Sumika partners with Hexagon, enabling 60% plastic carbon reduction for new vehicles

Sumika partners with Hexagon, enabling 60% plastic carbon reduction for new vehicles

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hexagon's Manufacturing Intelligence division and Sumika Polymer Compounds Europe (SPC Europe), a leading manufacturer of thermoplastic compounds, have partnered to digitise the performance of new sustainable automotive-grade polypropylene (PP) compounds, enabling engineers to design components that are more recyclable and offer a lower carbon footprint for future vehicles, said the company.

Sumika Polymer Compounds' short glass-fibre polypropylene (GF-PP) THERMOFIL HP and recycled polypropylene (GF-rPP) THERMOFIL CIRCLE materials benefit from sustainable manufacturing and recycling processes and offer carmakers performance equivalent to incumbent engineering plastics, but with an up to 60% lower carbon footprint. A growing proportion of today's PP components are recovered and recycled compared to polyamides (PA), of which up to 70% are utilised in waste-to-energy initiatives or finish up in landfill, but there remains substantial room for improvement. These new Sumika recycled PP compounds are designed for the circular economy, contributing to plastic waste reduction at vehicle end-of-life.

Plastics can contribute up to 20% of the total weight of a car, and their application is escalating with the continuing replacement of metals. The automotive industry's shift to eMobility has increased the need for lightweighting components to maximise the energy efficiency of vehicles and mitigate the considerable weight of battery packs, but their environmental performance throughout the lifecycle must also be considered by product development teams.

"Limited material behaviour data is a barrier to sustainable eMobility innovations because automotive engineering teams have not been able to put new materials through the rigorous virtual durability and safety tests required for automotive endorsement," said Guillaume Boisot, head of the Materials Centre of Excellence at Hexagon. "Our unique multiscale material modelling technology accelerates the adoption of SPC Europe's ground-breaking recycled materials by making it possible for product development teams to accurately simulate a component and subject it to established automotive engineering test and validation."

This vital engineering data is the result of a long-term partnership between the two companies, providing product development teams the ability to evaluate the suitability of GF-PP compounds in new designs to address carbon-neutral targets by replacing traditional engineering plastics.

We remind, Sumitomo Chemical announced its decision to close down its production facilities for caprolactam, a raw material for nylon, at its Ehime Works (Niihama city, Ehime, Japan) in October 2022, and exit the business. Sumitomo Chemical started production of caprolactam at its Ehime Works in 1965, employing a liquid-phase process, and has since been engaged in the business for more than 50 years.

Toray develops recycled nylon 66 recovered from silicone-coated airbags

Toray develops recycled nylon 66 recovered from silicone-coated airbags

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Toray has announced that it has developed technology to create a recycled nylon 66 recovered from discarded silicone-coated airbags offering the same flowability and mechanical properties as virgin nylon 66 injection moulding grades, said the company.

Airbag fabric can be coated or non-coated with silicone. Recycling of the non-coated fabric is common practice; Refinverse was the first in Japan to achieve commercial-scale silicone-coated fabric recycling. It strips the silicone from airbag fabric scrap cuttings, after which these are washed.

Toray obtains material from the Refinverse Group, Inc, which it compounds with certain additives to create its high-quality recycled nylon. It is introducing the new material under the Ecouse (pronounced Eco-Use) brand name. Ecouse is the proprietary integrated brand for eco-friendly recycled materials and products that Toray rolled out worldwide in 2015.

An issue with recycling through stripping and washing has been the traces of silicone that fail to be eliminated during the process, degrading the resin and contaminating the moulds during processing. Another issue has been that the high viscosity of the airbag yarn limits applications in thin-wall and other injection moulding processes requiring high fluidity.

Toray incorporated certain additives that prevent any residual silicone resin from migrating to the surface of moulded products, and at the time, considerably reducing mould adhesion. The result is a recycled nylon 66 resin with flowability and mechanical properties on par with those of virgin material.

Toray plans to start full-fledged sample work in April 2023 or later, and ultimately looks to procure recycled raw materials at its overseas sites to establish a global supply system. It will also explore commercialising recycled nylon 66 products made from airbags recovered from end-of-life vehicles.

To date, the company has focussed on recycled plastic products derived primarily from post industrial scrap materials from in-house production processes. It aims to extend recycling to used automotive parts and industrial equipment. Toray is also planning to expand its Ecouse portfolio further, among other with Ecouse Toraycon, a chemically-recycled polybutylene terephthalate resin product that has properties equivalent to virgin materials; Ecouse Toyolac acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and Ecouse Torelina polyphenylene sulfide.

