By: Frank Esposito
October 16, 2013
DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — Celanese Corp. is heating up K 2013 with cold and ice.
The cold comes from a pulka sled that used Celstran-brand long-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics and GUR-brand ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene made by Dallas-based Celanese. The sled was used by Celanese engineer Eric Folz and professional photographer Mike Fuchs on a three-week trip to the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen earlier this year. Along the way, the sled withstood temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius, Folz said during an Oct. 16 press event at the show.
The ice is in the form of Fortron ICE — a new grade of the firm's Fortron-brand polyphenylene sulfide that offers improved crystallization evolution. Officials said the new material — one of several introduced at the show — can allow injection molders to create diverse part shapes, as well as reduce molding cycle times and improve de-molding of parts.
Celanese also is reducing the number of brand names it uses in order to operate under a single Celanese brand. One of the brand names being discontinued is Ticona, which had been the name of its engineering polymers unit for several years.
"We're going through a transformation in many ways," Chairman and CEO Mark Rohr said at the press event. "We want to leverage the great technology that exists in the company. Now we're seeing a rebranding of the corporation, and that's creating unique choices for our customers."
The changeover also "stretches minds about what's possible with our materials," said engineered materials Vice President and General Manager Phil McDivitt.
"The exciting part about what's happening now is creating solutions that go across traditional businesses," he said.
McDivitt and other Celanese officials demonstrated new applications for Celanese materials in several end markets, including an all-plastic concept oven that uses polypropylene mixed with Celstran and the firm's Vectra-brand liquid crystal polymers. The oven can withstand temperatures as high as 250° C.
Another application uses Fortron as the base polymer in the first thermoplastic composite helicopter tailplane for the aerospace market. The composite tailplane can provide weight savings of 30 percent.
Elsewhere, Celanese materials are being used in a wide range of applications including lawnmower fuel tanks, coffee machines, knee and hip replacements and shower heads. Product lines being expanded by Celanese at the show include Clarifoil-brand cellulose film, Mowilith-brand and Vinamul-brand emulsion polymers, Ateva-brand EVA polymers as well as several cellulose bioplastic materials.
New products also are being launched for Celanese's broad range of engineering resins, including Celstran, GUR, Vectra, Celcon-brand and Hostaform-brand acetal, Celanex-brand polybutylene terephthalate and Zenite-brand liquid crystal polymers.
Celanese posted sales of $1.65 billion in the second quarter of 2013 — up 3 percent vs. the previous quarter. The firm's profit climbed more than 6 percent to $133 million in the same comparison.