Nycoa to increase nylon capacity in '06
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Nylon Corp. of America plans to add nylon resin capacity in 2006, partly to handle demand for products the Manchester-based firm is developing.
``A lot of our customers are finding nylon to be a cost-effective replacement for thermoplastic elastomers and other specialty plastics,'' Nycoa President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Shepard said by phone.
Shepard declined to provide expansion details, saying only that it will be ``a significant debottlenecking.'' The firm, which makes both nylon resin and compounds, last added capacity in 2004, when a 10 percent debottlenecking lifted its total annual capacity to 25 million pounds.
In 2006, Nycoa will complete commercialization of two new nylon copolymer alloys. Two grades of nanocomposite-based nylons also will debut, marking Nycoa's first entry into that growing field.
The copolymer products could find uses in athletic shoe soles, windshield-wiper tubing and brake cables, Shepard said, while the nano-products are targeted at ``supertough'' applications in sporting goods and in tanks for chemicals or fuels.
Like many resin makers, Nycoa has struggled with higher costs for many of its feedstocks. Shepard said the price the firm pays for caprolactam feedstock alone has doubled since mid-2004.
``Pricing has been extremely volatile,'' he said. ``And it's not just raw materials; it's energy and transportation costs as well.''
Nycoa also has added two sales representatives this year. The firm has 60 employees. It expects to post sales growth of about 10 percent for 2005. Sales in 2004 were about $25 million.
Solvay building plant for sulfone polymers
ALPHARETTA, GA. - Solvay Advanced Polymers LLC has begun building a $50 million world-scale sulfone polymers plant at its site in Marietta, Ohio.
The Alpharetta-based high-performance polymers manufacturer said the facility will almost triple its polyethersulfone capacity. The plant should be fully operational by the end of 2006.
SAP, an offshoot of Solvay America Inc., is owned by Solvay SA of Brussels, Belgium. SAP makes a range of sulfone polymers under the Radel brand name at Marietta, with monomer produced in Augusta, Ga.
Sulfones, characterized by their chemical and heat resistance, toughness and transparency, are used in aerospace, automotive electronic and consumer- goods applications.
Maine Plastics adds space, machinery
NORTH CHICAGO, ILL. - Recycler Maine Plastics Inc. recently boosted the size of its Schoolcraft, Mich., operation to 75,000 square feet and added more machinery.
``We have more customers that are recycling more of what they were throwing away,'' said President Robert Render.
The site got its start reprocessing automotive plastics, but since has added computer waste as well. Render added that Maine Plastics has been around since 1983 and is adept at finding ways of recycling all sorts of plastics.
Render said the company bought another granulator and a shear, and will use some of the area for warehousing. This marks the second time the company has added space since opening the Michigan satellite plant in February 2004. It started with 51,000 square feet of space.
Maine Plastics, headquartered in North Chicago, reprocesses about 70 million pounds of plastic a year at its two facilities.
Render said the company's new, 220,000-square-foot home in Zion, Ill., is about one-third complete. The firm plans to move its headquarters to Zion in May.
Struktol to be agent for Equistar product
STOW, OHIO - Struktol Co. of America and Houston-based Equistar Chemicals LP inked a deal in October that makes Struktol the exclusive sales channel in North America for Equistar's Integrate coupling agents for wood-plastic composites.
The agreement also allows for joint sales for Stow-based Struktol's lubricants.
In a news release, company officials indicated the firms will join forces on product development.