Nova Chemicals Corp. is boosting production capacity for its Arcel expandable foam resin in Monaca, Pa.
Nova said demand for Arcel has tripled in the past two years because of the foam's resistance to puncture, flaking, tearing and breaking. Arcel is 70 percent polystyrene and 30 percent polyethylene. The PS content allows it to be processed on standard equipment and the PE content gives it toughness, the Pittsburgh firm said.
Spokeswoman Stephanie Franken said the Arcel expansion will account for a large portion of Nova's $60 million 2005 budget for expansions within its styrenics business. The project will hike Arcel annual production capacity to 100 million pounds per year by the end of 2006 from its undisclosed current level.
Online sales of consumer products have spurred demand for high-performance protective foam packaging, said Dan Nelson, vice president of global specialty foams.