Americhem Inc. subsidiary Infinity LTL Engineered Compounds has added ways to utilize injection moldable thermoplastic elastomers.
As a highly flexible specialty compounder, Infinity LTL has worked in limited ways with TPEs in the past, but now can access fully developed TPE technical capabilities at sister company Vi-Chem Corp., which Americhem purchased in June 2016.
Infinity LTL's "entree into TPEs is somewhat in its infancy," Steve Schlegel, marketing and distribution channel manager, said in a telephone interview. "Vi-Chem is scaled to develop TPE compounds."
Infinity LTL's largest end market is medical for device housings and surgical equipment, most often of polycarbonate or ABS. Its next largest market involves business equipment and machinery.
Vi-Chem technology includes Sevrene-brand styrenic block copolymers.
"We have launched a platform for styrenic block copolymers, thermoplastic vulcanizates and thermoplastic urethanes," Schlegel said. Processors "need anti-stat or slip agency or density modification or flame retardancy, and we can do that with our base technologies."
Infinity targets niches and does not directly compete with makers of base resins.
"We will customize for a customer without a minimum size of order," Schlegel said.
Vi-Chem is positioned to handle TPE technology transfers if Infinity customers need large-scale volumes.
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio-based masterbatch specialist Americhem acquired Infinity Compounding LLC of Swedesboro, N.J., in December 2012, LTL Color Compounders Inc. of Morrisville, Pa., in December 2014 and automotive-heavy Vi-Chem of Grand Rapids, Mich., in March 2016.
Now, the consolidated Infinity LTL subsidiary employs 110 and operates a 70,000-square-foot center of excellence in Morrisville and a 60,000-square-foot site in Swedesboro.
Also, Infinity LTL has compounding, extrusion, laboratory and color matching capabilities that are housed in an Americhem facility in Suzhou, China.
Infinity LTL's product lines include ColorRx thermoplastic compounds and masterbatches, ColorFast custom compounds, Surlyn Reflection Series thermoplastic alloys and EcoFast recycled resins. Infinity LTL owns the ColorRx, ColorFast and EcoFast brands and licenses the Surlyn series from DuPont Co.
Now, as announced March 14, the expanded ColorFast line includes 12 SBCs, three TPVs and three TPUs, and the ColorRx line for health care and medical device applications offers three SBCs, four TPVs and four TPUs.
Infinity LTL can make the compounds in a wide range of durometers.
Infinity LTL is one of two custom color compounding licensees for Solvay SA's advanced polymer U.S. subsidiary in Alpharetta, Ga.