Archive for August, 2003

M-Base: Database for Natural-Fiber Plastics

Friday, August 15th, 2003

M-Base Engineering + Software GmbH in Aachen, Germany, the creator of the CAMPUS materials databases, is now developing the first on-line databank related to plastics reinforced with natural fibers. Such information has been hard to find up to now, says M-Base president Dr.-Ing. Erwin Baur. The new N-FibreBase databank will include technical data on material properties, pictures and information on natural-fiber applications, a price index for natural fibers, and lists of suppliers of natural fibers and plastics compounds and composites. For a preview of this developmental project, visit

Bayer Polymers: Asian center for high performance coating raw materials

Friday, August 15th, 2003

Bayer Polymers, a division of Bayer AG, plans to expand its Caojing site near Shanghai, China, making it Bayer Polymers’ most important production facility for coating raw materials in the Asia Pacific region. Production plants for aliphatic and aromatic polyisocyanates as well as the monomer hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) will be constructed in three phases at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park. This project is being managed by Bayer Coatings Systems Shanghai Company Limited (BCSS), a wholly-owned Bayer subsidiary that develops, produces and markets raw materials for coatings and adhesives and also provides associated technical services.

“The demand for raw materials for the manufacture of high performance polyurethane coatings is growing strongly in this region. With this large-scale investment program, we aim to optimally exploit the excellent market opportunities there,” says Dr. Joachim Wolff, Senior Vice President of Global Operations Base and Modified Isocyanates (BMI) at Bayer Polymers, “We expect our coating raw materials business to continue its outstanding performance because the coatings formulated from these products satisfy highest requirements with respect to appearance, chemical resistance, mechanical strength, lightfastness and weather stability.

In April 2003, a plant with an annual capacity of 11,500 tons was brought on line for the production of the Desmodur® N line of aliphatic polyisocyanates, a segment in which Bayer Polymers holds a leading position. These raw materials are used primarily in the formulation of general industrial and automotive refinishing coatings, as well as coatings for plastics.

A production plant for the Desmodur® L line of aromatic polyisocyanates is currently under construction. These raw materials have proved ideal for the formulation of high performance polyurethane coatings, e.g. for wood and furniture. With the start of operation of this plant in late 2004, Bayer Polymers will have a total capacity of 11,000 tons for Desmodur® L products at the Caojing site, enabling Bayer Polymers to maintain its strong position in the field of low-monomer raw materials for these coating systems. Bayer Polymers’ goal is to be the first local producer of low-monomer TDI adducts in support of a Chinese government initiative to reduce the free TDI content in wood and furniture coating systems for interior applications.
The third project is the construction of a plant for the production of HDI, which is used as a raw material for aliphatic polyisocyanates. The plant will ultimately have a total capacity of 50,000 tons, with 30,000 tons available by 2006. Capacity can be expanded by roughly 20,000 tons in a second phase of construction if warranted by market growth in the region.

Wexco: Additional capacity for twin-screw barrels

Thursday, August 14th, 2003

Wexco Corp., USA , has increased its capacity for making twin-screw liners and barrels. The recent addition of a large wire-EDM machine to Wexco’s existing five ram-type EDM machines and the hiring of several experienced employees positions Wexco to take on a larger market share in the twin-screw barrel market, according to company officials. Tel: (800) 999-3926,

UK approves small diameter PE gas pipes

Thursday, August 14th, 2003

A UK gas pipe network provider has approved smaller diameter PE pipes as part of its plan to replace metal pipes with plastic. Transco has approved pipes with diameters between 250mm and 400mm to use in gas mains. They will be used alongside the existing range of 450mm to 630mm pipes. The company plans to replace 90,000km of metal gas main with PE over the next 30 years. Its preferred supplier is currently Uponor, which developed the smaller diameter Profuse PE 100 pipes for the contract. Uponor has a contract with Transco until the end of 2005.

