Archive for February, 2008

Mexichem: Purchase of 70% of Brazilian Plastic Pipe Manufacturer

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Mexican plastics firm Mexichem SAB announced that it acquired a 70% stake in Brazilian plastic tube maker DVG Industria e Comercio de Plasticos Limitada, or Plastubos, for an undisclosed amount. Mexichem said its Amanco Brazil Ltda unit has an option to buy the remaining 30% of Plastubos during the next three years.
Plastubos had $61 million in sales last year and manufactures plastic tubing for housing, infrastructure and irrigation projects at three factories, Mexichem said. Mexichem said last November that it plans to spend $300 million on acquisitions in Mexico and the rest of Latin America over a 12-month period.
he Mexican firm was an active acquirer last year, buying Colombian plastic pipe maker Pavco and Petroquimica Colombiana SA, or Petco, which supplies raw materials for the elaboration of PVC pipes.

Aluplast: Getting rid of another thermal bridge

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

The German window system manufacturer aluplast is launching a window system that is highly thermally insulating as well as cost-effective, thanks to a version of Ultradur® High Speed (PBT) which BASF developed especially for this company. This glassfiber-reinforced thermoplastic replaces the steel that is normally used for window frame profiles, thus providing much better heat-insulating features without changing the mechanical properties of the windows. The new profiles do not only save time-consuming and costly work steps for window manufacturers but also weigh 60 percent less than their predecessors containing metal. In early April, aluplast will be introducing this product innovation at the international trade fair “fensterbau/frontale 2008” in Nuremberg, Germany. The new window profiles will already be available on the market by that time. They can be processed on conventional production lines.

Two flat strips made of Ultradur are extruded into the new window profile, replacing the metal profile that is usually heavy and difficult to install. “The high thermal conductivity of the metallic reinforcement used so far in the window frames has always resulted in a thermal bridge,” explains Manfred Wüst, head of systems engineering at aluplast. “This is why we joined forces with BASF in the search for a material that would make the window frame as stiff as if it contained metal. At the same time, however, the material was supposed to have better insulating characteristics and contribute to greater energy efficiency in construction.” The U-value (formerly “k-value”: heat transfer coefficient, thus a parameter for thermal-insulation capacity) of the window frame profiles using the flat Ultradur strips is improved by about 20 percent, namely, to 1.1 W/(m² . K), in comparison to the standard versions that contain a steel profile.

“Thanks to its extraordinary mechanical features within a wide temperature range, its dimensional stability and its low coefficient of expansion, this plastic is very well-suited for use in window frame profiles,” states Dr. Kay Brockmüller of applications development at BASF Plastics. The Ultradur strips are optimally positioned and permanently anchored in the plastic profiles by means of extrusion. The flat plastic strips also ensure that the window frame profiles are 60 percent lighter in weight, which makes transport and installation easier as well.

Window manufacturers can process the new profiles on their current equipment without the need to make additional investments. aluplast extrudes the plastic strips directly into the window frames, thus saving window manufacturers the laborious and expensive steps of steel purchasing, steel logistics and manual steel processing. “The new system is not earmarked as a special niche product; over the long term, we plan to switch over all of our profile systems, thus offering our customers a clear-cut competitive edge. We will start with the market launch of the new product in our large IDEAL 4000® profile line,” explains Manfred J. Seitz, owner of aluplast.

