Montell Polyolefins is taking the second step in its three-phase ramp-up of production for engineering resins based on polyolefins. Montell of Wilmington, Del., announced July 11 that it intends to build a resin production unit in Lake Charles, La., to make 10 million pounds of Hivalloy resins a year.
Hivalloy is Montell's trade name for a new family of high-performance engineering resin alloys. The company hopes to use its Hivalloy resins to compete with nylon, acetal and polyphenylene oxide resins, and polycarbonate/ABS and PC/polybutylene terephthalate blends.
Montell has had a pilot production plant operating in Lake Charles, and now is scaling up production to make larger quantities, which the company hopes will help it to develop markets for the resins. The pilot production plant was the first stage of the three-phase production ramp up.
Ken Dargis, director of business development for Hivalloy engineering resins, said Montell expects to have its market development production unit operating by the end of this year.
Dargis spoke July 13 in an interview by telephone from his office in Wilmington.
The third phase of Montell's plans call for a commercial facility to be in production in 1998, Dargis said.
Montell's Hivalloy production process uses stepped reactors to combine olefin backbones grafted onto other monomers.
The company's current line of Hivalloy resins uses styrene monomer as the grafting agent, but Dargis said new Hivalloy products will use different grafting agents. He could not reveal what the new grafting agents would be.
Montell's current line of resins has 12 basic products, and several derivative products, Dargis said.
They are being sold at prices of $1.40 per pound for truckload quantities of neat resin, and at $1.65-1.75 per pound for truckload quantities of glass-filled resin.
Dargis said Montell is targeting Hivalloy at applications for automotive, industrial, wire and cable and consumer products.
Montell has estimated that its Hivalloy products could be a significant player in a 10 billion-pound market with annual sales of $15 billion a year, according to Dargis.