Entek: New Extruder for the Medical Industry

Wednesday, August 13th, 2003

ENTEK Extruders has recently introduced its new extruder designed for the medical and pharmaceutical industry. The E-MAX 27 mm Twin-Screw Extruder is geared for output rates normally needed for medical and pharmaceutical applications, yet it has all of the user-friendly features that have made ENTEK’s other machines so successful. The machine is fully modular and self-contained, requiring only one power connection. The heating/cooling systems, as well as the PLC are mounted under the extruder in water and dust resistant enclosures. In addition to ease of installation, this feature assures trouble-free operation and makes servicing easier. The machine’s stainless steel exterior ensures fast and easy cleanup and protects the machine from corrosion. Just like the larger models of E-MAX twin-screw extruders, the 27 mm features an AC vector drive system and an Allen-Bradley PLC equipped with optional Ethernet for remote monitoring and troubleshooting.

Chemical ElectroPhysics: Sensor ignites retardants research

Wednesday, August 13th, 2003

A sensor design that analyses up to 50% of extruded resin flow for improved quality has been launched by Chemical ElectroPhysics Corp of Delaware (CEP). The in-line instrument is designed as a multi-purpose device to measure dielectric, rheological and optical properties during extrusion.An older design was a ring-shaped sensor in which the process fluids flow through with minimum back pressure.

Michael McBrearty of CEP said: “The new one is flat instead of round. This does present a little more back pressure, but it has the virtue that it interrogates more of the fluid – 50% compared to 25% in the round design.”

With the added information the sensor can measure filler concentrations and monitor microstructural characteristics such as the extent of exfoliation, the mix of clays and nanocomposite materials.

Green Forest: New manufacturer of wood composite profiles

Monday, August 11th, 2003

Green Forest is a new company serving niche markets with composite extruded profiles. Green Forest Engineered Products LLC will begin production in Nevada by the end of the year. The firm will begin with about 10 employees and three extrusion lines in a 35,000-square-foot, leased site. The firm will make products like fascia and sills from virgin polypropylene and wood.

Phoenix AG: Sale of hydraulic hose unit in Malaysia

Monday, August 11th, 2003

Phoenix AG has sold its Malaysian hydraulic hose business, which was previous handled by the company’s Fluid Handling division, to Australia’s Ryco Hydrau-lics Pty. Ltd. The transaction included production facilities, the site and inventory as well as the development and production know-how of the Malaysian location.

For Phoenix, this sale represents yet a further step in the direction of implementing the company’s declared goal of concentrating on profitable growth ar-eas that allow Phoenix to stake out a position of market leadership. The com-pany’s Fluid Handling Automotive activities rank it among the European market leaders and Phoenix is the world market leader in the area of special hoses for the Oil & Marine market, but Phoenix does not occupy a significant position in the international market for hydraulic hoses for industrial applications. The com-pany sold off its European hydraulic hose business in January of the current year.

Production of hydraulic hoses in Malaysia generated 2002 revenues in the amount of € 9 million for Phoenix. With 84 employees, who will be retained by Ryco Hydraulics Pty. Ltd., the Malaysian location produces hydraulic hoses for the Asian Market. The two parties to the sale have agreed not to divulge the sale price.

DuPont: Joint venture with Chinese filament producer

Wednesday, August 6th, 2003

DuPont is linking up with China’s Wuxi Xingda Nylon in a global joint venture in the market for toothbrush and other filaments. The partners are to establish three individual jointly owned entities based in China, the Netherlands and the US, each with a 70-30 split between the US group, holding the majority, and its Chinese partner.The new Shanghai-headquartered venture will start up in the fourth quarter with a staff of 500 and supply more than 60 national markets.

DuPont’s filament business produces both nylon and polyester varieties, covers brands such as Tynex and is positioned within the group’s Engineering Polymers business. The group’s partner is a privately held concern set up in 1987 to produce nylon toothbrush filaments and resins for the Asia Pacific region, and is China’s largest manufacturer.

Reifenhauser: Air cushion turner bar protects film surface

Wednesday, August 6th, 2003

A blown film turning bar which protects the surface of the film with a cushion of air has been introduced by Reifenhäuser. The REIcofly bar has a microporous coating through which compressed air is pumped to keep the surface of the film from contacting the bar. This air is supplied by a standard factory air system and does not need a dedicated compressed air blower.
Tests have been done at the company’s Troisdorf R & D centre and the bar has been shown to be effective with high VA content EVA protective film, coextruded LLDPE stretch film and film with high optical properties. Benefits claimed for the new turner bar include reduced noise and cost from using factory compressed air, no frictional heat generation, and no bending of the turner required so no wrinkling of the film. The REIcofly bar can be retrofitted.