Plastic Selection Group Inc. is stepping up production of Kostrate Edge-brand terpolymer, thanks to interest from processors looking for alternatives to polycarbonate and other materials.
The company touts Kostrate a methyl methacraylate butadiene styrene material as being free of bisphenol A, phthalates and antimony. Bill Dickinson, president of Columbus, Ohio-based PSG, said the firm has seen interest from manufacturers of baby products, housewares, toys, appliances and point-of-purchase displays.
One of the company's latest customers is Playtex Products Inc. of Westport, Conn., which in September approved tooling for a line of baby bottle holders that initially will be sold in Canada, Dickinson said.
Headlines related to BPA safety prompted the growing interest in Kostrate, according to Joseph Boffo, PSG's director of sales and marketing.
In April, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. stopped selling baby bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, food containers and water bottles containing BPA in Canada. Both Wal-Mart and Toys ``R'' Us have said they will stop selling baby bottles that contain BPA in the U.S. sometime next year.
``The phone calls have been constant. We're getting a lot of interest,'' Boffo said in a recent interview at Plastics News' office in Akron.
PSG describes itself as an application-based engineering and polymer chemist group. The company does not actually manufacture material. It has deals with toll compounders to make Kostrate in North America and China, and it expects to start production in Europe in the first quarter of 2008.
In the U.S., suppliers include Star Plastics Inc. in Ravenswood, W.Va., and PolyOne Corp.
Avon Lake, Ohio-based PolyOne also is manufacturing Kostrate in Shenzhen, China, for PSG customers in the Asia-Pacific region, including Playtex.
``This technology is a nice addition to the PolyOne portfolio,'' said Willie Chien, vice president and general manager for PolyOne Asia, in a news release. ``Local manufacturing of this material will enhance our ability to serve customers who need [Food and Drug Administration]-compliant, BPA-free value-enhancing alternatives to clear engineering thermoplastics.''
Dickinson said PSG's European supplier will make the material in Belgium.
PSG also is preparing to introduce a new grade of the material, dubbed Edge 9. The new material is a copolymer and will have properties that fall between the commodity resins like polystyrene and the tougher Kostrate terpolymer.
Dickinson said PSG is ``experimentally sampling'' Edge 9 with prospective customers now.
PSG also touts Kostrate for its clarity, toughness and ease of processing, and it highlights that molders do not need to predry the material. It is available in grades for injection molding, injection blow molding, extrusion (profile/sheet), extrusion blow molding and standard blow molding.