MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - The Australian Customs Service is re-viewing anti-dumping measures imposed on PVC imports from 10 countries, including the United States, Canada and Mexico. The review follows a request from Australia's only PVC resin manufacturers, Sydney-based ICI Australia Ltd. and Melbourne-based Auseon Ltd.
The PVC manufacturers say the price of imported vinyl chloride monomer has increased significantly, so duties imposed on PVC imports need to be increased because on-shore pro-duction costs have risen.
In 1992, anti-dumping duties were imposed on PVC exports from the United States, Brazil and Mexico; the latest increase was in May 1994.
The level of duty imposed and the calculation method were not made public.
Submissions to the review must be received by June 13, and the review is expected to be completed by Aug. 11.
Other countries that will be reviewed are Japan, China, Brazil, France, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.
Vetrotex Certain Teed expanding capacity
VALLEY FORGE, PA. - Vetrotex CertainTeed Corp. will expand fiberglass reinforcement production capacity at its plant in Wichita Falls, Texas.
The company, based in Valley Forge, said the multimillion-dollar expansion will increase total annual production by about 20 percent.
The project involves capacity additions and productivity improvements for two furnaces. One furnace is scheduled for completion this fall and the other is slated for completion by summer 1996.
According to David Sharpe, company vice president of sales and marketing, the company projects a strong FRP market for the balance of 1995 and beyond.
``We believe that key economic indicators such as car and light truck sales and durable goods will be at or near 1994 levels,'' he said in a news release.
Vetrotex CertainTeed's reinforcements are marketed primarily to the composites industry. They are used extensively in automotive, appliance and business equipment, marine, aerospace, transportation, construction and corrosion-resistant applications.
Ashland Chemical acquires Mirea SpA
COLUMBUS, OHIO - Ashland Chemical Co. has purchased Mirea SpA, a thermoplastics distributor and compounder based in Milan, Italy. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The business operations will become part of Ashland Plastics-Italy, which is part of the Columbus-based company's network of plastics distribution facilities. Mirea employs 26.
Ashland Plastics International provides processors with a single source for resins from major suppliers. It serves processors in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Australia and New Zealand.
Ultraform to boost capacity for acetal
THEODORE, ALA. - Ultraform Co. plans to boost the capacity of its acetal copolymer resins plant by 13 million pounds per year.
The expansion, scheduled for completion in the first half of 1996, will bring the plant's total capacity for acetal copolymer resins to about 48 million pounds per year, the Theodore-based company announced.
Ultraform is a joint venture of Degussa Corp. and BASF Corp.
Ultraform acetal copolymers are used to mold and extrude components in the automotive, industrial and consumer product markets.
Companies combine carbon-fiber lines
TOKYO - A new Japanese joint venture has taken over and combined pitch-based carbon-fiber product lines that owners Nippon Oil Co. Ltd. and Nippon Steel Corp. have manufactured and sold in separate niche markets.
The Tokyo venture, Nippon Graphite Fiber Corp., was established recently with 60 employees, capitalization of about $2.9 million and annual capacity to produce about 120 tons of high- and ultrahigh-modulus pitch-based carbon fiber under the Granoc trade name.
The oil company's Yokohama refinery produces 75 million- to 120 million-modulus carbon fiber for use in making broadcast and communication satellites, golf club shafts and other sporting goods.
Relevant Yokohama equipment will be moved to the steel company's Hirohata works, which makes 29 million-modulus carbon fiber for construction and industrial applications.
``Pitch-based carbon fibers have higher thermal conductivity and lower expansion coefficient than [is] found in the usual pan-based product,'' said consultant Andrew C. Marshall of Walnut Creek, Calif., who represents the venture in the United States.
Nippon Graphite will contract with the existing Yokohama and Hirohata operations for production of prepregs.
Prototype Express reports sales growth
SCHAUMBURG, ILL. - Prototype Express Inc., a service bureau based in Schaumburg, has accepted delivery of the 500th rapid prototyping system produced by 3D Systems Inc., an SLA-500 model.
Prototype Express was founded in 1989 and is one of the oldest of the service bureaus, companies that own the machines and equipment and offer their services to others. The privately owned firm has purchased six systems from 3D Systems of Valencia, Calif., and has produced some 14,000 models.
Tom Mueller, Prototype Express president, said demand for services like those offered by his company are surging. He estimates revenues this year will exceed $6 million. The firm was started in a garage with about $300,000 in capital, one computer-aided design system and a leased SLA-250 model, he said.
Helisys patent for prototyping system
TORRANCE, CALIF. - Helisys Inc. said it has been granted a patent for its laminated-object manufacturing system that makes three-dimensional objects from computer-aided-design data.
President Michael Feygin said the patent is broad and covers paper and other sheets the system uses to make rapid prototypes.
Feygin said the protection includes areas in which a number of competitors have attempted to differentiate their rapid prototyping processes.
Those areas include techniques for removing unwanted material from around the laminated object.
Helisys, based in Torrance, also introduced a paper it calls high-performance LomPaper.
According to the company, it reduces prototype building times in its systems and increases accuracy.
Huntsman Chemical develops black EPS
CHESAPEAKE, VA. - Huntsman Chemical Corp. of Salt Lake City has developed a compounded, black expandable polystyrene that it is targeting for packaging, recreation and industrial applications.
The black EPS is based on carbon black and includes a small amount of polyphenylene oxide as a processing aid, according to Josh Ullrich, an applications development engineering with Huntsman's Expandable Resins Division in Chesapeake.