Motan: Energy Saving Crystallisers for PET Processors

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Motan offers large experience in crystallisers for PET processing and supplies installations designed to customer specifications. The company has introduced the new series PET and PLA recycling, represented by the crystallisers LUXOR HDC and LUXORBIN C. They are appropriate for a material throughput of 80 to 900 kg/h. The crystallisers, especially used for in-line thermoforming, offer a series of convincing advantages.
Concerning process engineering, Motan relies on an open process in which the material is pre-dried with process air of low relative moisture. Thus, Motan crystallisation minimises the hydrolytic decomposition of the material.
Motan crystallisers save energy through integrated heat exchangers and blowers controlled by exhaust air temperature to regulate the air flow. This energy saving is achieved through frequency controlled blowers that continuously adapt the air flow to the material feeding temperature.
For those material flows that vary, Motan offers reasonable concepts. As an excessive material flow reduces crystallisation quality, the material feed is limited automatically in order to maintain the excellence of the crystallisation process.
Users not only require energy saving systems, but also expect reliable drying installations with an intelligent control that adapt to the processors’ needs. Like any other dryer of Motan’s LUXOR series, the LUXOR HDC crystallisers and their mixing bin LUXORBIN C can be easily adjusted to changing requirements.
An easy to use control completes the overall concept. The proven control uses a touch-screen and self-explaining graphical user interface which help to avoid operating errors. The software allows storing of customer and material specific start parameters which guarantee trouble-free starting when the mixing bin is refilled with amorphous material. With this control, even inexperienced personnel can start up the system without any problem. Cleaning and maintenance are also easy. The split bin cone allows easy access to the lower part. Large cross section lower bearings facilitate unobstructed material discharge.
In addition to the standard crystallisers which include a pneumatically operated slide valve at the bin outlet, an exhaust air filter, heat exchanger and cyclone with dust collection bin are available as optional equipment. If required, such equipment as rotary valves and suction devices for material recovery is available for various applications.


Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Budapest. Organisers of the XIV Pipes Conference expect this year’s event to be the largest ever. The conference brings together the global plastic pipe community and will be held from 22 – 24 September 2008 at the Marriott Hotel in Budapest.

The previous event in Washington in October 2006 attracted 450 attendees from over 35 countries. According to Dr. David Walton, Marketing manager, Borouge Pipes: “After more than 70 years, our knowledge of plastic pipe technology is still continuously expanding. Important developments will be announced during the course of this conference. Key subjects of papers will involve market issues, plastic pipeline solutions, application areas and pipe system developments.

Plastic pipe systems are making important inroads in Central Eastern Europe. Frank Jones, director of the BPF Plastic Pipes Group explains: “This year’s premier conference takes place at a turning point for the industry and especially for the region. The pace of plastics conversion is now accelerating in every application and on every continent. The reasons are clear: the poor legacy of competitive pipe materials, concern for climate change and attendant water shortage and surfeit coupled with a wider appreciation for the benefits of plastic pipe systems.”

The conference will certainly be addressing the environmental side. Key address speaker for the previous conference was Jean-Michel Cousteau. “It is perhaps time we should stop talking about climate change and start thinking about how to create a mind change.” Says Jones. “If the world were to invest in a sustainable future by using plastic pipes, many water issues would be solved. We would have leak free distribution of water, more economic irrigation techniques and improved drainage and flood control.”

The three-day schedule will comprise the presentation of about ninety papers, a trade exhibition and a social programme. As many as 600 participants are expected.

Technical information will not be the only resource on offer: communication will also be a valuable medium. Zoran Davidovski, Vice President Marketing of Pipelife and Chairman of the Organising Committee comments: “The conference is always an ideal meeting place for delegates and the latest ideas from utility companies, technical and certification institutes, plastic pipe companies, equipment manufacturers, compound makers and other suppliers.”
Plastic Pipes XIV is organised by TEPPFA, PE 100 +, PVC4Pipes and the Plastics Pipe Institute. For more information:

Milliken Chemical: High Clarity Packaging Solutions at Interpack 2008

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Milliken Chemical (, a division of Milliken & Company, will present its clear vision for addressing the packaging sector’s continuing demands to drive down cost but improve the quality, functionality and aesthetics of final products, when it showcases its latest additives solutions to converters and specifiers at Interpack 2008. Visitors to Hall 10 Booth A06 can experience first-hand new opportunities to develop packaging innovations with breakthrough levels of clarity, take advantage of lower cost materials, improve production and end-product performance, or open up new directions in packaging design.
Reed Walker, Global Marketing Manager – Plastic Additives Milliken, comments: “Differentiation through innovative and attractive packaging is an extremely important part of product success. At Interpack, we want to highlight how Milliken’s portfolio of innovative additives can support the creation of eye-catching, high-performance packaging solutions which at the same time also address the production cost-efficiency and environmental requirements facing all aspects of the packaging value chain.”
Taking centre stage at the Milliken booth is a new high clarity packaging solution with all the benefits of polypropylene (PP) including low cost and density, stiffness/impact balance, and thermal and chemical resistance. Milliken’s latest clarifier innovation, Millad® NX8000, delivers previously unattainable levels of clarity to packaging. When added to polypropylene Millad NX8000 offers a step change in haze reduction of up to 50% versus the current industry standard.
As a result, the clarifier improves Clear PP’s ability to substitute materials such as higher cost clear plastics and glass in packaging. The high-level clarity combined with the unique benefits offered by PP makes Clear PP an attractive solution for pack upgrades or re-designs, or to meet environmental packaging considerations.Complementing the benefits of Millad NX8000 will be Milliken’s range of ClearTint® Colorants. Offering the deepest attainable transparent shades for clarified polypropylene, ClearTint colorants allow packaging designers to achieve deep colors without sacrificing transparency. When used in combination with NX8000, it creates colored clear PP with the best clarity and lowest haze on the market.
Milliken’s commitment to bringing the benefits of polyolefins to advanced packaging applications is highlighted through its latest “problem solving” nucleation solutions. Its Hyperform® product range boosts the performance and processing benefits of polyethylene (PE) and PP polyolefins, opening doors for their use in new application areas. Since Interpack 2005, Milliken has introduced new Hyperform grades that result in better parts quality, faster production, greater dimensional control, less warpage, and barrier and optical improvements for such applications as blown film, caps and closures, crates and pallets, and thermoformed packaging.

