GELEEN, NETHERLANDS - The joint venture between Exxon Chemical Co. and DSM NV that will make a new line of thermoplastic elastomers is expected to begin operations this month. The venture - Dex-Plastomers V.O.F - will combine Exxon's metallocene catalyst technology with an existing DSM polyolefins production facility in Geleen to make metallocene plastomers.
Exxon of Houston and DSM of Heerlen, Netherlands, announced Oct. 5 they intended to form a joint venture to produce plastomers.
On May 10, the companies said they were accomplishing their plans. The venture will be located in Geleen, near the site of the production facility. They said their agreement to establish the joint venture is subject to the approval of European Commission and Dutch governmental agencies.
Dex-Plastomers will be led by Ger Van der Horst, a DSM executive who has been named managing director. Jim Lockwood, an executive from Exxon, has been named commercial director for Dex-Plastomers.
Dex-Plastomers will have the capacity to make 253 million pounds of plastomers a year.
While the company will start by producing existing very low density and high density polyethylene products, it will supplant current products with new plastomers based on Exxon's metallocene technologies. The new products will be plastomers with densities of 0.0144-0.015 pounds per cubic inch.
The companies announced in October they intend to use DSM's proprietary, Compact solution production technology with Exxon's metallocene technology, to make as many as 45 grades of plastomer products.
Design Tool moves to larger building
MINNEAPOLIS - Design Tool & Engineering, a Minneapolis mold-making firm, has moved.
The move from the 1,800-square-foot plant to the leased, 4,200-square-foot facility was because of overcrowding, said President Bill Cullen.
Design Tool makes molds for injection molding firms. It added one employee in the expansion, giving the company a total of eight. Cullen said the company has ordered more machines for the new facility.
Design Tool serves the automotive, computer and electric industries with close-tolerance molds.
Arco opens tech lab for South America
NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA. - Arco Chemical Co. has opened a technical laboratory in Santos, Brazil, to test products and formulations, and provide Arco customers with technical support.
The new lab will provide service for customers in South America. Previous-ly, Arco's West Virginia facilities handled all technical service.
Arco markets polyols and toluene diisocyanate in the region to polyurethane foam processors who make components for furniture, automotive seating and other products. These markets are growing as U.S. automakers and their suppliers expand or move into the area, said Fernando D'Andrea, technical manager for Brazilian operations.
Technical services will be useful to customers in the region, particularly because many lack bench-scale testing facilities at their own plants, he said.
TP Composites Inc. to increase capacity
ASTON, PA. - Aston-based TP Composites Inc., a custom compounder of engineering resins, will double its capacity by Sept. 1. The company would not reveal how much it will invest in the expansion.
Single-screw extruders currently being installed will add 10 million pounds of capacity.
``We expect to double our sales this year and we project to double them again next year, '' said spokeswoman Linda Marlin.
TP Composites serves the electrical, lawn and garden, automotive, medical and waste water treatment industries.