Plastics Technology

DEC 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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Page 35 of 59

In the last couple of years, a developing global supply/demand squeeze in nylon 66 has led some engi- neering thermoplastic suppliers, compounders and distributors to be on the ready to address con- tinued capacity constraints and higher prices with alternative engineering resins. Chief among these options are nylon 6, PBT, high-performance nylons like PPAs, and blends containing increased recycle content. While there are varying projec- tions, most sources anticipate the nylon 66 tightness to continue through to at least part of 2020. The resin constraints are related primarily to tight supplies of key precursor adiponitrile (ADN), which is produced by four major players: Ascend Performance Polymers and Invista in the U.S.; Butachemie, a joint venture of Invista and Solvay in Germany; and Japan's Asahi Kasei. An explo- sion in 2015 at a Chinese ADN plant took out 18% of global capacity. The ADN issue appeared to have landed prominently on nearly everyone's radar from hurricane season 2017 through 2018, starting with unplanned disruptions in production of ADN and nylon 66, all of which have been largely resolved by now, according to Brendan Dooley, global director for engineering resins at Houston-based IHSMarkit. By midyear 2018, nylon 66 prices were up more than 50% from 18 months before. In 2018 alone, there By Lilli Manolis Sherman Senior Editor While the nylon 66 tightness may not prove long-lasting, resin suppliers, compounders, and distributors have mobilized to offer processors an array of 'replacement' materials. Nylon 66: Pricing & Supply Issues Spur Processors to Consider Alternatives BASF is pursuing all options to source products along the nylon 66 value chain, including the planned acquisition of Solvay's nylon 66 business. 34 DECEMBER 2018 Plastics Technology COVER STORY

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