French materials supplier Arkema Group has celebrated the 70th anniversary of its flagship Rilsan nylon 11 series of high performance polymers.
With its feedstock sourced 100 percent from the oil of the castor bean, Rilsan PA11 is a bio-based member of the nylon family.
Because castor beans grow in arid landscapes that are difficult to cultivate, the crop does not compete with the human or animal food chain.
The 70th birthday celebration was marked June 10 by a series of customer events in different parts of the world.
“Today, Rilsan PA11 is known across the globe for being one of the world's highest performing specialty polymers,” said Kevin Hanrahan, chief marketing officer for technical polymers.
“The brand has become synonymous with differentiated performance as well as being 100 percent bio-based. But the brand came from humble and challenging origins,” noted Hanrahan.
The first commercial batch of of material took place in 1947 in a re-purposed spinning mill called ‘La Dame Blanche' in Serquigny, France.
Nylon 11 made its market debut under the brand name Rilsan in 1949 and was taken up by automaker Citroën in 1950s as new plastic for fuel lines.
Arkema produces the material at its sites in Serquigny, France, Birdsboro, Pa., and Zhengjiagang, China.