polymer & packaging news agency -

Royal DSM and other engineering resin makers will be at K 2019 with new high-performance materials.

DSM — Hall 6, Booth B11 based in Geleen, Netherlands — will show how it's developing innovations to address the needs of its customers and tackle the world's major challenges, officials said in a news release. In metal replacement, DSM's portfolio of conductive plastics enables the replacement of full-metal enclosures, which officials said can lead to weight reductions of up to 50 percent.

For sustainability, DSM worked with surfboard maker Starboard to use a grade of DSM's Akulon RePurposed-brand nylon resin that's fully recycled from discarded nylon-based fishing nets. Officials said the material is known for its sustainability profile as much as its performance. The nets are gathered from the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea and are given a new lease on life as fins, fin boxes, standup paddleboard pumps and other structural parts in surfboards.

Expanded grades of DSM's Arnitel-brand copolyester can be used in mid-soles of athletic footwear to deliver a range of performance advantages. The material has consistent performance across diverse climates and enables circularity when designing an all-polyester solution for upper and sole materials.

Arnitel is also being used in flat-free tires that are not supported by air pressure. In those tires, officials said that the material offers a unique combination of flexibility, high temperature resistance, strength and processing characteristics. They added that Arnitel is increasingly being used as "a lighter, smarter, greener alternative" to conventional rubbers.

Global nylon 6/6 leader Ascend Performance Materials (Hall 6, Booth 7) of Houston is introducing new specialty polymers as well as discussing capacity expansions. The market for that material has been tight in recent years because of feedstock shortages.


Ascend's new products include high-heat and long-chain nylons, an inherently antimicrobial polymer for fiber production, expanded recycled-content offerings and additional flame-retardant grades of Vydyne-brand nylon 6/6.

Commercial Senior Vice President Scott Rook said that Ascend's adiponitrile (ADN) feedstock expansions will keep pace with increasing demand for nylon 6/6 and support the firm's growing specialty polymers and chemicals businesses.

"We are developing new products to help our customers meet new challenges," Rook said. Ascend recently announced progress on an expansion plan of almost 200 million pounds at its facility in Decatur, Ala.

Ascend also began operating its first production facility outside the U.S. last year after purchasing a compounder in Tilburg, Netherlands. "We continue to invest in local resources to be closer to our customers," Rook said. "We have reorganized our regional teams and expanded our supply chain to address the increasing global demand."

Officials added that Ascend "is intent on reducing its environmental footprint." The firm's 2018 sustainability report highlighted energy and emissions reductions. Rook said that Ascend "is in advanced discussions" to implement co-generation units in Decatur and has expanded its recycled-content product portfolio as well.

"We have an obligation to our employees, their families, our neighbors and our customers to use resources responsibly and add value where we can," Rook said.

Polyplastics of Tokyo (Hall 7A, Booth B2) and its Topas Advanced Polymers GmbH unit will be at the event with new advances in acetal resins, cyclic olefin copolymers and other products.

For automotive applications, Polyplastics will focus on the recent launch of Duracon-brand acetal grades for injection molded automotive fuel system components. A new high-flow/high-rigidity acetal grade suits a wide range of molding conditions, officials said, and is already being used in Europe.

Polyplastics will also focus on the latest development in Durafide-brand PPS, Duranex-brand PBT, and Laperos-brand liquid crystal polymer. For electric vehicle applications, the firm has developed PBT and PPS materials for engine peripheral parts and power control units to deliver high insulating properties and lower water absorption and to meet harsh operating conditions.

COCs also continue to see strong growth for Polyplastics, officials said. The materials have a unique performance profile and continue to find strong appeal in the health care industry in such uses as drug delivery, blister packs and trays.

Officials added that the attributes of Topas COC — including drug compatibility, transparency and biocompatibility — are finding their way into demanding, high-performance end uses. The materials are being used in wearable drug delivery devices for medications such as insulin and pain medicines


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