Archive for October, 2005

Simplex: Strategy includes using Asian PVC profiles

Friday, October 28th, 2005

A fledgling supplier of vinyl windows and doors is looking to make big moves in the North American residential construction market, including plans for an initial public offering and to acquire fabricators with combined annual sales of $200 million (1.62 billion yuan).
Part of Lebanon-based Simplex Building Products Inc.’s strategy is to grow using low-cost PVC profiles purchased from extruders in Asia, said Cliff Wright, chief executive officer of Houston, Texas-based Kreuz Holdings.
Kreuz Holdings will secure the various acquisitions for Simplex in the coming months and years. The general goal is for Simplex to be a $200 million company by the end of 2007, Wright said.
Simplex officials expect its stock to be publicly traded within two years. The company currently is preparing to sell securities that will be listed on the Small Cap Nasdaq stock market.
Among the companies that make up Simplex is injection molder CMI Engineering Inc., also based in Lebanon. CMI founder Steve Peabody is president of Simplex.
CMI has a history in the Pacific Rim — the company specializes in contract molding, assembly, toolmaking and design through joint ventures with Chinese companies. For Simplex, Asian operations will start small and grow over time, Wright said.
“We’re starting with the simple idea of bringing raw PVC product into the U.S. to be a feedstock for the fabricators here that we’re acquiring,” he said. “PVC is getting more and more expensive. We expect to have not only a stable product, but at considerable savings.”
It would be a natural evolution for Simplex, Wright said, eventually to fabricate windows and doors that could be sold in Asia in addition to the United States.


Friday, October 28th, 2005

Plastics processors now can impart a rubber-like matte finish to products made with Flexalloy (R) compounds while still obtaining the advantages of these high-performance vinyl thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) over conventional flexible vinyl and other TPEs, it was announced today by Teknor Apex.

While new Flexalloy 9750 Series compounds have processing and physical properties comparable to those of the general-purpose Flexalloy 9100 Series, Teknor Apex has formulated them for applications where a low-gloss surface may be aesthetically desirable, as in certain consumer products and furniture trim. In addition, while glossy products tend to “block” or stick to each other, the low-gloss Flexalloy compounds exhibit anti-blocking properties that ease handling of films such as bin liners, flexible “accordion” hose like that on vacuum cleaners, and mating parts such as weather-stripping for windows and doors.

In such uses, Flexalloy compounds often provide better performance than standard TPEs, according to Philip R. Morin, industry manager for Teknor Apex’s Vinyl Division. “Besides exhibiting the look, feel, and elasticity of more widely known polyolefin and styrenic TPEs, Flexalloy products surpass them in tear and tensile strength and resistance to flexural fatigue,” Morin said. “Equally important, they retain the traditional advantages of vinyl over TPEs, including much better resistance to oils and fats and wider formulation versatility”

The enhanced performance of Flexalloy compounds also opens possibilities in applications where standard flexible vinyl has not been used. “Flexalloy products are not just flexible but truly elastic,” Morin said. “When compared with flexible vinyl compounds of the same hardness levels, they exhibit superior compression set, low-temperature flexibility, tear strength, and abrasion resistance.”

New Flexalloy 9750 compounds are available in Shore A hardnesses ranging from 35 to 80. Extensive information on other Flexalloy products is available in the Vinyl Division section of

Flexalloy TPEs are based on proprietary formulation and compounding technology developed by Teknor Apex and have no counterparts among competing raw material producers. They are based on ultra high molecular weight PVC resin, which differs considerably from the PVC used for compounding the vast bulk of vinyl formulations.

Ticona: Introduction of Lower-Cost Topas® COC Grade for Flexible Packaging

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

Ticona, the engineering polymers business of Celanese Corporation, has introduced a new, more cost-effective grade of Topas® COC (cyclic olefin copolymer) for packaging applications. This second-generation COC, Topas 8007F-100, provides a broad processing window and an excellent cost-performance ratio as a blending component in polyethylene-based packaging films to add stiffness, thermoformability, controlled tear, improved sealing and antiblock characteristics.

