Friedrichshafen, Germany — Milliken & Co.'s reasons for being at Fakuma 2021 were clear.
The Spartanburg, S.C.-based firm is focused on sustainability and promoted an improved grade of its NX 8000 ECO-brand clarifying agent. The commercially available material offers better clarity than previous grades and is being used in packaging and containers in health and beauty, food and other end markets, said Maria Di Nolfo, plastic additives EMEA sales director, Oct. 13 at Fakuma 2021.
"We're seeing a lot of interest in sustainability," she added. "Different customers are taking different actions."
The new NX grade also can be processed at lower temperatures, adding to its environmental advantage by saving energy, said Sami Palanisami, plastic colorants global commercial manager.
Di Nolfo added that the new grade also offers improved cycle times. That improvement is important, she said, because it allows processors to work at full capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, Milliken debuted additives that can help improve recycling and meet other sustainability goals. Officials said DeltaMax-brand additives can be used to increase the processability of recycled polypropylene resins while maintaining or increasing toughness.
Milliken's UltraGuard Solutions enhance the barrier performance of polyethylene resin, reducing the transmission of water, oxygen, carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds by 20-60 percent. The materials also encourage use of PE without additional metal and multimaterial barriers that inhibit recyclability.
In March, Milliken acquired German compounder and concentrates maker Zebra-chem GmbH for an undisclosed price. Milliken officials said at the time that Zebra-chem is known for its peroxide and blowing agent masterbatches and that the deal will increase their firm's presence in recycling markets.
Zebra-chem is located in Bad Bentheim, Germany. The firm's products are used in PVC, polyolefins and engineering resins.
Milliken is one of the world's largest privately held chemicals and textiles makers, with more than 7,000 employees worldwide.