We remind, Toray Industries, Inc., announced that it has developed a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film that combines excellent applicability and adhesion for water-based and solvent-free coatings and can eliminate solvent-derived carbon-dioxide emissions. The company looks to produce the film at a domestic plant by end-March 2024 to help popularize eco-friendly film products for which decarbonization during manufacturing is desirable. These items include release, adhesive, printing, packaging, and automotive films.

Teijin started producing biomass PC resin products

Teijin started producing biomass PC resin products

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Teijin said that it has started producing and marketing biomass-based polycarbonate (PC) resin products at the company's Matsuyama and Mihara production sites, said the company.

"Beginning on 30 January, Teijin... has started producing and marketing biomass PC resin products containing bisphenol A (BPA) made from biomass naphtha that was tracked with the mass-balance approach as well as the conventional PC resin products using petroleum-derived raw materials," the company said in a statement.

The company produces 125,000 tonnes/year of PC via three lines at its Matsuyama site, according to the ICIS Supply & Demand database.

The company has received ISCC PLUS sustainable-product certification from the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) system for biomass-derived BPA PC resin products produced in Japan.

Teijin is the first Japanese company to obtain ISCC PLUS certification for the PC resin products.

We remind, Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd., the Teijin Group’s fibers and products converting company, announced that its core base for polyester fiber manufacturing, Teijin Polyester (Thailand) Limited (TPL), launched a cutting-edge automated facility for the highly efficient production of polyester filaments.

Covestro decides to discontinue Maezio product line

Covestro decides to discontinue Maezio product line

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro will increasingly focus the Engineering Plastics business entity on its core business, said the company.

As a result, the Maezio® product line with highly specialized fiber-reinforced composites and the associated production at the Markt Bibart site are to be discontinued in the course of the current year. “With its Group-wide ‘Sustainable Future’ strategy, Covestro is consistently aligning itself with the needs of high-growth customer industries to generate sustainable growth in an increasingly competitive market,” says Lily Wang, Head of Covestro’s Engineering Plastics business entity. Despite major investments in the development of the Maezio® business and in production technology, as well as technological advances achieved as a result, we were ultimately able to leverage only a few synergies with our core business. Therefore, after a thorough review, we have decided that the Maezio® product line will be discontinued. This decision was not easy for us,” Wang adds.

Covestro started working in the field of continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites in 2015 with the acquisition of TCG Thermoplast Composite GmbH. Following the strategic decision to discontinue the Maezio® product line after almost eight years, Covestro searched intensively for a buyer for the Markt Bibart site. As this attempt was ultimately not successful, Covestro decided to close the site later this year. Most recently, 48 of the approximately 7,600 employees in Germany were employed there. “We have initiated an extensive sales process, which, unfortunately, was not successful. Our focus on the ground is now on providing the best possible support to all colleagues. To this end, we will be working closely with the local employee representatives to find fair solutions for all those affected and to ensure that the closure process is socially responsible,” emphasizes Site Manager John Bauer.

We remind, Covestro and LANXESS are cooperating in the energy-intensive production of basic chemicals at their Lower Rhine sites in Germany and make them more climate friendly. LANXESS procures chlorine, caustic soda and hydrogen from the ISCC PLUS-certified sites of Covestro in Leverkusen and Krefeld-Uerdingen. With immediate effect, Covestro is manufacturing around one-third of the volume of products it supplies to LANXESS using energy from hydropower based on guarantees of origin.

Fire at Swedish oil refinery has been extinguished

Fire at Swedish oil refinery has been extinguished

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A fire, which broke out on Tuesday at Nynas AB's oil refinery in the Swedish city of Nynashamn on the Baltic Sea coast, has been put out, said Reuters.

"The fire broke out mid-morning today and (rescue services) arrived quickly on the scene and the fire is now extinguished. The affected area was immediately evacuated," the Nynas spokesperson said in an email.

A spokesperson for the local fire and rescue service told Reuters earlier it was crude oil that was on fire. She said there were no buildings on fire, and there did not appear to be risk of the flames spreading.

The Nynas AB spokesperson said six persons had been treated onsite after inhaling smoke, one of which had been taken to hospital for further treatment while the others had returned to work.

Images published by daily Aftonbladet and public broadcaster Sveriges Radio showed thick black smoke rising over the refinery located some 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of the Swedish capital Stockholm.

We remind, U.S. crews extinguished a fire on Tuesday at Phillips 66's 149,000-barrel-per-day joint-venture refinery in Borger, Texas, and six people were treated for injuries. Local media reported earlier that the fire had occurred in the storage tank farm at the Borger complex, shutting a state highway near the refinery. All workers at the refinery were accounted for, and the cause of the incident is being investigated.