Eastman Chemical Co. is expanding specialty copolyester production as the firm marks the 10th anniversary of its Tritan-brand copolyester.
Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman will increase capacity by 25 percent for glycol-modified PET and PCTG copolyesters at its plant in Kingsport, officials said at a May 8 press event at NPE2018. Those materials are sold under the Eastar, Spectar and Aspira trade names.
Eastman's copolyester portfolio "is well-positioned to enhance quality of life around global macrotrends," said Burt Capel, specialty plastics vice president and general manager. He declined to say how much Eastman was investing in the capacity expansion.
Tritan has been one of the most successful plastics product launches of the last decade. The material has found uses in many markets, including sports bottles, blender jars, durable housewares and medical devices. Tritan is known for its clarity, durability and chemical resistance.
Eastman also confirmed May 8 that it completed an expansion of capacity for the material in Kingsport.
"The Tritan platform of products continues to see strong global adoption, with an increasing footprint of applications that recognize the robust performance of our polymer," Capel said in a statement.
"This additional copolyester expansion positions Eastman to meet the increasing demand we're seeing for our copolyester materials around the world."
At the event, Courtland Jenkins, specialty plastics business director, said the firm also is seeing growth for MXF-brand copolyesters in medical devices, particularly those that are cleaned repeatedly with chemical solutions.
Paul Anderson, specialty plastics Americas sales director, added that new applications are growing for its Treva, Embrace and Eastobond materials.
Treva is an engineering bioplastic that has 45 percent biocontent and "is raising the bar for what bioplastics can achieve," Anderson said.
Treva has excellent chemical resistance and can compete with polycarbonate and PC/ABS in some applications, he added. Eastabond is finding markets in PET trays and food packaging.
Eastman is a global specialty plastics and chemicals firm with annual sales of about $9.5 billion. The firm employs around 14,000 worldwide.