By: Frank Esposito
April 2, 2012
ORLANDO, FLA. (April 2, 8:25 p.m. ET) — BASF Corp. (Booth 24000) is touting several new grades and applications of its Ultramid-brand nylon compounds at NPE2012.
Ultramid HFX was launched late last year and is being used in small tubing for paint sprayers and in large tubing for oil and gas applications, industrial business director Joe Venner said in an interview at NPE2012.
The new compound is being made at BASF plants in Sparta, N.C., and Altamira, Mexico. A recent increase in oil and gas exploration and drilling throughout North America has spurred demand for the new compound, Venner said.
A long glass-fiber grade of Ultramid also was commercialized late last year. The material can have 40-60 percent glass fiber content, Venner said. It’s been commercialized in axe handles and other applications where impact performance and toughness are needed.
Ultramid also recently was used for the first time in an oil pan module on Ford’ F250 and F350 trucks. It’s replacing cast aluminum there and can offer as much as 50 percent weight reduction, business development manager Phil Wilson said.
Other recent new Ultramid applications include a higher-gloss grade in lawnmower grills and battery trays in the Chevy Volt vehicle, Wilson added. A wheel rim made from Ultramid also is in development with DaimlerBenz. The concept part can offer 30 percent weight reduction vs. metal.
Venner added that BASF’s Ultradur-brand polybutylene terphthalate (PBT) resin also has made inroads into the appliance market recently.
Florham Park, N.J.-based BASF is the North American arm of global plastics and chemicals giant BASF SE of Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF SE posted sales of almost $96 billion in 2011.