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Valspar Corp. says that it is expanding production capacity at its facility in Singapore to meet increased demand for its food and beverage packaging coatings products in Asia/Pacific, said the company on its site.

The expansion is expected to come online in 2017. Valspar says it is the leader in coatings for metal packaging. The capacity increase will enable the company to manufacture higher volumes of both existing and new technologies, including non–bisphenol A (BPA) coating solutions for the food and beverage markets.

On 28 June, Valspar shareholders formally approved the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based paint manufacturer’s planned sale to Sherwin-Williams in a deal expected to close by the end of Q1 2017. Cleveland, Ohio-based Sherwin-Williams plans an USD11.3bn acquisition.

As MRC informed earlier, in May 2015, Valspar agreed to buy Quest Specialty Chemicals' automotive refinishing business and an industrial coatings business.

Valspar is the No. 1 metal packaging coatings solutions provider in the world. Across all of Valspar's packaging solutions, the company adds value to can makers, end makers and brand owners through its technology leadership, regulatory expertise and best-in-class technical service. Valspar provides complete packaging solutions to reduce costs, improve performance and protect the quality of brands and products.


Solvay and Suzano Papel e Celulose to build integrated hydrogen peroxide unit at pulp mill site in Brazil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay and affiliate Peroxidos do Brasil and have agreed to build an integrated hydrogen peroxide production plant at Suzano Papel e Celulose's pulp mill site in Brazil, said the company on its site.

The proposed facility in Imperatriz city in the Brazilian state of Maranhao will use Solvay's myH2O2 technology that has been developed for installation at remote customer premises.

Under the terms, Suzano will deliver hydrogen feed-stock, utilities and site services for the facility.

Suzano Papel e Celulose CEO Walter Schalka said: "We believe that this technology will help us to be more competitive and efficient, as it will allow us to reduce costs in the purchase of an important input that we bought from another state.

"The forecast volume includes our increased capacity, which will be implemented in 2017." The hydrogen peroxide produced at the plant will be used for pulp bleaching.

"It will allow us to reduce costs in the purchase of an important input that we bought from another state."
The facility in Imperatriz will be managed from Solvay's peroxides plant in Curitiba.

Solvay Peroxides Global Business Unit president Georges Crauser said: "Solvay's first myH2O2 agreement shows the unmatched scope of our hydrogen peroxide technology capabilities, ranging from building and operating these small satellite units to mega units with a capacity exceeding 300kt per year.

"The unique and flexible myH2O2 units save logistics needs, reuse resources that are readily available on-site and thereby substantially benefit the environment."

Solvay is currently in talks with customers at remote locations across the world for installation of its satellite myH2O2 plants.

As MRC informed earlier, in May 2016, Solvay signed a definitive agreement with Brazilian chemical group Unipar Carbocloro to sell its 70.59% stake in Solvay Indupa.

Solvay, with a market share 27%, is the second largest PVC manufacturer in Europe, after Kerling with 29% of the market. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with about 30,900 employees spread across 53 countries. It generated pro forma net sales of EUR12.4 bn in 2015, with 90% made from activities where it ranks among the world’s top 3 players.