PolyOne Corp. of Avon Lake, Ohio, has been named the exclusive North American compounder for Tritan-brand copolyester made by Eastman Chemical Co.
Avon Lake, Ohio-based PolyOne will produce Tritan-based compounds that are custom-colored, glass-filled, mineral-filled or contain ultraviolet-light stabilizers or heat stabilizers, PolyOne's Craig Nikrant said in a recent phone interview. The compounds will be made at PolyOne's Avon Lake manufacturing site and will be available commercially by the end of the year.
``Eastman realized they didn't have compounding experience for smaller or high-performance applications,'' added Nikrant, vice president and general manager of PolyOne's specialty engineered materials unit.
``We can provide product anywhere that neat Tritan doesn't work,'' he said.
Tritan also can fit into many sustainability plans, according to Nikrant, because it doesn't contain bisphenol A unlike many polycarbonate resins that it has been competing with since being commercialized by Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman in 2007. PC has come under pressure recently because of alleged health risks associated with BPA, a PC feedstock.
Compounded versions of Tritan can be used in consumer applications, health-care products and industrial food-service items, according to Michael Marasch, marketing and production manager for the PolyOne unit. In industrial food service, Tritan-based compounds can compete with polyphenylene sulfide, Marasch added.
PolyOne's Tritan compounds have excellent clarity as well as chemical resistance and hot-water resistance, he said. The materials ``have some things that polycarbonate doesn't bring to the table,'' according to Marasch.
Although PolyOne will continue to make compounds based on PC, Nikrant said that the addition of Tritan ``allows us to offer a much broader basket to our customers.''
``We look forward to teaming with PolyOne to expand the potential of Tritan copolyester in innovative new compounds, applications and market opportunities,'' Eastman copolyester innovation director Deborah Baum Crain said in a news release.
Eastman produces Tritan at its Kingsport site. Earlier this year, the firm said that it planned to expand Tritan capacity there by an unspecified amount. That project should be completed by late 2009.
Current Tritan customers include water-bottle maker CamelBak Products LLC of Petaluma, Calif.; blender manufacturer Vita-Mix Corp. of Olmsted Falls, Ohio; and Carlisle FoodService Products of Oklahoma City.
PolyOne ranks as North America's largest compounder, with a market share estimated at about 10 percent. Eastman is one of North America's largest producers of PET resin.