Dow Chemical Co. plans to build its first global-scale facility to produce Infuse olefin block copolymers at its plant in Freeport, Texas.
The company recently finished its first trial manufacturing run at the site and is planning full-scale production of the thermoplastic elastomer in the third quarter of 2007, according to a Dow company spokeswoman.
Besides demonstrating the firm's manufacturing capabilities, the large-volume production run of the TPE provides immediate capacity Dow needed to expand trials and application development significantly with key customers, said Luis Cirihal, Infuse business development manager.
While the spokeswoman said Dow is dedicating additional capital and technology to the project, the company didn't reveal the cost and other details of the project.
Introduced in June 2006, the Infuse olefin block copolymers feature block architecture that allows for new combinations of performance and processing enhancements, according to Midland-based Dow.
The material was created using Dow Chemical's Insite technology, which enables olefin elastomers to expand into applications for converters and manufacturers of flexible products.
Infuse olefin block copolymers are used to make flexible molded goods, profile extruded goods, elastic fibers and films, coated fabrics, hoses and tubes, foams, adhesives and tapes, according to the company.
The Freeport plant also produces Affinity polyolefin plastomers and Engage polyolefin elastomers, the company said.