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SAN JOSE, CALIF. — After sampling a formulation for 18 months, Dow Plastics has commercialized its Calibre 1080 DVD polycarbonate resin and is shipping product worldwide from its Freeport, Texas, facility.

The resin features a consistent melt-flow rate of 80 grams per 10 minutes, one of the highest among polycarbonates, T.J. Wainerdi, global market development manager for consumer electronics, said at Replitech International in San Jose.

Dow Plastics designed the resin for the emerging digital versatile disc market, but is marketing principally to processors of all optical discs.

``We think DVD-ROM will take off very quickly,'' Wainerdi said.

As much as 40 million pounds of optical-grade resin can be produced in the Freeport facility.

Sampling occurred in 15 customer locations in the United States, Europe and Japan.

``We were able to determine what performance properties would meet the specific needs they identified for DVD,'' said William Lutz, development leader for optical media.

The 1080 product extends the line of Calibre PC resins and, with high-impact and general-purpose Styron polystyrene and Magnum ABS resins, gives Dow Plastics a full range of products for replicators of jewel boxes, audio and videocassettes and optical discs.

Dow Plastics, a business group of Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical Co., produces polycarbonate in Niihama, Japan, and Stade, Germany, as well as Freeport.