HOUSTON - Shell Chemical Co. announced May 9 that it has commercialized polytrimethylene terephthalate, a highly elastic polyester resin. Shell, based in Houston, said it will produce 12 million pounds of PTT at its Point Pleasant, W.Va., facility beginning in 1996, and is targeting the resin as fibers for carpet and textile applications.
Dale Holecek, manager of chemical business development for Shell, said in an interview May 11, that Shell will investigate applications for molded products for the new polymer, but he said those development efforts are approximately three years off, subsequent to the development of fiber applications.
In its announcement, Shell described PTT as a highly elastic, resilient resin that has been known chemically for years but never commercialized because the monomer - trimethylene glycol - used to make it has not been available.
Shell said it is using a new, proprietary process to make monomer at its Geismar, La., chemical facility to ensure its supply.
Owens-Illinois expands internationally
TOLEDO, OHIO - Owens-Illinois Inc. is expanding its international business, buying the plastic and glass container businesses of A. Ahlstrom Corp. of Helsinki, Finland.
Owens-Illinois, based in Toledo, announced May 10 that it had signed a letter of intent to buy the units. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquired businesses have annual sales of about $60 million. The company makes plastic bottles in Finland and glass containers in Finland and Estonia. Privately owned Ahlstrom is selling the units to concentrate on its paper, pulp and power businesses.
One O-I unit, Owens-Brockway Plastic Products in Toledo, was third in Plastics News' 1994 ranking of North American blow molders with estimated sales of $500 million.
Bag maker sets up subsidiary in N.M.
HICKSVILLE, N.Y. - Uniflex Inc., a Hicksville-based bag maker, expects to be producing three new types of bags at its newly established subsidiary in Albuquerque, N.M., this week.
Uniflex President Robert Semel said the new subsidiary, Cycle Plastics Inc., will begin production in a 10,000-square-foot leased plant by May 20.
The facility will produce three distinct products: a double drawstring bag for cosmetic and other applications; a reclosable zipper bag; and a flexible loop-handled bag for large or bulky items.
``We will start with three bag systems,'' Semel said, ``and very soon we will add a fourth line to produce a press-to-close specimen bag for the medical industry.''
He said the Cycle plant, which also will make printed bags, will serve customers in the West, especially the West Coast. Semel said he expected the Cycle plant to generate about $5 million in annual sales.
Uniflex operates a 75,000-square-foot bag plant in Westbury, N.Y., and has office and warehouse facilities in Hicksville. The company reported 1994 sales of about $30 million.
James River Corp. to expand La. plant
SHREVEPORT, LA. - James River Corp., the giant plastic film converter, is more than doubling the size of its Shreveport printing and laminating plant to accommodate customers' needs for shorter turnaround times.
Joseph Moran, vice president for external affairs for the Richmond Va.-based converter, said the $23 million addition will add 66,000 square feet of manufacturing space to the 53,000-square-foot facility. Work should be complete within six months. About $19 million of the $23 million will be earmarked to buy three new flexographic printing presses and additional lamination equipment. Moran declined to give details on what equipment the plant currently operates.
``It is all part of our larger upgrading and improvement efforts, one which we've spent $250 million over the last five years,'' Moran said.
The addition will create about 155 jobs.
The plant is part of the company's packaging unit, which ranked 11th in Plastics News' 1994 survey of North American film and sheet manufacturers with plastic film annual sales of $300 million. That figure included sales for extruded and cast films, not converted films.