CHICAGO (July 7, 3:10 p.m. EDT) — Bulk Molding Compounds Inc. of West Chicago is teaming with GE Plastics to offer a new, proprietary, engineered thermoset resin with adjustable toughness and strength, low moisture absorption and dielectric strength.
Under the agreement announced at NPE 2003, GE Plastics will add the thermoset to its trademarked Noryl ETX product portfolio and exclusively will market and distribute the resin that BMC will toll manufacture.
BMC also featured its newly patented gas-evacuation technique, a phenolic BMC and a BMC e-sealant for proton exchange membranes.
“We're unique in that we think thermosets are still growing, and these are some new products to prove that the area of growth is under the hood,“ said BMC President Larry Nunnery.
“We view it as the first real new thermoset in the last fifty years,” said Joe Carfora, vice president of business development.
To start, the companies are targeting automotive under-the-hood and electrical power distribution applications. Carfora said they have been using the new resin formulation for engine valve covers and electrical insulation components for transformers.
He noted that customers can vary the product's toughness and strength, moisture absorption and dielectic strength. It has the potential to be used in structural applications in engines, Carfora said.
BMC also presented a refrigerator handle made with the gas evacuation technique as an example of its fight to cut costs.
“One of our intents was to stave off the competition,” said Len Nunnery, corporate quality director. “Thermoplastics have clawed into the market and were able to take market share away.”
However, he noted that the new technique significantly reduces cycle time and makes thermosets able to compete costwise. The method uses thick, cross-sectioned parts to be cored by displacing molten material with nitrogen gas. The core then is recycled into the next part.
BMC does not require a licensing fee for the gas-evacuation technique as long as its material is used exclusively. The company also is involved in proton-exchange-membrane fuel-cell development, offering a phenolic BMC product as well as e-sealant to provide a watertight seal and conductivity to bond PEMs in a stack configuration.
“We don't see any real volume until 2010 or 2012, but it will more than double the BMC market if it takes off,” said Carfora.
BMC has plants in West Chicago, Ill.; Perrysburg, Ohio; Mexico City; and China.
The company also noted it has closed on the purchase of 80 percent of TetraDur GmbH in Seevetal, Germany. The acquisition gives the firm the ability to produce materials for under-the-hood applications. It had gained a majority interest in the German company in July 2002 and is raising its stake.
Tetra-Dur, which has an annual capacity of more than 32 million pounds, will raise BMC's overall capacity to about 210 million pounds.