based Polyfil Corp. has entered the foaming market with its first line of proprietary concentrates.
Polyfil began commercial production of the new materials in August, President Gerald Fabiano said by telephone. The concentrates can be based on polyethylene, polypropylene or polystyrene and can incorporate foaming and nucleating agents, flame retardants, ultraviolet-light stabilizers, cell control and aging modifiers, anti-statics, talc nucleating agents, antimicrobials or insect-resistant compositions.
Polyfil added a pair of small-scale, small-lot continuous mixers at its 60,000-square-foot Rockaway plant to develop the foaming products. The mixers also will be used for product development, Fabiano said.
Polyfil had produced foaming concentrates on a contract basis, and company officials decided that a proprietary line would be a natural fit with the firm's core line of additive concentrates for PE and PP film. Potential uses for the new concentrates include automotive cushioning, produce film, label stock and wire and cable. Currently, nine grades of the new materials are available.
Sales at Polyfil in 2003 are on track to finish 15 percent higher than their 2002 levels. Fabiano said his firm has achieved such growth in a difficult economy by shifting its focus from commodity-type applications such as trash bags - which he said are vulnerable to foreign competition - and into specialty packaging such as coextrusion, seven-layer and antistatic products.
``We've done a lot of development work in new product areas,'' Fabiano said. ``We have a really nice niche here.''
Fabiano declined to reveal other sales or production details for the privately held firm, which he founded in 1984 with partner Abe Tanenbaum.