Higher resin prices have led to higher sales of foaming agents made by ID Additives Inc.
Foaming agent sales at La Grange, Ill.-based ID are up 15 percent in the first three months of 2021, President Nick Sotos said in a recent phone interview with Plastics News. The materials can help processors save money by reducing resin consumption, part weight and cycle times, he added.
High demand, combined with production outages from hurricanes and Winter Storm Uri, have sent North American commodity resin prices up since early 2020. In the most extreme case, regional prices for polypropylene resin are up 61 cents per pound since December.
"When resins are at these high prices, that becomes the story," Sotos said. "If you're buying 10 million pounds of resin a year, it's a serious expense."
For a standard PP shampoo cap, officials said that ID's foaming agents can reduce part weight by 8 percent and reduce cycle times by 15 percent, resulting in annual savings of $67,000. The amount of that savings has more than doubled since late 2020 as resin prices have increased, they added.
Those results were achieved using 1 percent ID foaming agent. Cycle time was reduced from 12.3 seconds to 10.5 seconds. The study also resulted in less mold and machine wear, less vent cleaning and less use of cooling water, officials said.
ID did the shampoo cap study with machinery firm Sumitomo Demag and mold maker NyproMold Inc. The study was first presented at Plastics News' Plastics Caps & Closures conference in 2017.
ID makes a range of foaming agents that can be used with a wide range of commodity and engineering resins. Sotos said that in a typical application, ID aims to achieve 10 percent weight reduction and 10 percent cycle time improvement for customers using its foaming agents.
In addition to foaming agents, ID's product mix includes UV stabilizers and purging compounds. The foaming agents and UV stabilizers are toll produced for ID in the Chicago area. The firm operates its own purge compound production site in Flint, Texas.
ID also distributes calcium carbonate and talc masterbatch concentrates made by Heritage Plastics Inc.
In addition to its LaGrange office, ID operates a warehouse in Aurora, Ill. The business employs 12 and is co-located with Carver Plastic Products Inc., a reseller of virgin and regrind resins also owned and operated by Sotos.
Sotos founded both ID and Carver in 2005 after spending almost 10 years with resin distribution firm I. Stern & Co.