Polyolefin compounding is the key when searching for cost cutting measures or to add value and enhance performance. The marketplace is increasingly unpredictable and industry has to be ready to adapt to the changing environment using market expertise (Noru Tsalic is one such expert at Applied Market Information). AMI's Polyolefin Additives 2009 conference (30 March-1st April 2009 at the Maritim Hotel, Cologne, Germany) provides a forum to debate how to select the best mix of ingredients for the requirements of each application.
There are new developments in additives for UV stabilisation and these have been tested in specialist laboratories. Weatherability is critical for outdoor uses such as agricultural film and pipe. Albemarle has studied processing and stabilisation of HDPE for pipe. Enrique Espi of Repsol is a world expert in compounding for the agricultural industry. Croda has just announced new anti-UV barrier additives based on metal oxides. Test laboratories such as Atlas Material Testing are examining the effectiveness of additives in weathering conditions. Ciba developed many of the current stabilisers.
Flame retardancy is essential for construction products and there are arguments for both halogenated and halogen-free products. ICL-IP will be arguing the case for brominated products whilst Polyone has been working on low smoke zero halogen compounds for applications such as photovoltaics.
Processing additives can lead to improvements and cost savings in manufacturing. Byk Additives, Dover Chemical and Wacker Chemie each produce very different types of processing aids from phosphites to silicones.
A wide range of new developments have taken place over the past year. Borealis compound research has been looking at nucleation and its effects on the mechanical performance of polyolefins. Grafe Additive Batch has been experimenting with new antistatic masterbatch. Milliken has a state of the art clarifier. Akzo Nobel is working on nanocomposites incorporating organically modified LDH. Long fibre thermoplastics can be used as additives to improve mechanical properties - this has been developed by Fact Future Advanced Composites & Technology in Germany. Security and product marking are increasing markets: DSM MICAB has additives for laser marking of goods. Legislation and testing are a hot topic in the European market: organisations such as TNO in the Netherlands are top experts in this field including food contact safety regulations.
Polyolefin Additives 2009 brings together compounders, end users, additive suppliers and researchers and offers a meeting point for the industry to debate business trends and improvements in materials and properties. It provides a unique opportunity to network with the wide range of professionals who work with polyolefins.