Firm changes name to Plasticoncentrates
PHILADELPHIA - Color concentrates maker PlasticolorsRus Inc. has changed its name to Plasticoncentrates Inc.
``What we do is manufacture plastic concentrates and I cannot think of a more appropriate name than Plasticoncentrates,'' President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Tucker said in a news release.
The former name ``created confusion in the marketplace with some prospective customers and suppliers,'' Tucker said. The Philadelphia company, founded in 2001, enlisted the help of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business students to help come up with a new name.
Philippines decides to lower resin tariffs
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Prices of plastic products in the Philippines are expected to drop following the government's decision to cut tariffs on imported resins to 10 percent until 2004.
The January decision is a compromise. Resin manufacturers - through their trade group, the Association of Petrochemical Manufacturers of the Philippines - had wanted to keep tariffs at 15 percent to protect local suppliers. Processors, through the Caloocan City-based Philippine Plastics Industry Association Inc., had wanted lower tariffs.
The government, meanwhile, was under pressure to drop rates to 5 percent, as called for by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' free-trade agreement.
Philippine President Gloria Arroyo made the decision via an executive order. She also cut the tariff on imported finished plastic goods to 7 percent, from 10 percent.
U.S. increasing use of silver catalyst
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - In just two years, Brisbane-based NanoChem Pty. Ltd. has established major exports of a silver catalyst used in formaldehyde production as a precursor to resin production.
Exports to the United States started in 2001 and now it is NanoChem's biggest market, accounting for a third of sales.
Paul Rix, general manager of marketing, said U.S. firms are secretive about the catalyst because they do not want to alert competitors to their advantage.
Graeme Miller, technical manager, said NanoChem's catalyst has a surface area up to 10 times greater than conventional refined silver. An additional benefit is the catalyst's significantly lower bulk packing density.
Miller estimates there are 200 formaldehyde companies using silver catalysts worldwide. Rix would not disclose clients.
NanoChem developed its high-purity silver catalyst six years ago at the University of Queensland. It now is manufactured in Perth at AGR Matthey Pty. Ltd. and marketed by NanoChem.
About 10-20 percent of NanoChem's silver catalyst output is used to make plastic compounds, and the rest is used to make resins.
Dow, NCC developing Fulcrum technology
KETTERING, OHIO - Dow Chemical Co. is teaming up with the National Composite Center in Kettering to develop Dow's Fulcrum thermoplastic composites business.
Dow is putting Fulcrum equipment in part of NCC's 120,000-square-foot incubation facility, which the center built to encourage new composite-related businesses.
Fulcrum technology, which Dow introduced in 1995, uses thermoplastic polyurethane reinforced with glass fiber to create parts with mechanical properties similar to those of thermoset composites. Fulcrum parts can be pultruded into solid or hollow profiles.
The Fulcrum operation in Kettering, near Dayton, eventually will employ three to five workers, said NCC President and Chief Executive Officer Louis Luedtke.
``We were following [Fulcrum] for the last couple of years,'' Luedtke said in a telephone interview. ``We thought it had great potential.''
Midland, Mich.-based Dow will work with NCC to commercialize the technology further. Dow currently has five Fulcrum licensees, said Dow business development manager Chris Edwards. The line should be operating by the end of March.
Founded in 1996, NCC promotes, develops and applies advanced composite technology to the aerospace and defense, automotive, commercial and infrastructure markets.