AKRON, OHIO — Edison Polymer Innovation Corp. last week kicked off an effort to unite the PVC industry in a research and development partnership.
EPIC hosted 18 firms from around the world at the Oct. 15 meeting in Akron. The meeting built on September's World Vinyl Forum, also held in Akron, where some speakers criticized the industry's lack of R&D.
EPIC, a public-private group working with the University of Akron and Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University, set up four sections of the program. Firms may subscribe to one, a combination or all of the branches:
A New Molecular Architecture division is aimed at redesigning PVC to avoid structural defects.
PVC Alloys and Blends will try to come up with a new generation of PVC thermoplastic elastomers.
The Processability Enhancement and Control group will examine the breakdown of PVC and flaws in processing.
Ultimate Properties will investigate the welding weaknesses of PVC.
With environmental issues surrounding PVC becoming a bigger problem, sharing the cost of PVC advances would be beneficial, said Knut A. Dragsnes, senior manager of Hydro Polymers Nordic Technical Centre PVC in Porsgrunn, Norway. Hydro makes PVC resin.
Richard Varga, vice president and chief technical officer of RJF International Corp. in Fairlawn, Ohio, said the emphasis on new technology is a big bonus to the program. He hopes there will be improvements in the material. But it will take about three years to get any results, he said. The program will start between June and September.