Teknor Apex Co. is expanding supply and production of its high-performance nylon-based materials.
Pawtucket, R.I.-based Teknor now will make Creamid-brand nylon compounds at its plant in Brownsville, Tenn. The products already had been made in Germany by Plastic-Technologie-Service (PTS), a materials firm that Teknor acquired in early 2016.
Target markets include automotive, electrical and military applications. The materials also will be marketed in Asia.
"We made the decision to put our energy behind our global compounding business in nylon resins," engineering thermoplastics vice president Michael Roberts said in a May 3 phone interview. "Nylon is a perfect complement to our other businesses that focus on soft materials like TPEs and flexible PVC."
Teknor's Nylon division has been renamed as its Engineering Thermoplastics division to reflect what officials said "will ultimately be an extensive worldwide product line expansion."
PTS had used its technology to make high-performance nylon compounds in Europe for more than 30 years. The first new ETP products that Teknor Apex will introduce are Creamid-brand ultra-high performance glass fiber reinforced nylons. These materials will use different polymer chemistry than Teknor's existing Chemlon-brand nylon compounds.
The new products "start where traditional nylon 6/6 stops working," Roberts said. "There had been a large gap in the formulation space. Processors sometimes jumped to high-end materials like PEEK, so our materials can fill a gap in the market."
Creamid materials will be aimed at "classic metal replacements, where weight reduction is a huge part," he added. Potential automotive uses include key fobs and spoiler underbodies. Officials said the new materials provide substantial improvements in physical properties, surface appearance, and moldability when compared to standard glass-filled nylons.
After Creamid's global expansion, Teknor will look to increase marketing and production of Duramid-brand nylon compounds. Those materials also use PTS technology but are more advanced than Creamid grades. Duramid also has advantages over blends based on other resins, officials said.
Teknor is one of North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers. The firm employs more than 2,000 worldwide and has annual sales of more than $600 million.