Engineering resins maker Ticona has expanded its Topas cyclic olefin copolymer lineup with a pair of new grades for optical markets.
The company touts both grades - produced in Oberhausen, Germany - for their clarity, transparency, flow and ability to replicate small features precisely. The materials also are dimensionally stable as humidity changes.
The first grade is for use in printer lenses, cell-phone camera lenses and light-guide plates. It also can be used in thin-wall injection molding applications that need high flow and good release properties.
The second Topas offering can be used in light-guide plates and large diffusion plates, such as those found in LCD televisions, notebook computers and other displays.
Both grades also can be used in a variety of medical, diagnostic and drug-discovery items.
The launch of the grades hasn't changed Ticona's attempts to sell off the Topas business, said officials with the firm, which has headquarters in Kelsterbach, Germany, and Florence, Ky. To date, Topas applications have been centered around blister packaging for the pharmaceutical market, where COCs compete with PVC.
Ticona announced its intention to sell Topas, as well as its stakes in a fuel-cell developer, earlier this year when parent Celanese AG of Frankfurt, Germany, became a publicly held company.
In the first quarter of 2005, Ticona's sales were up 5 percent to $239 million, compared with the same period last year. The unit's profit jumped 26 percent to $39 million, while its volume in pounds climbed 2 percent.
Ticona generated about 16 percent of total first-quarter sales for Celanese.