Topas 8007F-100 provides the same basic properties as other Topas grades at lower cost. Although its optical properties are not at the same ultimate level as other Topas packaging grades, they have proven satisfactory in many applications in which Topas 8007F-100 was blended with a wide range of polyolefins. Best results have been achieved with LLDPE (including metallocene and plastomer LLDPEs), LDPE, HDPE and blends of these polymers.
“With Topas 8007F-100, we are targeting cost-sensitive packaging applications using COC blended into polyethylene as a performance enhancer,” says Bernd Sparenberg, Global Marketing Manager. “In most cases, COC is used as a minor component at a concentration of 10 to 20 percent to customize overall film properties in applications such as pouches, forming webs and coated paper.”

Topas 8007F-100 complies with US and EU food contact regulations and has been evaluated in numerous commercial programs. Positive customer feedback received in these programs paved the way for the introduction of Topas 8007F-100 into the flexible packaging market.

Davis-Standard: Tube Processing Technology for Demanding Medical Applications

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

Davis-Standard offers a complete line of extrusion and downstream equipment for medical tubing applications, including options that enable processors to maintain a high level of cleanliness and accuracy.
Davis-Standard’s micro-loop water filtration and disinfection system provides additional assurance that tubing has not been contaminated. The system features a stainless steel pump that provides 3 gpm water circulation at 80 psi. Pump suction draws water from the water discharge side of the unit while an ultraviolet disinfection module provides 30K to 400K microwatt seconds per square centimeter of 2537 Angstrom ultraviolet energy across water flowing through the stainless steel housing. Primary filtration occurs through a single micron pre-filter, positioned for easy filter cartridge replacement. Secondary micro filtration for removal of pyrogens, micro-organisms and other contaminants is done via two “pancake” style membranes. This filter can be replaced by unclamping a housing lid and lifting out filter elements. Pressure gauges indicate a pressure drop across filters. The system is available as an option on new lines as well as a retrofit on existing lines.
For precision contact or non-contact sizing, Davis-Standard’s DST high technology vacuum sizing tank provides stable vacuum levels to +/- 0.1 inches (2.5mm) of water throughout the vacuum range. This precision allows for more demanding ID and OD wall dimensions, and enables sizing of sticky materials such as flex PVC and urethane. Other advantages include a high output circulation pump in the lower tank and chamber, a vacuum set point regulated by a closed loop control system, an air/water separation system, a variety of features for noise reduction and an ergonomic design for simplified operator use and accessibility. This tank is ideal for straight tube and small pipes, bump tubing and multi-lumen applications. For straight tube and small pipes, the tank can be used in contact or non-contact mode to improve roundness and OD tolerance. With bump tubing, vacuum sizing keeps the bump portion of the tube round without relying solely on the internal air supply. When producing multi-lumen tubing, vacuum sizing eliminates the need for using internal air supplies to maintain outer wall consistency from lumen to lumen.

LTL Color Compounders: Opening plant in China

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

LTL Color Compounders Inc. is building a plant in China to supply customers locating to Asia. The Morrisville, Pennsylvania, company is building a 6,224-square-meter plant in Liaobu in Dong Guan province, said LTL national sales manager Paul Zema. The new operation is due for completion in April 2006.
The LTL China operation will begin with two twin-screw extrusion lines with annual capacity 3,630 tons. Zema said LTL expects to add another four extruders within two years. Although the Liaobu plant will be a stand-alone operation with its own general manager, it will work closely with the Morrisville head office.
The new plant’s main geographic market will be in regions surrounding Shanghai, China, Vietnam and Singapore. In a few years LTL will scout a possible second compounding plant location in the region.
In a separate development, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers sold an exclusive worldwide license for its Surlyn Reflection Series resin to LTL. The material is an alloy of Surlyn ionomer resin and nylon 6 used mainly to injection mold durable and weatherable aesthetic parts. LTL assumed full business responsibility Oct. 1.

Synseal: Purchase of Permacell Finesse

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

British window systems manufacturer Synseal Holdings, UK, has paid The Laird Group, UK, GBP 10.25m (around EUR 15m) for Permacell Finesse, a manufacturer of rigid and cellular PVC profiles for the UK window market. Based in Witham, Essex, Permacell achieved an operating profit of GBP 1.4m on a turnover of GBP 30.6m in 2004, but was not considered a core activity by Laird as it did not hold a leading position in the market. Assets for the purchase are valued at GBP 12m. According to chairman Gary Dutton, the deal will promote Synseal to UK market leader for PVC windows, based on tonnage produced in 2004.

