Teknor Apex Co. is installing a new compounding line that will add almost 8 million pounds of annual thermoplastic elastomer capacity at its plant in Oldbury, England.
With the new line, Teknor's U.K. unit will now offer European customers a broad portfolio of TPE compounds backed by extensive experience in important application sectors, sales director Barry Galpin said in a recent news release.
The new line will be used to supply styrenic TPEs, including:
* Monprene-brand compounds for a range of consumer and industrial applications.
* Tekbond-brand bondable TPEs for overmolding.
* Elexar-brand TPEs for wire and cable products.
The TPE line will be the second in Oldbury for Pawtucket-based Teknor and is expected to be fully operational during the first quarter of 2011. The firm also operates several lines there compounding reinforced nylon and other engineering resins. An existing TPE pilot line in Oldbury will be used for research and development work and small-lot orders.
The addition of the line is the latest step in a flurry of TPE activity by Teknor in 2010. In September, the firm bought the Sarlink-brand thermoplastic vulcanizate business from Royal DSM NV for an undisclosed price. Sarlink has annual sales of $65 million and produces its material at plants in Leominster, Mass., and Genk, Belgium.
Teknor also recently has commercialized new TPE compounds that, company officials said, can achieve the properties of PVC. The compounds are part of Teknor's Medalist medical compounds, which can be based on a variety of TPEs, including styrenics. Medalist materials are finding use in respiratory masks, flexible tubing and the like.
The firm compounds PVC as well as TPEs and engineering resins, and also is a major manufacturer of garden hose. The 86-year-old firm ranks as one of North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrates makers and has annual sales estimated at more than $600 million.