CPI: Polyurethanes 2008 Technical Conference and Call for Papers

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

The Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) of the American Chemistry Council, issues a call for papers and posters to be presented at the Polyurethanes 2008 Technical Conference on Sept. 29 - Oct. 1. The 2008 conference will be held at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, in San Antonio, Texas. Paper abstracts are due by March 1. To be included in the conference program, poster abstracts must be submitted by April 1, but abstracts will be accepted until Sept.1.
The Polyurethanes 2008 Technical Conference represents an opportunity to reach an audience of more than 1,500 manufacturers and processors of polyurethane-based products across all industrial sectors. Papers and posters may address innovations and developments in any area of polyurethane, including flexible slabstock, flexible molded, rigid foam, soy-based polyols, polyurethane waterborne dispersions, equipment/machinery, cast elastomers, thermoplastic polyurethanes, integral skin, RIM, binders/fillers, coatings, adhesives, sealants and more.

Llamas Plastics: Macrolon for Anti-Ballistic Glazing

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Llamas Plastics, Inc., a provider of high-quality security glazing products, has introduced AeroLite Armor NIJ Level III rated anti-ballistic glazing with heightened bullet resistance for critical military and security applications. AeroLite Armor is manufactured with MAKROLON(R) AR1 polycarbonate sheet, a product of Sheffield Plastics Inc., a Bayer MaterialScience Company ( With this robust component, AeroLite Armor has withstood long and short-term abrasion and field testing to deliver the proven hardest surface of any polycarbonate sheet in the industry.

MAKROLON AR1 polycarbonate sheet couples glass-like surface hardness with the impact strength of polycarbonate. This durable sheet offers dependable resistance against abrasion and UV, preventing yellowing and hazing for longer service life in high-profile applications. Especially significant is the weight advantage MAKROLON provides, as AeroLite Armor weighs 25-30percent less than comparable products and is less than 2 inches thick. Its lightweight MAKROLON construction makes AeroLite Armor easier to apply and use while providing rugged, reliable protection for combat vehicles, flight control towers, federal buildings and other sensitive locations.

‘AeroLite Armor with MAKROLON polycarbonate sheet delivers superior protection in military, industrial and commercial applications where the threat of terror or bullet penetration is a concern,’ said Cindy Smith, Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Llamas Plastics. ‘AeroLite Armor offers
exceptional bullet resistance while delivering 75-77 percent light transmission - one of the highest rates in the industry. When competitive products can become totally obscured, AeroLite Armor panels remain visible for a potentially life-saving advantage.’

AeroLite Armor with MAKROLON polycarbonate sheet has been certified by independent test labs to meet and exceed the requirements of the NIJ Level III requirements, withstanding a severe test that demands multi-hit impacts with both 7.62 NATO ball-M80 (7.62 x 51 mm) and 5.56 M193 Ball (5.56 x 45mm). It is available in both flat and curved designs and, with its Deerfield urethane inner layer, provides advanced adhesive power and ultra-clarity.

‘The durable qualities and flexible features of the polycarbonate sheet allow it to easily conform to meet various security glazing needs,’ Smith said. ‘AeroLite Armor’s increased visibility and weight-saving advantage makes it ideal for use in gun port applications, and it’s high performance and robust MAKROLON construction is well suited for logistical housing and command centers. Plus, it offers reliable protection at a competitiveprice.’