NatureWorks: PLA can beat PET on costs

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

NatureWorks is claiming its corn-based polymer now offers a cost saving for some applications that currently use PET. Speaking at a presentation in Brussels last Thursday, chief executive Kathleen Bader said a recent 68% cut in production costs for the company’s polylactide acid (PLA polymer – and “with some help from the oil industry prices” – the material “has been competitive with PET for several months now and it will become competitive with polystyrene within several years”.
Chief marketing officer Dennis McGrew said: “Polystyrene prices are very volatile, so we are already competitive with PS in many regions today.” Belgian retailer Delhaize started to use NatureWorks PLA for fresh salad boxes around two months ago and is evaluating the material for bread and fruit and vegetable packaging. Delhaize communication specialist Katrien Verbeke said: “PLA costs a little bit more than before, but there is no difference in price for our customers. It is our commitment to pay for it.”

Brueckner: LIWIND-System once again Proves Technological Leadership

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

Brückner is ringing in a new era in high-speed film winding and Manuli Film S.P.A., Italy, one of the world’s leading film producers, was the first to benefit from this quantum leap in winding technology. The winder of Manuli’s high performance 10m BOPP film line - the world’s largest and fastest - was significantly improved: The original mechanic/pneumatic/hydraulic contact roll positioning system was replaced by a revolutionary linear motor winding system, called LIWIND-system (patents pending).
The enormous benefits for the film production are:
• Wide operating windows, therefore supreme flexibility for parameter adjustment
• Perfectly wound mill rolls for all film types
• Very high winding speed
• Less mechanical components required, thus less wear and tear
Yet again Brückner’s innovation workshop has proven to be on top of its game.


Monday, October 10th, 2005

AMI is pleased to announce the launch of a new event: TRANSPARENT & TRANSLUCENT SHEET 2006- Building & Construction, Signage & Display & Industrial Applications. The conference will take place from 4-6 April 2006 at the Renaissance Hotel in Dusseldorf, Germany.

This new event will provide an international forum for all companies involved in the transparent & translucent sheet industry.

Transparent & Translucent Sheet 2006 will be an opportunity for industry participants to learn about inter-material competition and technology developments, but also to think about the ways in which further value can be created. The conference will also include a business forum which will aim to examine various key issues: strength of the market, trends of the industry, the role of distributors and international supply structure understanding.

We are currently recruiting speakers. If you would like to present a paper at Transparent & Translucent Sheet 2006 please contact me by email at [email protected] or phone me on Tel:+44 117 924 9442.


Monday, October 10th, 2005

Chemistry that combines PVC and thermoplastic elastomers has yielded a new series of vinyl wire and cable jacketing compounds that perform better than conventional vinyl at very low temperatures, avoiding loss of physical properties caused by plasticizer volatilization or migration, it was announced today by Teknor Apex Company, which will introduce the compounds at IWCS/Focus (Booths 219 & 221).

Tradenamed FreeFlex, the new compounds are the first plasticizer-free vinyl compounds for wire and cable, according to Mike Patel, industry manager for the Vinyl Division of Teknor Apex.

“FreeFlex products withstand harsh winter conditions without embrittlement and surpass conventional vinyl in retaining their original mechanical properties after prolonged use,” said Patel. “While standard vinyl typically loses some of the plasticizer additive that is used to render it flexible, our new FreeFlex compounds derive their flexibility from elastomeric ingredients that are permanently alloyed with PVC.”

Teknor Apex is introducing five FreeFlex grades with Shore C hardnesses ranging from 89 to 92 and brittle points from -26 to -56 deg. C. Potential jacketing uses include cables for harsh outdoor environments, military-specification coaxial cables, tray cables, and industrial cables. Highly flame-resistant, low-smoke formulations can also be provided for custom applications such as indoor/outdoor data cables.

FreeFlex (TM) Products Are the Fruits of a Major Compounding Innovation

The technology underlying new FreeFlex compounds involves 1) use of high-performance new- generation elastomers that typically are immiscible with PVC, and 2) development of proprietary compatibilizer chemistry enabling Teknor Apex to alloy them with PVC.

“In comparison with plasticizer additives, our elastomeric alloy components make possible greater retention of elongation upon heat aging, greater resistance to embrittlement at very low temperatures, improved electrical properties as reflected by a lower dielectric constant, and enhanced chemical resistance,” said Maryellen Cox, Vinyl Division technical manager. “We intend to develop other compounds that benefit wire and cable manufacturers because of our plasticizer-free technology.”