GUANGZHOU, CHINA — Royal DSM and Ascend Performance Materials Inc. chose Chinaplas 2015 as the platform to announce their global strategic alliance.
Under the agreement, Ascend will supply nylon 6/6 base polymer as raw material for DSM's Akulon-brand nylon 6/6 compounds. In addition, DSM will distribute Ascend's nylon 6/6 compounds sold under the brand name Vydyne.
The companies said the deal enables them to complement each other in terms of product depth and breadth.
At a May 20 news conference in Guangzhou, Roelof Westerbeek, president DSM Engineering Plastics, said the alliance combines the best of both companies and will help them boost market penetration.
DSM already is a global supplier of nylon products including Akulon nylon 6 and nylon 6/6; heat-resistant Stanyl nylon 4/6; Stany ForTii nylon 4T; 70 percent bio-based EcoPaXX nylon 4/10; Novamid nylon 6, nylon 6/6, and nylon 6/66 copolymer; and amorphous transparent nylon.
The addition of new scale and capability in nylon 6/6 strengthens its portfolio, the company said. Westerbeek noted that DSM is the world's largest supplier of high-temperature nylon and No. 2 supplier of nylon 6.
Ascend, a backward integrated major producer of nylon 6/6, expects the deal to accelerate its growth trajectory with significantly greater access to customers around the world.
In addition to DSM's marketing and sales network, Ascend will also benefit from DSM's expertise in application development as well as technical support.
“The combination leverages Ascend's manufacturing strength and allows us to benefit customers from a polymer standpoint and from the application development and product standpoint,” said Phil McDivitt, president of Ascend's Nylon business.
Ascend's facility in Pensacola, Fla. is the largest integrated nylon 6/6 site in the world, and it recently added 30,000 metric tons of compounding capability. It also produces nylon 6/6 in Greenwood, S.C.
DSM also is adding a new compounding line at its Jiangyin facility in China, said Li Xuedai, business director Greater China for DSM Engineering Plastics.
He did not specify the capacity of the new line but explained that it could be used for multiple products.
Asia Pacific, particularly China, is a critical market for nylon 6/6 compounds. The research and local development capabilities DSM has built here since 2014 is meeting the market needs for fast innovation, the company said.
Ascend Asia Pacific sales director James Zhao pointed out the increasing demand for higher end applications of engineering plastics in China. He said China's new “One Belt One Road” regional development strategy will spur demand for nylon 6/6 applications in railway, for example.
DSM has one of the industry's broadest portfolios of high performance materials, said Ivo Lansbergen, president of DSM Engineering Plastics Asia Pacific.
In addition the nylon family of products, DSM also produces Arnitel thermoplastic copolyester, Arnite polyesters (polybutylene terephthalate and PET). The portfolio of nylons and polyesters has evolved in recent years towards more specialized, higher value-added businesses, Lansbergen said.
DSM Engineering Plastics' global manufacturing footprint covers the Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, India, China, Japan, Taiwan and the United States.
At Chinaplas 2015, DSM highlighted its new generation of Diablo high-temperature-resistant nylons, as the automotive market is seeing an increasing use of turbochargers and supercharges that require long weight and high heat applications.
Stanyl Diablo HDT2700 can withstand a continuous use temperature of 230° Celsius, while Akulon Diablo HDT2500 is able to withstand a 220° Celsius continuous-use temperature.