Conair: Energy Savings with New Calibrating Table for Profiles

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

A new combination dry-calibration-table/vacuum-tank system from Conair can easily be configured to function as a vacuum/cooling tank only for conventional tube and pipe sizing or as a tank plus a dry-calibration tooling bed that adjusts from 6 inches to 4 feet in length for profile extrusion. By replacing commonly used, high–horsepower (hp) liquid-ring vacuum pumps with much lower hp pumps, or even vacuum blowers with variable-frequency drives, the new hybrid can cut energy consumption by up to 50%, while allowing extruders to use all their existing dry calibration tooling and form guides typically used in auxiliary tanks.
The new system was developed by Michigan Plastics Machinery (MPM), a company acquired by Conair last September. MPM specializes in developing and manufacturing downstream extrusion equipment for large-scale pipe and profile lines, as well as systems that are highly customized.
When a complex profile exits the extruder die, the first piece of downstream equipment it passes through is usually a dry calibration tool that sizes the profile and finishes the outside surface. Tooling is normally mounted on a heavy-duty table with up-and-down, side-to-side and linear positioning adjustment. These tables can be quite short, accommodating only the dry tooling or, to achieve the highest throughput rates, up to 32 feet long allowing for auxiliary vacuum cooling tanks downstream from the dry tool.
“Until now,” explains Bob Bessemer, Conair Downstream Extrusion Product Manager, “most dry tables have come equipped with multiple liquid-ring vacuum pumps (7.5 to 30 hp each), which are plumbed to manifolds that serve the vacuum calibration tooling as well as auxiliary cooling tanks. Because water does not compress the way air does, the only way to achieve the increased airflow (CFM) required to pull a vacuum on a cooling tank is to use higher-hp pumps.
The solution to this problem, according to Bessemer, is to separate water evacuation from the vacuum source and, fortunately, this is exactly what the latest Conair high-intensity spray-cooling tanks do. Instead of flooding the cooling tank with water, spray-cooling systems incorporate multiple nozzles that surround the profile with a uniform, high-volume turbulent spray that is extremely efficient at removing heat. Below the tank is an integral reservoir from which water is removed before it is chilled and pumped back through the spray nozzles. A separate low-hp liquid-ring vacuum pump, or energy-efficient regenerative blower is used to generate vacuum in the tank. And regenerative vacuum pumps can utilize frequency inverters, which further reduce energy costs. Additional benefits that arise when water pumping and vacuum pumping are kept separate include a more stable and repeatable vacuum level, reduced pump replacement costs, and reduced maintenance and downtime.
“Because of the integral reservoir in the high-intensity spray tank,” Bessemer continues, “it cannot be mounted on a conventional dry table. Knowing this, we realized we had an opportunity to rethink the entire system with an eye toward maximizing efficiency and flexibility.” Note: Conair also builds conventional dry calibration tables.
At first glance, the new Conair hybrid looks like one of the company’s newest high-intensity tanks. The tank is mounted on a wheeled base, with up-and-down and side-to-side adjustment mechanisms, and separate water-pumping and vacuum systems. And it can be used just like a conventional tank. However, at the push of a button, a built in drive system trundles the cooling tank beyond the end of base, exposing a dry-tooling bed at the upstream end. Depending on how far the tank is retracted, the dry-tooling bed can be as short as 6 inches, as long as 4 feet, or any length in between.
The unit will accommodate existing tooling, even if it was built for a conventional dry table, and the tooling can be spaced so as to maximize heat-transfer while minimizing warping, bowing or twisting. Existing form guides easily slide into mounting brackets in the cooling tank. The brackets are designed so that the form guides do not interfere with the high-intensity spray and thus they don’t affect the cooling of the profile. Finally, the tank can be built with multiple chambers, each with different vacuum levels and even different water temperatures.
The Conair hybrid table/tank units can be designed for almost any application, from small profiles to the largest lineal profiles, or even fencing or siding profiles. They cost about the same or less than a conventional dry table and auxiliary cooling tanks purchased separately.
By separating water pumping from vacuum generation, the Conair hybrid system can cut energy consumption by 50% or more, depending on the specifics of the application. Bessemer explains that a typical conventional downstream extrusion line will have at least one liquid-ring vacuum pump, consuming as much as 10 hp per foot of dry calibration tooling. If the line has 3 feet of dry tooling, then it follows that this portion of the line will require up to 30 hp. The same system would normally require a 10-hp pump for each 6- to 8-foot auxiliary cooling tank, and a typical system might have as many as four such tanks, requiring up to 40 hp in all. Add another 7.5-hp water pump for water circulation and that brings to total of up to 77.5 hp for the line.
A Conair hybrid system with comparable sizing and cooling capacity, would require the same 30 hp for the dry tooling, since liquid-ring pumps are necessary for this application, but regenerative pumps with variable frequency drives could be used to generate vacuum on the cooling tanks and they would require only 1.7 HP per auxiliary tank for equivalent performance, or a total 6.8-hp when running full speed. And with frequency inverters this number could easily be reduced to less than 5-hp total. A 7.5-hp water pump would be used to produce the high-intensity spray, bringing the total required for the Conair hybrid line to just 42.5 HP. That’s a savings of 46.5%.
Assuming average electrical prices of $0.08 per KwH, it costs about $700 per year to run 1 hp of pump capacity 24 hrs per day, 7 days per week. If the Conair system reduces horsepower requirements by 35, then the annual saving in a system like the one described above would total to $24,500. Savings will vary with application, and Conair has offered to conduct an energy audit for customers so they can verify potential savings.
“Those savings are on pump horsepower only,” says Bessemer. “It is also reasonable to expect higher throughputs to result from the more effective spray cooling, and there would be floor-space savings as well. It is clear that this new hybrid system offers significant benefits to the extruder, while providing increased flexibility and the ability to use existing tooling.”

