MOUNT OLIVE, N.J. (April 5, 11 a.m. EDT) — BASF Corp. will begin compounding nylon 6/6 resins at plants in Michigan and Tennessee in early 2005.
Mount Olive-based BASF will be using formulations it acquired from Ticona in late 2003 to compound nylon 6/6 in Wyandotte, Mich., and Sparta, Tenn. Until the end of 2004, Ticona will continue to make the compounds in Bishop, Texas, and Florence, Ky.
The acquisition, which complements BASF's nylon 6 holdings, was put together in only 60 days, according to BASF polymers Vice President Jay Kline.
“We think the industry is in transition, but that there are opportunities in nylon,” Kline said in a recent telephone interview. “We believe nylon is a growth plastic that doesn't follow commodity plastic cycles.”
“There's quite a bit of crossover, when you look at 6/6 as a replacement for 6,” product management and technology director Joe Venner said. “Now we can look at a customer's needs and meet them without changing the specs or temperature requirements.”
The move strengthens BASF's presence in the automotive and appliance markets, and also gets the firm into new fields, such as the electrical/electronic market. E/E opportunities exist in hand tools, small engines and lawn and garden items, Venner added.
On the automotive side, nylon marketing manager Lance Altizer said BASF is seeing a lot of growth in air intake manifolds and seating components.
Officials said the firm expects to introduce four new nylon grades this year, but declined to offer details. BASF also plans to increase its compounding capacities by 10 percent through debottleneckings in Sparta and Wyandotte, Mich., by the end of 2005.