The evolving needs of concentrate makers are being targeted by new additives and colorants from Clariant Corp., Shepherd Color Co. and Columbian Chemicals Co.
All three firms showcased their new offerings at Thermoplastic Concentrates 2004, an industry conference hosted Feb. 11-13 by Applied Market Information LLC in New Orleans.
Clariant, a division of Swiss chemical giant Clariant SA, is building a plant near Cologne, Germany, to produce its new Exolit OP brand of flame retardants, which are aimed at uses in nylon resins.
The plant should be operational in October, according to Timothy Reilly, plastics technical support manager at Clariant's research and development site in Coventry, R.I.
The importance of flame retardants hit home recently for Clariant's Rhode Island staff, Reilly said, since last year's tragic nightclub fire during a rock concert took place about two miles away from the Clariant office.
Overall, almost 1.7 million fires were reported in the United State in 2002, resulting in more than 3,000 deaths and 18,000 injuries and causing $10.3 billion in property damage, according to Clariant.
Clariant's new Exolit OP product can meet nylon's needs in power distribution, appliances and connectors, Reilly said. The additive also is nonhalogenated, noncorrosive and does not interfere with laser marking.
Cincinnati-based Shepherd Color is expanding its palette with its Star Light-brand metallic silver pigment, which was commercialized in May.
The product is being used in automotive and packaging markets, according to plastics marketing manager Christopher Manning.
Star Light is compatible with most polymers and is effective at low loadings, Manning added. Food and Drug Administration approvals for the material are pending, he said.
At Columbian of Marietta, Ga., three grades of its new Pureblack-brand carbon blacks were commercialized late last year, and three or four new grades of the material are to be launched by the end of 2004, according to product scientist Deepak Tandon.
The FDA-compliant product is being marketed toward the high-voltage wire and cable market. It offers reduced ash and metal outputs as well as improved thermal conductivity and low moisture pickup.
Columbian is making Puerblack via a joint venture with Superior Graphite Inc. at a plant in Hopkinsville, Ky.