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additives | TiO2


Titanium dioxide developments


Cristal has introduced TiONA 242, a sulphate rutile TiO2


product


produced at the company’s Bahia manufacturing plant in Brazil. According to the company, TiONA 242 has been designed with a high performance organic treatment to provide optimal dispersibility in polymers. It is recommended for use in plastics masterbatch and other applications where durability is not critical. The grade is claimed to provide easy processing, quality consistency and high tint strength, which will provide plastic processors with benefits such as ease of handling and increased productivity. This follows the introduction last year of TiONA 288, which has been designed to maximise efficiency in high-performance, high-temperature plastic processing to offer higher rates of productivity, lower energy requirements and leaner operational costs. Aimed at masterbatch manufacturers, TiONA 288 is targeted at dispersion-critical film applica- tions, where a combination of high temperature performance, optical efficiency, high pigment loading and ease of dispersion is required. Huntsman has developed Tioxide TR48 pigment, which the company


says offers good colour properties and has been engineered to process well, even at high temperatures. The product has been designed as part of the Tioxide TR28 pigment range. The company says that the grade is designed for use in the production of polyolefin masterbatches, biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) films, and engineering compounds. Tioxide TR48 is claimed to be easy to disperse, has good tint reduction capabilities and has been developed with low volatile organic compound (VOC) formulations in mind. Typical applications include premium and general packaging systems, and the production of plastic parts for consumer electronic devices and the automotive industry. Hybrid Plastics has developed POSS silanol SO1450 as a dispersing particles in polypropylene. SO1450 is a hybrid


agent for nano-TiO2


molecule with an inorganic silsequioxane at the core, organic isobutyl groups attached at the corners of the cage and three active silanol functionalities. The company says that POSS treatment can reduce the agglomerate size in PP from 70nm to 33nm by functioning as a compatibi- lising agent, in which the silanol groups of the POSS cage are bound to the TiO2


particle and surround it with a high surface area structure of non-polar isobutyl groups. ❙ www.cristal.comwww.huntsman.comwww.hybridplastics.com


44 COMPOUNDING WORLD | October 2016


adsorbed. These lead to migration of the additives to the plastic surface during the manufacture of plastics, creating the ‘oily surface’ effect,” he says. Gonchar says there are also separate trends


occurring for the individual product types. “With Type 1 and 2 grades, we are observing moves to increase lacing resistance when using the pigment for the production of high temperature cast films while increasing the level of dispersibility by lowering the Filter Pressure Value. This has led to the emergence of Type 2 grades like Chemours’ Ti-Pure R-350. For Type 3 grades, we see improved durability levels in conjunction with increased hiding power. In addition, granulated pig- ments are emerging on the market for improved extruder feeding, making processing more uniform. These include Type 1 grade Deltio-5X from Huntsman, which is based on the Tioxide R-FC5 grade.” China will continue to increase its importance in the market of the future, according to Gonchar. “There


TiO2


are around 50 companies operating more than 55 factories in China,” he says. “In 2014 the effective capacity in China accounted for a total of 2,750,000 tons/year, but this capacity is now higher. Four plants in China are now using chloride technology, with the effective capacity of these plants being 200,000-250,000 tons/year.”


Limited differentiation According to independent consultant Peter Waugh, from a pigment producers’ perspective, the plastics market for TiO2


is largely commoditised with very


limited differentiation. “As a consequence it is generally straightforward to switch between many of the grades of the global producers, with some exceptions such as PVC profiles, where durability is important, or plastic films where lacing performance is a differentiator. There is no effective substitute for the properties that TiO2


attributes that TiO2


pigment provides to plastics. The most important have in plastics are optical (opacity


or hiding power), dispersibility (ease of incorporation into the polymer), and UV stability (resistance to breakdown),” he explains. Waugh adds that the price peaks in TiO2


from


of 4-5 years


ago saw attempts by users to reduce costs by either thrifting (using less), substitution (with fillers such as calcium carbonate) or by using lower cost TiO2 China. However, at the time Chinese TiO2


was more


inconsistent in quality, which caused issues in the more differentiated markets. However, over the intervening years, he says that a number of the larger Chinese businesses have looked to improve consistency, and their major weakness now is a lack of meaningful product development and differentiation. On current market demand in the plastics industry,


www.compoundingworld.com


PHOTO: CRISTAL


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