DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — Shell Chemicals Ltd. plans to use and license a new process that it and a German engineering partner developed to produce Corterra-brand PTT, a highly elastic polyester resin targeted primarily at carpet and textile applications.
Pending board approval, Shell said its partner in the project, Lurgi Zimmer AG of Frankfurt, Germany, will build the first Shell plant to use the new process to manufacture polytrimethylene terephthalate resin.
The facility, on the site of Shell's year-old PET bottle-resin plant in Altamira, Mexico, will have annual capacity of 250 million pounds and be completed by the fourth quarter of 2000, Shell officials said at K'98.
They predict PTT demand will exceed 2.2 billion pounds by 2010.
Shell said little about the process advancement itself, except that it is an ``advanced polycondensation technology'' that reduces the number of processing steps and is more reliable and easier to use.
Except for its lower melting temperature, unmodified PTT has properties between those of PET and polybutylene terephthalate. Shell officials said they believe Corterra ``will be a viable economic alternative to PBT and will provide a better value for glass-filled systems where other polyester materials are being used today.''
Shell officials said Corterra has potential use in film and molding applications in appliance, automotive and electrical/electronic markets. However, they said they expect at least 70 percent of PTT output to be spun into fibers, because of its good color fastness, soft touch, and stain and soil resistance.