Dow Chemical Co. is making its Derakane Momentum epoxy vinyl ester resins commercially available to all fabricators of fiber-reinforced plastics.
Dow began Momentum validation trials in May 1999 at customer sites, including about 30 in North America and 50 in Europe. According to Dow, processors save because the new resins react better, work easier, cure faster and use less cobalt naphthenate as a promoter than with existing epoxy vinyl esters.
"We´ve asked them to share the savings with us," said Mark Sullivan, global industry manager for composites.
Customers giving Dow an increased share of business can buy Momentum resins "at a competitive price." Those not participating will pay more.
Sullivan declined to identify differences but said Dow is not changing the chemical backbone or structure.
"You can continue to specify Derakane or Derakane Momentum, and (there is) no change," he said. Municipal codes and others often specify a Derakane product, and administrators can resist what they perceive as a substitute with a different number.
Initially, fabricators did not believe they could save on cobalt, he said.
"If they work with us incrementally and get to the end point, people are coming out to (saving) 3 cents per pound on costs. We have to prove it and show them it works."
Existing Dow vinyl ester plants in Joliet, Ill.; Sarnia, Ontario; Rheinmunster, Germany; and Guaruja, Brazil, will have capability to make the new material.
In a related development, Dow is launching on June 5 a Derakane Web site with an interactive corrosion recommendation database, other technical information, news and online resources.
Momentum´s availability is seen as progress for Midland, Mich.-based Dow. John Roberts, an analyst with Merrill Lynch Co. in New York, said in a telephone interview that 2000 is turning out to be a good year for Dow. He cited "some evidence of share gain in basic plastics as well as lots of new products, of which this would be one."
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