Norton Performance Plastics Corp. expects a company it acquired recently to help it develop new tubing for environmental applications. The Wayne, N.J., firm bought silicone polymer extruder and molder Patter Products Inc. in January to complement its line of PVC, elastomer and fluoro-polymer tubing and other products.
Norton spokesman David Brownstein said his company has begun research on tubing made of silicone polymer blends. Such tubing could be a substitute for PVC-based tubing used in environmental testing programs. Following the Patter acquisition, Norton added neat-silicone tubing to its product line.
``Silicone blends could be easier to dispose of where PVC is a problem for incineration,'' Brownstein said in a telephone interview.
Environmental testing operations widely use PVC and polyolefin tubing because they are less costly than fluoropolymer tubing specified for extremely low contamination testing.
Norton recently introduced a PVC-tubing substitute, Tygon 2000, based on a polyolefin blend, Brownstein said. The tubing ``has a potential large market in the environmental field.'' Norton's new offerings in silicone-blend tubing could be a year or two away from commercial introduction, he said.
Brownstein said Patter's Beaverton, Mich., operation extends Norton's tubing product line made in its Akron, Ohio, fluid systems plant. Patter's silicone foam also fits Norton's PVC, polyurethane and PE foams/films/laminates business. Norton's precision product business has added silicone seals and gaskets to its fluoropolymer line of components for automo-tive, chemical processing and pumps and valves.
Brownstein would not disclose terms of the Patter deal or annual sales. He estimated about half of Patter's sales are in medical applications. It also extrudes and molds parts for scientific and industrial markets.
Norton will continue the Patter operation unchanged except it will not make products used in human implant applications. The Beaverton operation employs more than 30.
Plastics News estimated Norton's 1994 tubing and profile sales at $72 million. The company is a subsidiary of Compagnie de St.-Gobain of Paris.