Solvay to launch PEKK resin production to support the aerospace market with thermoplastic composite materials

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay will begin producing high-performance polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) polymers in the United States early next year, to support its composite materials business in meeting growing aerospace demand, as per the company's press release.

"Solvay further affirms its unique position in lightweighting materials by joining the forces of its high performance specialty polymers and composite materials to produce its own PEKK resin," said Roger Kearns, member of Solvay’s Executive Committee. "This new capacity will address fast-growing demand for thermoplastic composites and 3D printing components in aerospace and in other markets."

Building on its leading position in metal replacement materials, Solvay will commence PEKK production at its site in Augusta, Georgia, and under the trade name NovaSpire.

PEKK is used in thermoplastic composites reinforced with carbon fibers and in additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, in a range of industrial applications.

As MRC informed before, in late 2016, Solvay completed the sale of its 70.59% stake in Solvay Indupa to Brazilian chemical group Unipar Carbocloro, following the approval earlier this month of the Brazilian antitrust authority CADE.

Besides, in early July 2016, Solvay completed the divestment of its shareholding in Inovyn (London), bringing to an end Solvay's chlorvinyls joint venture with Ineos. Solvay received exit cash proceeds amounting to EUR335 million (USD370.7 million). The dissolution of the jv follows regulatory clearances from the relevant authorities.

Inovyn was formed on 1 July 2015 as a jv between Ineos and SolVin, a subsidiary of Solvay. Solvay and Ineos signaled their decision to end their chlorvinyls jv in March this year.

Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with about 27,000 employees spread across 58 countries. It generated pro forma net sales of EUR10.9 bn in 2016, with 90% made from activities where it ranks among the world’s top 3 players.

ARLANXEO presents innovative solutions for adhesives

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ARLANXEO is showcasing its product portfolio for adhesive applications and innovative solutions for the industry at this year’s FEICA, the most important European trade fair and conference for the adhesives industry, as per company's press release.

For the first time, ARLANXEO, the world’s largest supplier of synthetic elastomers, is represented at FEICA by both its business units, High Performance Elastomers (BU HPE) and Tire & Specialty Rubbers (BU TSR).

ARLANXEO BU HPE is presenting its established products Baypren ALX and Levamelt. The chloroprene rubber Baypren ALX makes it possible to achieve excellent adhesion to various surfaces, thanks to its polarity and microstructure. In addition, adhesives can be manufactured very quickly with Baypren ALX. Moreover, ARLANXEO chloroprene rubber is extremely weather, UV and oil-resistant, as well as being elastic. A significant area of application for Baypren ALX-based adhesives is therefore shoe production, during which the soles are stuck to the upper, for example. Furthermore, however, these are also used in the production of mattresses and furniture as well as for fixing car interior trim and roofing membranes.

"The polymer chains in our Baypren ALX product are very uniform in structure, which means they can settle next to one another easily,” explains Martin Schneider, from the Technical Marketing department at BU HPE. “This makes it possible to achieve a level of crystallization in the polymer chains that is extraordinarily strong for rubber, which is crucial for high levels of initial and final strength," adds Schneider.

ARLANXEO is expanding its applications development capability for adhesive production and testing by continually improving its methods, among other means. Current innovations in this area include endurance tests, so-called tensile tests, as well as different procedures for the production of adhesives and for the determination of the processing time. With these new application technologies, ARLANXEO can now support its customers with technical challenges in an even better, more efficient manner.

The ARLANXEO product Levamelt will be used to formulate adhesives for adhesive tapes and films. The polar rubber makes it possible to manufacture plasticizer-free formulations and adhesive films, which can be removed without leaving any residue. The Levamelt portfolio offers a wide range of products of varying polarity, which enable the adhesive manufacturer to optimally adapt their formulation to the relevant product requirements. As well as adhesives, Levamelt is used as a modifier in hot melts and methyl methacrylate-based adhesives.

ARLANXEO is presenting its solutions from the TSR business unit at FEICA for the first time. Thanks to its good adhesion, aging resistance and low air permeability, the product X_Butyl is the ideal polymer for numerous adhesive applications, such as transparent adhesive tapes, sealants for double glazing, high-quality hot melt pressure-sensitive adhesives, vinyl floor adhesives and even sealants for roofing membranes. X_Butyl is also used for self-fluxing, semiconducting electrical splicing tapes, thereby avoiding the need for separate layers of adhesives.

"We offer a wide range of high-quality and established products for the adhesives industry, which we are constantly optimizing," says Stefan Rittmann, Managing Director of ARLANXEO Deutschland GmbH. "In doing so, close collaboration with our customers is fundamental in all areas, so that we can work with them to develop tailored solutions for their current and future applications."

Arlanxeo was established in April 2016 as a joint venture of Lanxess - a world-leading specialty chemicals company based in Cologne, Germany - and Saudi Aramco - a major global energy and chemicals enterprise headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The two partners each hold a 50-percent interest in the joint venture. The business operations of ARLANXEO are assigned to the High Performance Elastomers and Tire & Specialty Rubbers business units. As MRC wrote before, in September 2015, Lanxess was in talks to put its main synthetic rubber business into a joint venture with petrochemicals group Ineos. Lanxess also held talks with Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and Russia's NKNK and Sibur.

Celanese raises September VAM prices in Asia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, has increased list and off-list selling prices for Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) in Asia, said the producer in its press release.

The price increases below was effective as of 13 September, or as contracts otherwise allow, and are incremental to any previously announced increases: CNY500/mt for China and USD100/mt for Asia (outside of China).

Earlier, on 6 September, 2017, the same price increase was already implemented by Celanese for the same products and regions.

Besides, the company raised prices of PP-based short- and long-fiber thermoplastics by USD0.11/lb for North and South America.

As MRC informed earlier, on 6 September 2017, Celanese increased its prices of VAM emulsions in Asia. Thus, the company raised the price of vinyl acetate-based emulsions sold in China by CNY500/mt and in Asia (outside of China) - by USD100/mt.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs approximately 7,300 employees worldwide and had 2016 net sales of USD5.4 billion.

Six companies buy oil from US emergency crude reserve

MOSCOW (MRC) — Six companies bought 14 MMbbl of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a sale required by law to help fund medical research and the federal government, said Hydrocarbonprocessing, citing the Department of Energy.

BP Oil Supply, ExxonMobil Corp, Phillips 66, Shell Trading, Valero Marketing and Supply Company, and Macquarie Commodities Trading bought oil from the reserve, which is held in salt caverns on the Texas and Louisiana coasts.

The companies bought the oil at a range from USD46.98/bbl to USD47.91/bbl, slightly below the current futures price of about USD49.70/bbl, depending on which location the crude came from and whether it was sent by pipeline or directly to vessels, which could export the petroleum.

US refiner Phillips 66 charters foreign vessel after Jones Act waiver

MOSCOW (MRC) — Phillips 66 has chartered a Marshall Islands-flagged vessel, making use of a temporary waiver of the Jones Act that was put in place to meet fuel shortages in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, said Hydrocarbonprocessing, citing Argus Media.

The vessel, Nave Jupiter, departed from Houston, Texas on Sept. 9, and was docked near the company's Alliance refinery in Louisiana, the report said. The nearly 100-year-old law mandates the use of US-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between US coasts.

Last week, the US Homeland Security Department had waived the law for a week, the first such waiver since December 2012 after Hurricane Sandy. The department said earlier this week that it was extending the temporary waiver until Sept. 22.

Phillips 66 had requested a waiver to allow it to use foreign vessels to move crude or products to and from its 260,000-bpd Alliance refinery after Hurricane Harvey.