ORLANDO, FLA. (May 8, 1:20 p.m. ET) — New nylon resins and compounds were on the agenda for BASF Corp. and Radici Group at NPE2012.
Florham Park, N.J.-based BASF was touting several new grades and applications of its Ultramid-brand nylon compounds. Ultramid HFX was launched late last year and is being used in small tubing for paint sprayers and in large tubing for oil and gas applications, said industrial business director Joe Venner in an interview at the show, held April 1-5 in Orlando.
The new compound is being made at BASF plants in Sparta, Tenn., and Altamíra, Mexico. A recent increase in oil and gas exploration and drilling throughout North America has spurred demand for the compound, Venner said.
The eco-grade is based on nylon 6/10 and is 60 percent composed of renewable resources, primarily sebacic acid from castor beans and plants. The material has improved chemical resistance and is less expensive than standard grades of nylon 6/12, Spini said. Radici produces the material at a plant at its headquarters site in Bergamo, Italy.
Radici also recently has launched high-heat-resistant grades of nylon 6/6. The materials are aimed at the auto market and address needs in engine downsizing and longer vehicle lifetimes, Spini said. They can be used in blow molding as well as injection molding. One grade, a 35 percent glass-filled 6/6, can replace specialty polymers such as polyphenylene sulfide, he added.
The third new offering is a line of high-fill-level grades of nylon 6 and 6/6 for metal replacement.
Radici executive Michael Cain added that the firm “is very optimistic about the U.S. market.” Cain is executive vice president of Radici Plastics USA, which operates a compounding plant in Wadsworth, Ohio.
Nylon and engineering resin demand in the U.S. is expected to average 4.5 percent annual growth to 2020, Cain said. Radici's major markets in automotive and electrical/electronics are also expected to grow, with automotive builds possibly reaching 14.5 million vehicles per year.
Radici has about $2 billion in annual plastics sales. In addition to its plant in Wadsworth, the firm operates a plant making polymer-based Spandex synthetic fibers in Gastonia, N.C.