Cleveland — Baerlocher USA is seeing increased interest in improving the properties of recycled plastics.
"In the polymer space, there's renewed strength in recycling, and part of that is upstream," specialty additives director Roberto Nunez said May 9 at the Compounding World expo in Cleveland.
"When you talk to upstream companies now, they're interested in additives," he added. "The difference now is polyolefin companies' approach to offering recycled content material."
Baerlocher's additive technologies can improve the properties of recycled plastics in melt flow and color processability, according to Nunez.
At the event, Baerlocher USA — a Cincinnati-based unit of Baerlocher Group of Munich — focused on Baeropol-brand resin stabilization technology and on its line of metal stearates. Baeropol materials are stabilizers for compounds. Metal stearates in calcium, zinc, magnesium, sodium and aluminum forms can be used as additives in compounds and in masterbatch concentrates.
In 2017, Baerlocher USA increased its additives production by 25 percent by installing a third production reactor in Cincinnati.
"The challenge isn't technology or capacity; it's market knowledge and changing the thought process," Nunez said.
"We hear over and over at different events that customers can benefit from a recycled material that's more stable and usable," technical specialist Ian Query said. "So it's a matter of finding out where we can help them, whether that's in pipes or bottles or packaging or another area."