The following news stories were gathered by reporter Frank Esposito at Metcon 97, held June 4-5 in Houston.
Metallocenes target of new BFG polymers
BFGoodrich Co. plans to compete with metallocenes through three new polymers developed with nickel and palladium catalysts for use in electronic packaging and laptop computer applications.
``We're going after the specialty olefins,'' said Brian Goodall. ``What we do, you can't do with metallocenes.''
Speaking at Metcon 97, Goodall said Avatrell polymers for dielectric applications, Appear polymers for optical applications and an unnamed third polymer for photolithographic applications are being produced in pilot amounts. The Richfield, Ohio, company began giving samples to customers earlier this year, Goodall said.
Goodall, a senior research and development fellow at the company's Brecksville, Ohio, site, said the polymers offer transparency, low moisture absorption and tailored solubility, toughness and adhesion.
Goodall added that the products are different from DuPont Co.'s fledgling Versipol polymers, which also use nickel and palladium catalysts.
``We have a relatively open patent situation here,'' Goodall said.
Baxter blend handles extreme temperature
A metallocene-modified polyethylene/polypropylene blend has tested well in extreme temperatures for medical applications, according to a spokesman for Illinois medical supply firm Baxter Healthcare.
Sherwin Shang, a materials scientist for Baxter Healthcare of Round Lake, Ill., said PP that has been toughened with metallocene-enhanced, ultralow density PE posted better low-temperature performance than both standard PP and flexible PVC.
Shang said this feature is especially important for storing and transporting human plasma, bone marrow and other biologically active materials that call for extremely low temperatures.
Dry-ice storage and transportation often occurs at temperatures near minus 172° F, while cryo-preservation using liquid nitrogen takes place near the minus 384° F mark.
``In these areas, you need to maintain low temperatures before use to maintain chemical activity,'' he said. ``When you're looking for a replacement for PVC, you need to consider this material for medical applications.''
Modified LLDPE resin to be commercialized
Tosoh Corp. is ready to commercialize the second generation of its Catallocene-brand metallocene-based linear low density polyethylene, company officials said.
Tosoh researcher Seiji Maehama said the Tokyo firm has improved its initial Catallocene product, which never was commercialized after being developed in 1995.
The new product offers better heat strength, better puncture impact strength and higher clarity, Maehama said.
He added that the new line will be aimed at customers using high-pressure production processes and can be dropped into existing technology.
Tosoh's U.S. office is in Bound Brook, N.J.