CHICAGO (June 26, 1:50 p.m. EDT) — Seeking to strengthen its focus on high-value nylon and specialty nylon resins, Honeywell Nylon Inc. (Booth S2532) of Morristown, N.J., has created a Specialty Polymers business unit.
Honeywell Nylon was formed in May when Honeywell Inc. sold its engineering resins business to BASF AG of Ludwigshafen, Germany. In exchange, Honeywell received BASF's nylon fibers unit and $90 million in cash.
Specialty Polymers will focus on barrier technology, according to Truc N. Brown, a market segment leader for the new entity. She said the focus is on packaging, wire and cable, multilayer barrier bottles and industrial barrier applications such as fuel containers. The company's materials are marketed under the Aegis brand name.
“The four segments will be supported by cross-functional teams that will have commercial, research and development and technical support,” Brown said in an interview at NPE.
Honeywell Nylon also has divisions dealing with residential, industrial and automotive carpets as well as chemical intermediates.
“Specialty Plastics most closely represents plastics, not the traditional injection molded variety, but plastics which tend to be in the barrier applications,” said Edward P. Socci, principal scientist for Specialty Polymers.
Honeywell Nylon represents about $1 billion worth of business, according to Brown. Barrier application pellets account for $30 million today; the company expects that figure to grow to $50 million to $60 million in 2004.
“One of the significant areas of growth is in multilayer PET bottles,” said John W. Jones, PET bottle team leader.
Jones pointed to beer, carbonated soft drinks and hot-filled juice bottles as big growth areas.
Socci said barrier compounds are helping producers reach the desired shelf life of 12-16 weeks for carbonated soft drinks, six months for juice drinks and four to six months for beer.
Brown also said that using the barrier materials for portable gas containers as well as small engine gas tanks offer great potential. She said the technology it is in the development stage, but a target of 2006 or 2007 is viable.
Overall, Honeywell Nylon is supported by four manufacturing facilities in Chesterfield, Va.; Columbia, S.C.; Canada; and China.