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Dow and Teknor Apex working together on flexible PVC

By: Frank Esposito

January 24, 2012

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (Updated Jan. 26, 8:45 a.m. ET) — Materials firms Dow Chemical Co. and Teknor Apex Co. are working together to make flexible PVC compounds using Dow’s bio-based plasticizers.

The two firms announced the agreement in a Jan. 23 news release. Pawtucket, R.I.-based Teknor now has exclusive North American marketing rights for flexible PVC compounds made with the Dow plasticizers, which are sold under the Ecolibrium brand name.

Teknor plans to introduce the new compounds at the NPE 2012 trade show in April and fully commercialize them later this year. Targeted uses include wire and cable construction applications, as well as footwear, flooring and profiles.

“Environmental stewardship is serious business at Teknor Apex,” vinyl division vice president Louis Cappucci said in the release. “We are committed to the development of innovative compounds utilizing sustainable resources.”

Teknor already has sent one shipment of the new compounds from its Pawtucket plant, Cappucci said in a Jan. 24 phone interview. The products also may be made at Teknor’s other U.S. plants as well as in plants in England and China.

“More of our customers are looking for green solutions,” Cappucci added. The project with Dow is separate from Teknor’s work to commercialize starch-based bioplastics, he said.

Dow’s relationship with Teknor “has provided Dow Electrical & Telecommunications with a unique opportunity to market beyond the power industry,” unit new business development director Thorne Bartlett said in the release.

Midland, Mich.-based Dow makes Ecolibrium using almost 100 percent renewable feedstocks. Companies using compounds with Ecolibrium may be able to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 40 percent, officials said.

In a Jan. 25 phone interview, Bartlett declined to specify which biomaterials are used in Ecolibrium, but he described its raw material as “a vegetable-derived, natural-based oil.” The plasticizer is made at two Dow production sites in the Midwest U.S., but Bartlett declined to be more specific.

Bartlett added that Dow chose Teknor for the partnership because of Teknor’s “really good focus on specialty applications.” He also said that Teknor “has a good reputation for making custom formulations for their customers’ needs.”

Dow ranks as one of the world’s largest plastics and chemicals firms, while Teknor is a major plastics compounder.