Polymer additives specialist Addivant tackles VOCs

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Kent Miller Irfaan Foster, a global commercial manager at the Danbury, Conn.-based company's Chinaplas booth.

Guangzhou, China —​ Polymer additives specialist Addivant showed off its wares and discussed ambitious plans to support Asian customers at Chinaplas in Guangzhou.

Just-in-time manufacturing by Chinese carmakers means that airborne volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) haven't had a chance to abate before a new customer settles in the driver's seat. Addivant's Naugard Foamplus LE anti-scorch antioxidants for polyurethane reduce those VOCs, said Irfaan Foster, a global commercial manager at the Danbury, Conn.-based company's Chinaplas booth.

Addivant's Asia-Pacific headquarters are in Shanghai, with additional staff throughout the country. The company does the bulk of its R&D outside Asia but is already beefing up its technical capabilities here.

"We've increased our sales and technical support in the region by 25 percent in the past 12 months," said Foster. "We see the need for technical support and service here as China rapidly upgrades its capabilities and technologies. People here want to innovate and develop new solutions."

Addivant currently has a plant in Yantai that blends as many as eight different additives in a dust-free form.

"I think today's customers need a lot of technical support, especially when they're changing formulations or recipes. You have to be able to demonstrate to them why your product makes sense and adds value. Customers demand a lot of proof of evidence," Foster said.

Today's international customers demand products that comply with regulations worldwide. To meet that demand, Addivant has boosted its regulatory compliance spending 40 percent annually for the past four years, Foster said.

For example, the company's Weston 705 phosphite antioxidant for linear low density polyethylene food packaging has been approved in more than 180 countries, including the United States, China and the European Union. Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it for infant-formula and breast milk packaging.

Notably, Weston 705 is nonylphenol-free. Nonylphenol is an estrogen mimic that's also toxic to aquatic life.

Also at Chinaplas, Addivant presented its lineup of phenolic antioxidants, amines, thioesters, dust-free blends, light stabilizers, polymer modifiers, and polymerization inhibitors.

Separately, Addivant announced this week that due to an shortage of isobutylene in Europe that started in March, the company will add a temporary 25 percent surcharge to some antioxidants.

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