Atofina Petrochemicals Inc. has a new bimodal high density polyethylene resin for pressure-pipe applications.
The Plastics Pipe Institute Inc. has listed the resin, Finathene XT10 N, under ASTM PE3408 and is expected to complete tests in late 2003 for designating the material as a PPI MRS10.
Atofina decided in 1998 to enhance manufacturing capability at its Bayport, Texas, plant. The company built improvements and expanded capacity, began field testing XT10 N in early 2002 and announced the resin's commercial availability May 15.
``We needed a local supply,'' Mike Goins, North American PE product manager, said in an interview. ``We took the basics and redesigned the plant, developing a new catalyst system with more tightly controlled specifications.''
Finathene bimodal grades, made in North America for more than 20 years, are used for gas pipeline applications requiring toughness or security beyond standard monomodal PE3408 resins.
Atofina makes other Finathene XS10 PE100 resins in Antwerp, Belgium, and until now has exported the materials for North American consumption.
Atofina has recorded significant sales increases of those resins in Europe and Asia for nearly a decade, Goins said.
Houston-based Atofina Petrochemicals has 1,600 U.S. employees and is part of Total SA of Courbevoie, France.