DETROIT — Ube-Hanna Compounding Co. LLC has expanded its product offering to include nylon 12 compounds in North America, Europe and Asia.
The materials are aimed at such demanding automotive applications as gas-tank filler necks and tubing for fuel, air and vent lines. They also will be marketed for business machines, electronics, industrial and construction applications.
The compounds, to be marketed under the Ubesta trade name, currently are produced at an M.A. Hanna Co. plant in Bethlehem, Pa. Production will begin at Hanna sites in Gaggenau, Germany, and Suzhou, China, later this year.
Ube-Hanna also is considering producing the new materials at a Hanna plant in Corona, Calif.
Initial production will focus on impact-modified, glass-filled and conductive grades.
Ube-Hanna is a 50-50 global joint venture between Hanna, a plastics compounding and distribution powerhouse based in Cleveland, and Ube Industries Inc., Japan's largest producer of nylon resins and compounds.
The new nylon 12 compounds, as well as the joint venture's other nylon-based products, are aimed at automakers whose vehicles have specifications that require material qualified in Japan, according to Hanna corporate development manager Mike McCormack.
``Foreign carmakers looking to source material in the U.S. now have a U.S.-based manufacturing site for these materials,'' McCormack said in an interview at SAE '99, held March 1-4 in Detroit.
``We also hope [the venture] will establish a niche in the U.S. auto market that would otherwise be closed to domestic material producers,'' McCormack said. ``Hopefully this will open the door to other materials Hanna produces as well.''
In other automotive news, Hanna is aiming its Maxbatch color concentrates at applications such as interior trim. Several projects for the firm's talc-filled polypropylene Maxbatch grades currently are in development, according to Jack Marshall, a field market development manager with Hanna's Engineered Materials division in Norcross, Ga.