Nylon Corp. of America (Nycoa) is seeing positive results from compounds based on a new nylon copolymer, and plans to add as many as three new grades of that product in 2004.
The company first produced the copolymer, which combines a base nylon 6 resin with a comonomer, in late 2002 in Manchester, N.H. Nycoa compounds the material before selling it into products ranging from monofilament fishing line to windshield wiper tubing on the 2003 Ford Explorer.
Nycoa product and sales manager Christopher Coco said the copolymer's improved flexibility and moisture absorption give it an edge over the firm's previous products.
``Moisture absorption makes it a good fit for fishing line,'' he said in a recent telephone interview. ``And in tubing, it's competitive with nylon 11 and nylon 12, but at a much lower price.''
Coco said he expects the copolymer's growth in automotive uses to be about 10 percent annually, while yearly monofilament growth should be around 20 percent.
In addition to competing with other nylons, the copolymer can replace polyetherimide in some applications, said Coco. It also can be made more flexible by adding plasticizer.
Nycoa expects annual production to reach 1 million pounds in 2004.
Nycoa, which employs 60 at its polymerization and compounding site, is a 50-50 venture between Rhodia SA of France and Snia SpA of Italy. The firm has annual sales of about $25 million. Rhodia's own North American nylon business produces nylon 6/6 resins and compounds, and does not compete with Nycoa, Coco said.
The Manchester plant has annual output of 25 million pounds.