Cleveland — New technologies and growth opportunities are showing the value of PVC compounds.
"It's important to reinforce what PVC and all plastics are doing," Geon Performance Solutions Chief Commercial Officer Larry Shaw said Nov. 4 at Compounding World Expo in Cleveland. Shaw spoke on a panel along with executives from Westlake Chemical Corp., Aurora Plastics and Teknor Apex Co.
Westlake Sales Director Eric Schumacher added that his Houston-based firm "has a real opportunity to improve and reduce lead times with limited inventory."
The recently passed federal infrastructure bill will provide opportunities for PVC compounders, according to Matthew Kuwatch, senior vice president with Streetsboro, Ohio-based Aurora.
Teknor Apex of Pawtucket, R.I., "is looking at a better balance of local and global supply chains," according to Vice President and Vinyl Business Director John Kaminsky.
Teknor Apex also sees opportunities in using copolymers in weatherable and flame-retardant applications, he added. Kuwatch said that flexible PVC is finding opportunities to compete against thermoplastic elastomers or engineering resins in composites and alloys.
3D printing is one of several growth opportunities for Westlake's PVC compounds.
"We've had a lot of time in the last 18 months to look at alternate raw materials and ways to reduce scrap rates and increase output rates," Schumacher said.
At Westlake, Ohio-based Geon, Shaw cited medical as an area of growth. He added that, during the pandemic, "people realized how important PVC is to the marketplace."