Plastics Technology

JUL 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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Topas COC Resins Now Part of Polyplastics USA Engineering thermoplastic resins supplier Polyplastics USA, Farmingdale, Mich., has absorbed its affiliate Topas Advanced Poly- mers Inc. (TAP USA; previously located in Florence, Ky.), adding Topas's cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) resins to its existing port- folio of acetal, PBT, and PPS. Polyplastics has held an ownership stake in TAP GmbH for over a decade, and the merger is a key milestone in Polyplastics' efforts to build a strong market presence in the Americas. "We plan to leverage and further enhance TAP GmbH's global leadership position in COC," said Lindsey Deal, president of Poly- plastics USA, and Timothy Kneale, presi- dent of TAP USA, in a joint statement. 859-888-1307 • polyplastics.com RTP Boosting Capacity RTP Co., Winona, Minn., expects to significantly increase its production capacity by year's end. The company announced last fall that it would reopen its Dayton, Nev., compounding plant, which was shuttered in 2001. The plant is undergoing significant upgrades, including updated mechan- ical and electrical systems, new energy efficient lighting, and recircu- lating water chillers. The company is also adding new capacity for high- volume compounding at Portage, Wis. 507-454-6900 • rtpcompany.com Industry Bracing for Possible Shortage of Nylon 66 Industry concern over potential nylon 66 supply shortages in the next three years is based on two factors: fast- growing demand in the automotive industry—which reportedly accounts for over 50% of global nylon 66 demand—and strains on capacity for producing a key feedstock, adiponi- trile (ADN), used in the production of primary nylon 66 component hexa- methylene diamine. Cliff Watkins, director of applica- tions development for resin distribu- tor PolySource, Independence, Mo. (polysource.net), recently shared his analysis of this issue. "First, we as an industry need to educate our customers and specifiers that the supply chain of nylon 66 is under extreme, long-term pressure," he states. "The seven force majeure declarations made across the U.S. and Europe in the first two months of 2018 underscore the snug relation- ship between supply and demand. The nylon 66 shortage we face today is the result of a structural lapse in supply not keeping up with demand— not in polymerization or compound- ing, but in the fundamental intermediate ADN. Manufactured in four high-volume plants, three in the U.S. and one in France, ADN supply is forecasted to lag demand dramati- cally, for at least three years." The good news, Watkin says, is that "recently announced invest- ments in new ADN capacity show positive signs that producers have realized that the current situation is untenable." He points to expan- sion and debottlenecking projects announced by Butachimie (a joint venture of Solvay and Invista), Invista, and Ascend. In the latter case, Houston-based Ascend Performance Materials (ascendmaterials.com) completed its first ADN expansion of 100 million lb at the end of 2017, and will have an additional 80 million lb by year's end. A further expansion of 360 million lb will be realized by 2022. Nonetheless, Watkins says all this will not be sufficient to meet market demand until 2021, at the earliest. In the meantime, "Nylon 66 resin and compounds are skyrocketing in cost, while manufacturers that rely on nylon 66 for their products struggle to meet their supply needs, at any price. Nylon 66 demand will quickly outpace supply by more than 220 million lb, and some nylon 66 consumers will be forced to consider an alternative, because nylon 66 will simply not be avail- able—regardless of price. Moreover, if demand continues at the current rate, it is possible that the gap could escalate as high as 600 million lb in the next couple of years." Eastman Completes Tritan Expansion, Plans Additional Capacity Eastman Chemical Co., Kingsport, Tenn., has completed an expansion for Tritan copolyester. Its new plant at Kingsport is fully operational, and the company has another expansion of copolyester production underway at this site. This is slated for completion in third quarter and will increase PETG and PCTG capacities by approximately 25% of the Kingsport specialty copolyester total capacity. PETG and PCTG are known by the trademarks Eastar, Spectar and Aspira, among others. 800-327-8626 • eastman.com 12 JULY 2018 Plastics Technology PTonline.com T E C H N O L O G Y A N D I N D U S T R Y N E W S St ar t ing Up

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