DETROIT - DuPont Automotive has signed a letter of intent to acquire privately held Carrs Paints Ltd., a maker of automotive finishes and coatings based in Birmingham, England. Finan-cial terms for the deal, which is scheduled to be completed by year-end, were not disclosed. The addition of the Carrs business will improve DuPont's market position as a supplier of coatings for new vehicle production and plastic parts in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe, said Louis F. Savelli, vice president and general manager of DuPont Automotive in Detroit.
Carrs supplies original equipment finishes to Rover, Jaguar and Peugeot and is a major supplier of coatings for makers of plastics components. Not included in the deal were Carrs' other industrial and decorative finishes businesses and facilities.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Austral-ia's plastics and chemical imports are growing at 11.4 percent annually, with North America the major supplier.
A new study by Melbourne-based Plastics & Chemicals Industries Association shows the value of plastic and chemical imports in 1995-1996 was A$11.6 billion (US$9.2 billion), up 73 percent from A$6.7 billion (US$5.3 billion) in 1991-1992.
North America was the major exporter to Australia, accounting for A$2.7 billion (US$2.1 billion) of exports in 1995-1996, followed by the United Kingdom with A$1.1 billion (US$869 million).
North America, the United Kingdom and Japan combined accounted for 42 percent of Australia's plastics and chemical imports.
Plastic resins and finished plastic goods were the major import categories, totaling A$2.5 billion (US$1.9 billion) in 1995-1996.
Warwick Bisley, PACIA immediate past president and managing director of Melbourne-based plastics manufacturer Kemcor Australia Pty Ltd., said the increase in imports was due to Australia's low tariffs and lack of incentives for manufacturing investment.
He said Australian exports of plastics and chemicals also are increasing, but there is a trade deficit of more than A$5 billion (US$3.9 billion).
Australia's plastics industry plans to lobby the Australian government to introduce programs to replace imports and increase export opportunities.
Bisley said the Australian government should consider special investment incentives for international plastics companies to establish large-scale projects in Australia.
He said similar investment incentives provided by Asian countries are attracting projects at Australia's expense.
``To compete successfully in international markets, world-scale plants are required and, given Australia's relatively small domestic market, it is vital for the industry to have the ability to compete in growing regional markets to justify investment,'' he said.
Bisley said Australia is lagging behind other countries in micro-economic reform, particularly in international shipping and wharfage costs.
He said Australian plastics companies also need access to raw materials and energy at more competitive prices.
HEBRON, KY. - Dick Jackson and his son Glenn didn't think they were doing anything wrong by working out of a building next door to the family home. But the planning and zoning commission saw things differently.
``The neighbors were OK with it,'' explained Glenn. ``It was the planning and zoning guy, who's also the county tax assessor, who had the problem.''
No industrial businesses are allowed in a residential area. So, the Jacksons were forced to find a new home for Jackson Tool & Mold. They purchased a 15,000-square foot building that used to serve as home of the Hebron Volunteer Fire Department and has room for expansion.
Recently, the company in-stalled a new Mazak computer numerically controlled horizontal machining center, a Trak DPM three-axis CNC milling machine and an automatic cut-off saw. The Jacksons plan to purchase a Fadel vertical machining center in the near future.
Glenn Jackson said the company builds molds for local molders and original equipment manufacturers including Kenner Toy in Cincinnati.
The company also owns molds that produce polycarbonate parts, which Jackson has molded at a local custom molding house, then performs value-added ma-chining for an undisclosed OEM.
In addition to mold making, the company offers metal and plastics machining and fabricating services.
The younger Jackson said he did not really mind that planning and zoning forced them to move the shop. ``It made us find a bigger place and expand'' our capabilities, he said.
TOKYO - Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. of Tokyo announced Oct. 23 it purchased land in St. James Parish, La., where it intends to invest $700 million to build a facility to make 2.1 billion pounds of PVC a year.
The company said it hopes to begin production by mid-1998.
Shin-Etsu, a maker of semiconductor silicon, previously said it was interested in establishing an integrated PVC facility in the United States, which could include a vinyl chloride monomer and caustic production plant.
HOUSTON - Lyondell Petro-chemical Co. of Houston intends to increase production of high density polyethylene more than 20 percent at its Victoria, Texas, polymers facility.
Lyondell said it will debottleneck its HDPE facility in Victoria to add 100 million pounds of capacity by mid-1998. The plant now produces 475 million pounds of HDPE. Lyondell acquired the plant in May 1995 from Occidental Chemical Co.
MIDLAND, MICH. - A fiber-reinforced plastic tank at a New Jersey paper plant has won Dow Chemical Co.'s ``Tanks for the Memories'' contest as the oldest known tank still in use made from Dow's Derakane epoxy vinyl ester resin.
Dow of Midland held the contest to celebrate Derakane's 30th anniversary.
The above-ground tank is used as a mix tank at Garden State Paper Co. in Garfield, N.J., a recycled newsprint mill.
The fabricator, MFG Justin Tanks Inc. of Georgetown, Del., made the filament-wound tank in 1974. The tank stands 14 feet tall and measures 10 feet in diameter. It holds 8,000 gallons. Glass fibers were used.
At Garden State Paper, the corrosion-resistant tank originally held sodium silicate, water and other chemicals used to form a polymer needed to clarify water. More recently, it has stored precipitated calcium carbonate used in the paper machines as a filler.
Lou Spagnardi, Garden State Paper's stock preparation superintendent, said the 22-year-old tank remains in good condition.
``If the tank was constructed using steel, it would have rusted by now. But with FRP, the sidewalls have stayed clean and there have been no leaks or cracks.''
UNIONTOWN, OHIO - BFGoodrich Co. has licensed Culver City Composites Corp. to manufacture a high-temperature composite using a polyimide resin.
``The material has significant improvements over current systems,'' said Richard McMurry, general manager of the Union-town-based Ice Protection Sys-tems Division of BFGoodrich's Aerospace segment. The resin, known as Superimide 800, is considered a next-generation product in the polyimide field.
``Since we announced last spring that we had plans to license [Superimide 800], we have literally gotten inquiries from all over the world,'' said Paul Pendorf, president of Culver City Composites and its parent, Los Angeles-based American Materials & Technologies Corp.
The resin can operate at temperatures to 800§ F and avoids use of the chemical substance 4,4'-methylenedianiline. Research groups and governmental bodies classify MDA as a cancer-causing agent.
The Oct. 30 licensing agreement provides Culver City Composites with exclusive worldwide rights to formulate the chemistry and use the resin to impregnate woven fabrics or unidirectional tape for applications such as jet engine components, land-based high-speed turbine components, missile fins and industrial compressors. A Jan. 25 letter of intent preceded the licensing agreement.