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engineering thermoplastics | Innovation


ic materials in electrical equipment. Outside automo- tive, Polyplastics is aiming the PBT at applications in solar power generation-related components (such as junction and connection boxes), smart meters and various product housings in the electrical and electron- ics field.


Industrial development Last year Celanese launched what it describes as an “all-in-one” tribologically modified acetal copolymer. The Hostaform SlideX POM compound enables the production of injection moulded parts with a very low coefficient of friction and wear rate, reducing energy loss, heat generation and noise. Hostaform SlideX is described as a competitive


alternative to various kinds of high performance tribologically modified compounds in applications requiring a lower coefficient of friction without compro- mising high mechanical performance. The company says Hostaform SlideX eliminates the need to use external lubricants and is well suited for use in applications such as gear shift systems, stabiliser joints, roller shutter devices, furniture slide systems, or speed masters. A. Schulman and Lehmann&Voss are among several


compounders that have introduced compounds based on polyketone (see Compounding World February 2015). Schulman’s offering is called Schulaketon and includes four standard grades (medium and low viscosity, 15 and 30% glass reinforced). The company is also focussing on tribologically modified compounds. Lehmann&Voss says its new polyketone grades fill a


Right: Wiha of Germany is the first commer- cial user of BASF’s


Ultramid ‘mass balance’


sustainable polyamide


gap between compounds based on technical polymers such as PA6, PA6,6 and POM, and high performance polymers such as PPS, PEI and PAEK “The introduction is actually a re-launch,” says Holger Vandrich, in product development for Luvocom compounds. He explains that various Luvocom 70 products had been available up until 2000, when polyketone (PK) producer Shell Chemical discontinued production of its Carilon branded polymer. PK is now being produced again in Korea by Hyosung, which is currently running a small plant with a capacity of 1000 tonnes/year; a 50,000 tonne/year plant is scheduled to come on-stream this summer. Hyosung acquired some PK intellectual


property from SRI (which had originally been donated by Shell) and combined that with its own technology it had been developing since 2004. “We developed our own proprietary super active catalysis


76 COMPOUNDING WORLD | July 2015 www.compoundingworld.com


technology and have more than 160 patent applications and registrations in the world,” says Da-Eun Jeong, manager of the overseas sales team for PK at Hyosung. The company invested KRW50 billion (US$45 million) in technology development over a 10-year period, and it has invested a further KRW125 billion (US$112 million) in its full-scale plant. Lehmann&Voss describes PK as a multi-use


material that offers inherently good tribological performance. “In many cases it is better than POM and PA,” says Vandrich. “It can replace even high tempera- ture resistant polymers in tribological applications.” PK also offers good hydrolytic stability, low permeability, good weld line strength and good processability. Processing cycle times are typically shorter compared to other technical polymers such as PA6,6 and POM. The Luvocom 70 line consists of three grades:


70-9045 reinforced with carbon fibres, 70-9046 lubricated with PTFE, and 70-9113/BK formulated for low wear and friction. Lehmann&Voss will also develop made-to-measure compounds.


The balance of sustainability In October last year, the first BASF polyamide 6 based on a “mass balance” approach to sustainable chemistry went into serial production. Kunststoffwerk AG Buchs, a subsidiary of Wiha Werkzeuge, is the first BASF customer to process and use the Ultramid B3EG6 MB grade, employing it in serial production of its Longlife brand of metre rules. Ultramid B3EG6 MB is not a bioplastic, however, but


the end result of a long process chemistry chain that makes use of renewable feedstocks and allows this renewable content to be “allocated” to a specific product. This allocation is made on the basis of mass balance – a principle already applied in areas as diverse as bioenergy, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber and Fair Trade certified cocoa. BASF says that its current dedicated bio-based products (including its Ultramid Balance polymer or bio-based butanediol feedstock) use a bio-feedstock


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