CHICAGO — In an attempt to get its Carilon-brand engineered thermoplastic resins to a wider range of customers, Shell Chemical Co. (Booth S1323) has struck a distribution deal with M.A. Hanna Resin Distribution (Booth S2147). The announcement was made at a Tuesday morning press conference, where Houston-based Shell also unveiled several new grades of its polyethylene naphthalate, polytrimethylene terephthalate, cellular PET and liquid polymers.
Charles Dunagan, Shell's vice president for sales and marketing, said Hanna's research and development effort was a factor in Shell's decision.
``The person who actually makes contact with the customer has to be on top of products like these and what they do,'' Dunagan said. ``Hanna provides us with that.''
M.A. Hanna Resin Distribution, a division of Cleveland-based M.A. Hanna Co., operates 15 full-service facilities and more than 30 warehouse locations in the United States and Canada, offering more than 3,000 individual thermoplastic grades and 500 thermosets.
Carilon is an aliphatic polyketone engineering polymer expected to compete with nylon and acetal. Shell officials claim Carilon offers a balance of properties between impact, stiffness, hydrolytic stability, toughness and abrasion resistance.
Construction on Shell's first North American Carilon plant will begin this summer in Geismar, La. The 87,500-square-foot plant will have an annual capacity of 55 million pounds and will create almost 100 jobs.
The Geismar plant will join Carilon's first production facility in Carrington, England. Shell has Carilon supply agreements with LNP Engineering Plastics Inc. of Exton, Pa., and RTP Co. of Winona, Minn.
The addition of Carilon allows Hanna to ``fill a nice niche in our product portfolio,'' according to John Morine Jr., director of engineering for M.A. Hanna Resin Distribution.
``It gives us a product with a great balance of physical properties and heat resistance,'' Morine said in a June 17 interview.
Morine added Hanna's design center in Norcross, Ga., will help customers find new applications for Carilon.
Actual distribution will begin next month, Morine said.
Shell also launched new grades of Corterra-brand PTT, which offers the characteristics of PET, the processability of PVC and the dimensional stability of nylon, according to Phil Dalton, Corterra business manager.
The Corterra line also will be augmented by a 40 percent capacity increase in propanediol, a key ingredient in PTT. The increase will be in effect by the end of this year at a Geismar location.
New Hipertuf-brand PEN grades are expected to bring clarity and weight savings to the packaging market while offering PET's recyclability, according to polyester general manager Richard Oblath.
The company's PET outlook also will be enhanced by next month's opening of a PET facility in Altamíra, Mexico, with annual capacity of 200 million pounds.
New grades of Shell's Kraton-brand liquid polymers will adhere to thermoplastic polyolefins used in the automotive industry, according to product development manager Steven Chin. Previous liquid polymers lacked this ability, Chin said.
Shell's new offerings in its Kraton G polymer line also will adhere to ABS, polycarbonate and nylon, according to Kraton market manager Dan Durbin. Durbin added Kraton is seeing growth in the design of elastomeric parts, especially those with a soft, tactically pleasing touch design.