Ticona plans by the second half of 2007 to open its first Asian production facility for ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene resin.
The company announced the news at Chinaplas 2005 in Guangzhou, where Ticona was exhibiting for the first time in Asia.
The planned 44 million-pound plant will boost global capacity for Ticona's Gur-brand material by more than 28 percent, to almost 200 million pounds, according to Louie C. Wang, managing director for China development. Ticona, a 2,000- employee business unit of Celanese AG, currently operates UHMW PE facilities in Bishop, Texas, and Oberhausen, Germany.
Stanislaw Haftka, new technologies global segment manager for Ticona GmbH, said the firm may build on a greenfield site, but he would not comment on the possible location.
He did say, however, ``Preliminary engineering work is complete, and plans for final engineering and construction are under way.''
UHMW PE resin is an extremely high-viscosity polymer produced in powder form.
The material has a very low coefficient of friction and provides excellent abrasion resistance and toughness, making it good for use in a range of industrial applications, from bulk materials-handling and processing equipment, to food and beverage machinery, to orthopedic implants.
Compression molding and ram extrusion processes generate the high pressures needed to fuse UHMW PE particles together and then, typically, are used to form the material into stock shapes or profiles with subsequent machining, as necessary.
The material also can be gel processed for such applications as battery separators or high-strength fiber applications.