Milliken Chemical is clearing the way for polypropylene with a new clarifier introduced at K 2007 in Dusseldorf.
The new product - sold under the Millad NX 8000 trade name - will accelerate PP growth into new markets and ``will reinvigorate areas where it can up value with higher clarity,'' plastics additives business development manager Reed Walker said at a news conference.
The material also has very low haze levels of 4-5 percent, which Walker said was ``a space never before occupied by polyolefins.'' That haze level ``compares favorably to crystal polystyrene, but the material isn't as brittle,'' he added.
The new additive is expected to increase uses for PP in cosmetics, toiletries and other products. Spartanburg, S.C-based Milliken is producing Millad NX 8000 at a plant in Inman, S.C. The material currently is available for testing and will be commercially available by the end of the year.
Also at K, Milliken officials introduced what they said was the first nucleating agent additive for polyethylene. The new product - sold under the Hyperform trade name - can improve optical and barrier properties in blown film, according to global market manager Martin Horrocks.
The agent - produced in Spartanburg - also reduces cycle time, warp and shrinkage. It's being considered for blow molding and rotomolding uses as well.
Miliken has made further advances with its self-reinforced PP material, which it recently rebranded under the Tegris name. The material first was used in tape yarns and then woven into fabric. It's now being consolidated into sheets and then cut into three-dimensional parts, Europe market manager Ria Schlotmann said.
Tegris - previously marketed as MFT - has been pressure-formed for use in kayaks and also is being used by the U.S. military because of its high stiffness and high impact in ballistics applications, Schlotmann added. The material is produced at Milliken plants in Pine Mountain, Ga., and Ghent, Belgium.
Milliken Chemical is a unit of Milliken & Co., which ranks as one of the world's largest privately owned textiles and chemicals makers. Annual sales at the firm - founded as a woolen fabrics company in Portland, Maine, in 1865 - were estimated at $3.3 billion in 2006.