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Projects move Deltech into specialty styrene-based materials

By: Michael Lauzon

June 24, 2014

Deltech Corp. is strengthening its thrust in specialty clear styrenics production.

The company last month debottlenecked production capacity at its Troy, Ohio, polymer plant so that it can make at least 60 million pounds of crystal polystyrene and 30 million pounds of specialty styrenic copolymers, estimated Joseph Andrews, vice president and general manager, in a June 24 phone interview.

The company is adding blending equipment in Troy to help customize polymers based on crystal PS and its Styrilic styrene-methylmethacrylate copolymers. The first phase of the blending operation will start up in July. Styrilic can be blended and compounded with other polymers to give tailored performance in consumer durables like tableware.

Deltech also is restarting its Troy pilot plant for new product development to fill price/performance niches in clear, rigid packaging and point-of-purchase markets. That project also is due for completion in July.

New polymer development could incorporate specialty monomers made by Deltech at its Baton Rouge, La., aromatic monomers facility. Para-methylstyrene, vinyltoluene and tertiary-butylstyrene are monomers that show promise in copolymers and terpolymers with styrene and methylmethacrylate, added Brent Reedstrom, director of technical services and development.

“Deltech Corp. has served the specialty monomer market for over 25 years,” noted Deltech CEO Robert Elefante, in a news release. “During that time, we have developed new monomers that support our customers’ specialty requirements.”

Andrews said extensive consolidation and cutbacks in product lines among PS producers have created voids in the marketplace that a niche player like Deltech can fill.

Deltech restarted its Troy plant four years ago. It had been idled from 2003-2010, after Deltech sold its styrenics business to Nova Chemicals Inc. That deal included customer lists and product formulations, but no physical assets.

A non-compete agreement with Nova has since expired.