For the first time in 15 years, polyketone resin will be commercially available in North America.
Engineering resins distributor PolySource LLC of Kansas City, Mo., recently signed an exclusive North American distribution agreement with Hyosung Group, the world's only polyketone maker.
Polyketone offers excellent impact, abrasion, chemical and fuel resistance as well as excellent gas barrier properties, PolySource officials said in a Feb. 10 news release. The material “offers designers across multiple industries a new material solution to meet tough application requirements,” executive vice president Bill Feldman said.
Applications for polyketone include materials handling, gearing and industrial applications, where it can compete with lubricated nylons and acetals. The material also can be used in automotive fuel system components.
Hyosung is an industrial conglomerate based in Seoul, South Korea. In 2012, the firm opened a polyketone plant with about 2 million pounds of annual capacity in Ulsan, South Korea.
Shell Chemical Co. had been the world's only polyketone maker until it discontinued the product in 2000, closing plants in Louisiana and England. At the time, Shell was in the process of selling off almost half of its chemicals businesses, but was unable to find a buyer for its polyketone, which was sold under the Carilon brand name.
Many Carilon users were unhappy with the move, citing polyketone's value in the automotive and medical markets. Now, PolySource and Hyosung are hoping to rekindle those applications.
“With this agreement, we reinforce our focus of delivering creative resin solutions to our customers,” PolySource CEO Greg Jacobson said in the release.