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PROCESSING AIDS | ADDITIVES


Processing aids - users seek


improved functionality Lubricants and processing aids are vital for efficient polymer processing. However, compound producers are increasingly demanding additional functionality as well, writes Mark Holmes


Making raw materials go further and delivering more efficient end-use processing – whether that be faster and thinner extrusions or shorter injection moulding cycles – are key roles of processing aids in the formulation of polymer compounds. A wide variety of chemicals, waxes and lubricants can be employed to this end but increasingly these additives are being required to be multi-functional. And as the Circular Economy moves up the agenda, lubricants and processing aids that can work effectively with recycled polymers are also finding important roles in the market. German wax additive blend and montan wax supplier to the compounding industry Völpker Spezialprodukte highlights a number of significant factors in the current lubricant and wax


www.compoundingworld.com


market sector. “Polyethylene wax – mainly oxidised – is still in short supply,” says Dr Lutz Matthies, Head of Business Development. “The recent global shortage of oxidised polyethylene waxes has caused users to search actively for adequate replacements. However, montan wax is in good demand, mainly for high-quality applications and is readily available. The market is open for new developments with montan wax. The demand problem for Fischer-Tropsch (FT) wax is now relaxing because of new Asian producers and new plants introduced by established players in the market. In addition, the biopolymers market now deserves effective bio-based lubricants.” Matthies identifies a number of key trends driving new developments in waxes and lubricants.


Main image: Processing aids and lubricants are key


elements in the preparation and processing of polymer compounds for performance applications


� April 2019 | COMPOUNDING WORLD 61


PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK


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