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Innovation | engineering thermoplastics


One of the clear trends emerging among producers of engineering plastics is the development of new grades targeted at specifi c end user markets. Peter Mapleston fi nds out more


ETPs: Made to measure


The producers and compounders of engineering plastics are continuing to develop and refi ne new product grades tailored to the specifi c requirements of particular applications in a range of end-use markets. Over the following pages we look at recent develop-


ments from a selection of global polymer producers, such as BASF, Bayer MaterialScience, Celanese, DSM, DuPont, Lanxess, Polyplastics, SABIC, Solvay, Trinseo and Toray. They include new grades aimed at meeting specifi c requirements for high temperature resistance, structural performance, fi re retardance, chemical resistance, tribological properties, high fl ow, and food contact compliance.


Food for thought As an example, one of the more interesting recent developments from BASF is targeted directly at the food and beverage sector. The company has announced an expansion of its PBT polyester product line with a new grade optimised for production of high-barrier coffee capsules for application in home brewing machines. According to the company, some of the latest machines brew at higher temperatures than their predecessors, which can cause capsules in the current material of choice – polypropylene – to soften excessively after the fi rst few dispensing cycles (when the machine reaches its stable operating temperature). PBT capsules provide better thermal resistance than PP versions. BASF says that the fi rst coffee capsules produced in


www.compoundingworld.com


the new Ultradur B1520 FC (FC signifi es food contact) PBT grades are now on the market in Europe. Aside from the improved thermal stability, the company says Ultradur B1520 FC protects the packaged coffee grounds from moisture and oxygen, while keeping in the aromas, without the need for the secondary packaging required for injection moulded PP capsules and without the need for the separate barrier layers that are sometimes used in thermoformed PP-based capsules. The high level of oxygen barrier is achieved in the PBT due to the high level of crystallisation in the thin capsule walls. Ultradur B1520 FC is a high fl ow grade with low levels


of tetrahydrofuran (THF), a bi-product from PBT production that can result in an odour similar to acetone. With its food-contact certifi cation, the new grade can also be used for thin-walled injection-moulded packaging for cosmetics and food products, BASF says. DuPont’s Rynite FG530 is a new 30% glass reinforced PET also developed for food contact applications. The new grade can typically be used for stiffeners and sealing surfaces for fridge-to-oven (traditional or microwave) containers, since it is capable of resisting temperatures up to 200˚C, says the company.


Driven to perform DSM launched a new generation of Diablo polyamides with improved thermal resistance last year. The new additions to its Stanyl polyamide 4,6 and Akulon PA6,6


July 2015 | COMPOUNDING WORLD 67


Main image: BASF’s latest Ultradur PBT has been


engineered to


deliver thermal and barrier


performance for coffee capsule


applications


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