BREWSTER, N.Y. - Ciba Polymers of Brewster started production of a new line of waterborne epoxy resins at its McIntosh, Ala., plant. The Araldite-brand resins are ideal for use in institutional buildings such as hospitals and schools because they contain fewer toxins than ones using solvents, the company said.
``The industry is moving this way because of environmental regulations and [volatile organic compound emission] mandates for a reduction of toxins,'' said Rick Irizarry, Ciba Polymers' director of sales. ``Waterborne resins allows us to do that.''
Ciba spent more than $1 million for equipment at McIntosh, where it began production in mid-September, the company said.
Peter Chetcuti, Ciba Polymers' industry manager, said this offering gets Ciba in the waterborne epoxy market, now dominated by Shell Chemical Co. of Houston.
``We are actively developing new hardeners as well as nonsolvent-containing versions of our resins,'' he said. Ciba hopes to promote these next year.
Ciba also signed a letter of intent with Palmer International Inc. of Worcester, Pa., to become Ciba's exclusive source for distilled cashew nut shell oil. The oil is used to make special epoxy hardeners and resins for high-performance industrial maintenance and marine coatings.
Ciba Polymers is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ciba-Geigy Ltd. of Basel, Switzerland.