Milliken & Co. came to K 2010 armed with a slew of additives designed to make resins better and bolder.
Millad NX 8000 is a polypropylene clarifier aimed at injection molding uses that has found some interesting homes since being commercialized in 2008, according to global PP clarifiers market manager Brian Burkhart.
It has really expanded the market for polypropylene by replacing some polystyrene and polycarbonate products, Burkhart said in an interview at K 2010, held Oct. 27 to Nov. 3 in Dusseldorf.
The additive can provide better processing and better control over color. Cycle times can be decreased more than 6 percent, with productivity increasing 10 percent, Burkhart said. To date, the material has been sold into housewares and various types of thin-wall injection molding.
Spartanburg, S.C.-based Milliken also focused on Millad 8500E, which allows PP to compete with PVC and PET in rigid packaging and blow molded bottles. The material makes aesthetics less process-dependent, Burkhart said.
Elsewhere, the firm's Hyperform HPR 803 reinforcing agent commercialized in late 2009 can offer lower part weight and lower compound density, according to global product line manager Adam Watson.
It has been used with PP-based thermoplastic olefins in automotive applications and in filled-PP applications for appliances. Watson said the additive can offer improved scratch performance and also can be used in polyethylene.
Hyperform HPN 600 EI is a PP thermoforming nucleating agent that's billed as a low-cost alternative for high-draw thermoformed parts, according to Watson. It's being aimed at cups made by such firms as McDonald's and Starbucks, where PP can offer improved optics and aesthetics.
Another grade of Hyperform nucleating agent is being moved into PE after finding a home in PP. The new grade, called Congo Bongo, will be fully commercial by the end of the year and offers improvement for barrier performance in blow molding and in high density PE film, according to product line manager Wim Van de Welde.
The grade can improve barrier performance by 20-40 percent and offer downgauging of 20 percent or more, he said. In personal-care bottles, the new grade can provide savings by helping prevent overfill.
Milliken ranks as one of the world's largest privately owned textiles and chemicals makers. The company's annual sales were estimated at $2.5 billion in 2009.