TORONTO - Synergistics Indus-tries Ltd. may add U.S. capacity for its Syncure moisture-curable compounds if it can crack the potable water market. Synergistics is testing Syncure, a cross-linkable polyethylene, as a potential replacement for polybutylene resin in water pipe, said Steve Wooden, Syncure business manager for the Mississauga, On-tario, proprietary compounder.
Syncure's largest market is for low-voltage building wire but it also is used as tubing in household radiant heating systems. According to Wooden, Canadian Standards Association and the National Sanitation Foundation are pressure testing Syncure pipe for potable water. He did not know when testing would be completed.
Henry Finelli, Synergistics vice president and business manager of wire and cable, said Syncure has ``tremendous potential'' in potable water piping. Consumers alleged that use of PB resin pipe and acetal fittings caused leakage problems, which were the focus of a $950 million class-action lawsuit against DuPont Co., Hoechst Celanese Corp. and Shell Oil Co.
Wooden said his firm has not decided whether it will install Syncure capacity at its Willis, Texas, plant or build a new plant. The company will aim the new capacity at U.S. markets in the Midwest and South for wire and cable and pipe.
It hopes to add the capacity next year, although Wooden could not provide a specific timetable.
Synergistics will not recommend what type of fittings are suited to Syncure pipe, according to Wooden.
Installers might choose brass or copper fittings to crimp fit Syncure pipe, he said.
Meanwhile, Synergistics has scheduled a mid-August startup for a Syncure capacity expansion at its Valleyfield, Quebec, operation. It is adding a third Syncure extrusion line there at a cost of about US$600,000 to US$1.1 million, Finelli said. The line will boost capacity by 50 percent, to an undisclosed amount.