Chesapeake: New Plastic Packaging Plant in Hungary

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Chesapeake Corporation, a leading international supplier of value-added specialty paperboard, plastic and pharmaceutical packaging, recently dedicated its new plastic packaging plant in Peremarton, Hungary, which serves specialty chemical customers.

The new plant is a joint venture formed last year between Chesapeake and Chemark Termelö és Kereskedö Kft., a pesticide formulating company based in Hungary. The joint venture, Chesapeake Plastics Kft., supplies customers including Chemark and Syngenta Crop Protection and is targeting prospective specialty chemical plastic packaging customers in Central and Eastern Europe.
‘We’re pleased that our joint venture in Hungary is now operational and serving our specialty chemical customers in the region,’ said Andrew J. Kohut, Chesapeake president & chief executive officer. ‘We’ve teamed up with a strong partner, and we’re excited about the prospects for future growth.’

Through its Specialty Chemical Packaging Division, Chesapeake designs and manufactures high-performance plastic bottles and containers and supplies a full range of HDPE and PET bottles and containers to multinational companies as well as smaller specialized businesses. ‘With production sites in France, England, China and now Hungary, Chesapeake Specialty Chemical Packaging Division is committed to further developing its global supply network to serve its customers,’ said J.P. Morvan, managing director of Chesapeake Specialty Chemical Packaging Division.
Chesapeake Corporation protects and promotes the world’s great brands as a leading international supplier of value-added specialty paperboard and plastic packaging. Headquartered in Richmond, Va., the company is one of Europe’s premier suppliers of folding cartons, leaflets and labels, as well as plastic packaging for niche markets. Chesapeake has 45 locations in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia and employs approximately 5,500 people worldwide.
Chemark Termelö és Kereskedö Kft. is a privately owned Hungarian company, located in Peremarton, Hungary, near Budapest. The company was founded in 1991 and is involved in the formulation and supply of pesticides.

Wavin: Higher Net Profit in 2007

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Wavin N.V., Europe’s leading supplier of plastic pipe systems announces that its 2007 revenue will be EUR 1,618 million (2006: EUR 1,501 million). This represents an increase of 7.8% compared to 2006. For the full year 2007, the Ebitda margin will be 13.1%, in line with the record margin of 2006. Net profit and earnings per share will be around 25% higher than in 2006. Wavin posts a revenue growth of 3.5% in the second half year of 2007 compared to the very strong second half of 2006. The Ebitda margin in the second half year of 2007 will be 13.2%, slightly ahead of the 13.0% in the first half year.
This performance was realised in spite of a sharp downturn of construction markets in Germany, Ireland and, to a lesser extent, Denmark and generally challenging market conditions.