Dow Chemical Co. is working to move its Affinity-brand polyolefin plastomers into markets for polymer modification.
In early July, Midland, Mich.-based Dow commercialized a pair of Affinity grades made solely for the modification market at its plant in Freeport, Texas. The grades will be marketed under the Affinity GA name.
“Our target was hot-melt adhesives,” Dow global business development manager Michael Levinson said of the product launch. “Most Affinity grades have been sold into film and injection molding, but we saw some space to make lower-viscosity grades.”
The new grades can compete with ethylene vinyl alcohol in hot-melt adhesives uses such as case and carton sealing. EVA sometimes can clog nozzles in those applications, according to Levinson.
“Affinity can seal across a broader temperature range [than EVA] to hit the right vis—-cos-ity and hard-ness,” he added.
The new materials also can be blended with styrenic block copolymers to increase tensile strength and elongation, according to Dow development leader Selim Yalvac. In addition, the Affinity products can offer improved proc-essability and replace wax or oil in soft-touch applications, Yalvac said.
As a carrier for masterbatches, the new grades work well with temperature-sensitive and organic additives that can be difficult to compound. With these additives, the new Affinity products can increase loadings from 20 percent to 60 percent in some cases.
Dow will measure market reaction to the Affinity GA products before deciding when to launch additional grades, officials said. All Affinity products are based on Dow's proprietary Insite-brand single-cell catalyst technology.
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