CHICAGO (July 7, 1:55 p.m. EDT) — For Dyneon LLC, three semiconductor industry fires about a year ago and concerns over spills from tank containers has led to the development of two new fluoropolymers.
Clean-room applications and a new loose-fit tank-liner system, both made from different fluoropolymers, were the latest growth areas discussed at NPE during an interview with Paula D.J. Hubbard, global market manager for Dyneon´s Ultra High Purity Fluorothermoplastics unit in Sugar Land, Texas. The first was a tetrafluoroethylene, hexafluoropropylene and vinylidene fluoride terpolymer, while the second is composed of hexafluoropropylene, tetrafluoroethylene and ethylene monomers.
"There were three fires within a year — two in Taiwan — and insurance companies were left with big bills, so they started taking a look at the type of materials used with respect to flame-retardation performance," she said.
That led to implementation of the 4910 standard, which set minimum levels for flame retardation, smoke generation and corrosiveness. Companies using materials above the standard get lower insurance rates.
"THV is clear in sheet form, so you can use it for an equipment window, so you can look into the tool or through a door," Hubbard said.
Another benefit is it can easily be welded to itself, she said. The material is finding applications in the wire and cable, automotive and tubing industries for specialty hoses, protective coatings and fuel systems.
"It´s finding tremendous interest in the market. It is also very neat, with no additives or fillers," Hubbard said.
The product is available in sheet form from Westlake Plastics Co. in Lenni, Pa.
The other fluoropolymer is being used for loose-fit tank liner systems, because it can be welded and offers leak protection.
"It is being used for acids and caustic solutions, strictly industrial uses," Hubbard said.
One company producing the liner system is Interline Plastics Ltd. of Alberta, Canada. Interline started by using the material in two 2,000-gallon tanks for a pharmaceutical company.
Dyneon, which generates about $350 million in annual sales, is a wholly owned subsidiary of 3M Co. of St. Paul, Minn.
In other news, James E. Gregory was named Dyneon president effective June 1. He has been with 3M since 1974, with his last position as division vice president of the Specialty Manufacturing Division. Before that, he was the managing director of 3M Korea from 1988-92.
Robert A. Brullo, the company´s president and one of the founding members of Dyneon, is moving to the board of directors of 3M United Kingdom as its managing director. He will be responsible for all of 3M´s business activities in the United Kingdom.