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The following items were reported by Plastics News correspondent Michael Lauzon from Polyolefins X, held Feb. 23-26 in Houston.

Ciba Specialty offers PE, PP stabalizers

Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp. introduced a line of high-performance antioxidant and processing stabilizers for polypropylene and polyethylene.

The White Plains, N.Y., firm said its Irganox HP is based on lactone chemistry that acts as a carbon-centered radical scavenger. Irganox HP provides discoloration-free processing at temperatures as high as 644 F in PP and 572 F in PE, the company claimed. It also improves melt-flow control.

Ciba also reported that its Irgafos 12 secondary phosphite antioxidant received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for food-contact use. The firm said the product has unusually high moisture resistance for a phosphite.

Ciba Specialty Chemicals comprises former Ciba-Geigy industrial businesses, including additives, polymers and pigments.

Resin helps achieve balanced properties

Molecular modeling will allow resin suppliers to optimize properties that usually work against each other, according to Paul Graves, group leader at DuPont Dow Elastomers LLC's Freeport, Texas, facility.

Graves described how researchers developed a wire and cable resin that had good processability and resin cure performance. One of those properties usually suffers when the other property is improved.

Researchers designed a silane-cured Engage resin made with Dow's Insite polymerization technology.

witco says additive aids ink adhesive

Witco Corp. said its new anti-slip additive allows improved ink adhesion and printability for water-based inks on polyolefins.

Hydroslip 921 is a secondary fatty amide based on erucic acid. It is available in bead form from Witco's polymer additives group in Greenwich, Conn. It has a melting point of 163 F and specific gravity of 0.87.

Albermarle phosphite OK for food contact

Albermarle Corp. said its high-performance phosphite Ethanox 398 recently received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for several food-contact applications.

The Baton Rouge, La., firm markets Ethanox 398 for polyolefin applications where color is important. It is a secondary antioxidant that, unlike most phosphites, has exceptional water resistance, according to the company.

The product is a fluorophosphonite that is thermally stable to 550 F, the company said.


Metallocene-catalyzed polypropylene will capture 10-15 percent of isotactic PP markets by the year 2010 because of its properties for film and fiber production, predicted Ed Shamshoum, manager of polymer research and development for Fina Oil and Chemical Co., based in LaPorte, Texas. ... Global operating rates for polyethylene production plants could drop to about 80 percent in 1998 as new capacity comes into use faster than demand grows, predicted William Kuhlke, principal of Kuhlke & Associates of Houston. Polypropylene plant operating rates could drop to the mid-80 percent range in 1997 and 1998. ... Production costs for many metallocene catalysts will decline as they become more widely used, according to Jeffrey Sullivan, research director for Boulder Scientific Co. of Mead, Colo. Some current catalysts cost more than $2,700 per pound, he estimated. ... Bemis Manufacturing Co. saves about $73,000 a year at one injection molding press by using liquid colorant, according to Loren Albrecht, process manager for Bemis' injection molding division in Sheboygan Falls, Wis. Benefits include less downtime during color change, less waste during changes and enhanced color dispersion.