DSM Engineering Plastics Inc. is one of seven global companies recognized recently for its efforts to reduce the use of brominated and chlorinated chemicals in its products.
DSM EP a resin maker and compounder based in Evansville, Ind. was selected by the environmental groups Clean Production Action of Spring Brook, N.Y., and the International Chemical Secretariat of GÃ¶teborg, Sweden.
Other companies recognized by the environmental groups include computer giant Apple Inc. and electronics conglomerate Sony Corp.
In the last year, DSM EP has commercialized bromine- and chlorine-free grades of its Stanyl ForTii-brand nylon resins and compounds, and its Arnitel XG-brand copolyester resins and compounds. The materials are used in parts for computers and mobile phones.
Stanyl ForTii is used in molded connectors and sockets, while Arnitel is used in cable designed to replace PVC. Bromine and chlorine have been linked to numerous health risks in recent years.
Designing the bromine- and chlorine-free grades including halogen-free products was a huge challenge for DSM EP, said Fredric Petit, chairman of the firm's sustainability council.
It was a concerted effort on the part of converters and [original equipment manufacturers] in the areas of safety and reliability, Petit said in a recent telephone interview.
DSM EP had been working on these types of materials for several years, Petit said.
But two years ago it seemed like there was a shift in the industry, and it went from something we'd like to do, to something that needed to happen, he said.
The bromine- and chlorine-free materials can be used on standard machinery with no equipment changes, according to DSM EP.
Beyond the initial applications, Petit said the new Stanyl ForTii can be used in additional high-melt temperature applications. The Arnitel grades also might find further uses as a PVC replacement in the auto industry.
DSM EP is adding halogen-free grades of other products such as nylon 4/6, PET and polybutylene terephthalate.
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