HOUSTON—Ticona and BFGoodrich Co. each are using metallocene-based cyclic olefin technology to develop new high-performance polymers.
At Metcon 98, officials from those companies outlined plans to use the technology.
Ticona's Topas-brand cyclic olefin copolymers are finding use in markets ranging from optical (lenses and prisms) to medical packaging (blister packs for pharmaceuticals, prefillable syringes) to electrical/electronic (capacitor films), according to Topas business director Edward Brock III.
When processed, Topas can be rigid, highly transparent and watertight, giving it advantages over competing materials such as polypropylene and PVC, he said.
Ticona, a Frankfurt, Germany, firm with North American headquarters in Summit, N.J., plans to open a 66 million-pound-per-year Topas plant in Oberhausen, Germany, in 2000. The company now produces about 440,000 pounds of the material annually at pilot plants in Frankfurt and at a Mitsui Petrochemical Co. facility in Eiwkuni, Japan.
Topas is selling for $2.50-$2.75 per pound, Brock said.
BFGoodrich is focusing its cyclic olefin technology on three products: Appear optical polymers, Avatrel dielectric polymers and Duvcor photoresistant polymers. The new materials are aimed at the microelectronics industry, particularly in uses surrounding semiconductor chips, according to research and development associate Larry Rhodes.
Of the three, Avatrel is the most commercialized, while Appear and Duvcor are still in development, Rhodes said. Avatrel is being produced in pilot batches at BFGoodrich's Brecksville, Ohio, headquarters.
Appear has potential as a data-transmission medium. Avatrel is growing in semiconductor packaging, while Duvcor has tested well as a layer used in microchip programming.