Bluestar Silicones reveals multipurpose foam control additives
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4Additives for Polymers February 2013
Colony forming unit (CFU) reductions of 99.99% are typical when using SafeTouch at a 1% to 2% loading level into the melt, PolyFusion claims.
SafeTouch antimicrobial masterbatch is EPA registered and available in pelletized and powder forms. The product is compatible with commodity and engineered thermoplas-tics and is thermally stable in their representative process-ing parameters, PolyFusion reports. In addition, the com-pany states that it ‘willingly provides’ development work to optimize its customers’ expectations for the SafeTouch antimicrobial. No special handling considerations outside a typical standard operating procedure are required when using the SafeTouch additive, the company says. The use of SafeTouch does not affect pigmentation or the physical properties of the processed plastic, PolyFusion claims. The masterbatch is readily available in 50-lb cartons and 1000-lb gaylord containers.
Contact: PolyFusion LLC, PO Box 629, Angola, IN 46703, USA.
Tel: +1 260 624 7659, Email: [email protected],
Malaysian university studies use of powdered kenaf as a reinforcing filler
In Malaysia, researchers from the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) have been study-
ing the suitability of ground kenaf core as a reinforcing filler for wood–plastic composites (WPCs). Using the powdered material in combi-nation with maleic-anhydride-modified polypro-pylene (MAPP) as the coupling agent, the team claim to have created a new, more-durable WPC.
Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) is a plant in the Malvaceae family widely cultivated for its fibre in South Asia as well as in the USA, South Africa and others. Kenaf stems contain two distinct fibre types, bast (the outer bark) and core. The inner core fraction comprises about 65% of the whole stem of the plant. The UiTM study has focused on assessing the suitabil-ity of the kenaf core fibre in powder form as a filler material.
The researchers examined the possibility of replacing sawdust in WPCs with ground kenaf core (GKC) fibre and measured the mechanical properties of the resulting composites. They also looked at the effect of increasing
MAPP dosage. Material preparation included GKC drying followed by high-intensity blending with polypropylene (PP) and coupling agent (MAPP) pellets, and feeding this mix into a counter-rotating twin-screw extruder for com-pounding. Compounded blends were then fed to an injec-tion-moulding machine to produce boards of dimensions 153 mm × 153 mm × 3 mm. Specimens were cut from the boards for tensile and bending tests.
The team report that formulations with GKC have higher average tensile strength, modulus of rupture and modulus of elasticity. In addition, dosing with the optimum amount of MAPP was found to not only bridge the interface between the GKC and PP, improving stress transfer and increasing the strength and stiffness of the composites, but also allow a higher filler loading of 65%. Reducing the amount of plas-tic and increasing the amount of GKC, without sacrificing strength, stiffness or durability, would result in greener WPC products, the researchers comment. While recommending additional testing and research into the mechanical properties of the high filler loading WPCs, the researchers suggest that powdered kenaf core fibre offers a potential alternative to tra-ditional filler materials for the growing WPC sector.
Contact: Aruan Efendy Mohd Ghazali, Institute of Research,
Development and Commersialisation, Universiti Teknologi
MARA Shah Alam, 50450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 3 55442094, Fax: +60 3 55442096,
Email: [email protected], Web: inforec.uitm.edu.my
Bluestar Silicones reveals multi-purpose foam control additives
In North America, silicones specialist Bluestar Silicones has introduced a new line of
Silcolapse® brand foam control additives that provides broad utility at various temperatures and pH levels for a wide range of industrial and food applications. The products are manufactured at the company’s new facility in York, SC, USA, opened in June 2012, and are available locally.
The Silcolapse brand foam control products are available in a range of dilutions to meet customer-specific anti-foam-ing needs, the company says. These water-soluble additives effectively control foam at concentrations as low as 10 ppm solids, even at elevated temperatures and under pressure, Bluestar Silicones claims. The products also are effective
February 2013 Additives for Polymers5
at wide-ranging pH levels and are particularly effective in alkaline conditions, it says. Among the range, Silcolapse 623 and 621 are designed for industrial applications, including synthetic rubber processing and plastics recycling. ‘We’re excited about this introduction because these new high-quality products are domestically produced and meet impor-tant performance requirements for our North American customer base’, says Roman Radekevich, market manager for Specialty Fluids for Bluestar Silicones North America.
Contact: Bluestar Silicones USA Corp, Two Tower Center Blvd,
Suite 1601, East Brunswick, NJ 08816-1100, USA.
Tel: +1 732 227 2060, Fax: +1 732 249 7000,
Albemarle plans expansion of flame retardants production at Orangeburg facility
Louisiana-based Albemarle Corp has announced plans to expand its Orangeburg
manufacturing operations in South Carolina, USA. The company says that the development will support growing demand for products in all three of its global business units, Polymer Solutions, Catalysts and Fine Chemistry. The pro-ject includes new facilities for the manufacture of a new line of sustainable fire safety solutions.
Announced in December 2012, the expansion will occur over the next five years and will involve an investment of US$65 million, the company reports. The project will pro-vide facilities to produce GreenCrest™, the new polymeric flame retardant based on technology licensed from Dow Chemical [ADPO, June 2012], and the latest addition to the company’s Earthwise™ portfolio of eco-friendly fire safe-ty solutions. Albemarle has previously stated that it intends to commercialize the new technology in 2014 [ibid., July 2012]. The development will also add facilities to manu-facture two new products in its Fine Chemistry Services business as well as expanding the company’s organometallic production unit to support the growing Polymer Catalysts business. Albemarle says it expects to add 20 jobs to sup-
port the expansion. According to the company’s CEO Luke Kissam, the ‘dedication of our employees and the support for our operations’ in Orangeburg made the site ‘the logical choice’ for these growth projects.
Contact: Albemarle Corp, Baton Rouge, LA, USA. Tel: +1 225 388 7402,
BASF opens Bahrain plant for customer specific antioxidant blends
In December, BASF opened its state-of-the-art production site for customer specific antioxidant
blends (CSB) in the Kingdom of Bahrain [ADPO, September 2011]. Now fully operational, the plant is said to be the largest facility of this kind worldwide. According to BASF, this investment continues to strengthen its position as a ‘leading partner’ in additives for the plastic processing industry worldwide and shows its strong com-mitment to support the growth of the polymer industry in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC).
The new facility, which is based on proprietary CSB technology, will provide local production and services to the fast-growing polymer market in the Middle East with special focus on key customers in the countries of the GCC, BASF says. It comes in addition to the existing manufacturing agreement for CSB with Astra Polymer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which was extended last year [ibid., September 2012]. CSB, which are additive-blends tailored to meet individual customer needs, are an integral part of the portfolio BASF offers to the plastics industry, the company comments.
BASF stresses the necessity of local structures: ‘We are committed to accompany the growth in the region with technical and flexible supply solutions through local pro-duction’, explains John Frijns, head of Plastic Additives Europe/EAWA. ‘BASF’s investment in this new site dem-onstrates our steadfast commitment to support growing industries in the Middle East, while at the same time set-ting standards with regard to quality, safety and employee training’, adds BASF board member Michael Heinz. The Bahrain facility is part of a strong antioxidants production network that takes in Asia, Europe and the Americas.