Final thought from The Plastics Exchange CEO Michael Greenberg:
The heightened spot trading activity seen at the end of March continued right through the first week of April. Spot prices for both polyethylene and polypropylene have been slipping the past several weeks and the growing discount to contracts are catching processors’ attention. PE producers are already shying away from their $.06/lb increase nominated for April and could be challenged to keep contract prices flat this month. Spot PP resin and PGP monomer markets have been softer, but resin contracts will follow monomer costs again and PGP has already been nominated flat for April. We think a PP contract price decease of $.01-.02/lb makes more sense and would be healthier for the market. Polypropylene demand has been crimped by high US monomer costs and resin prices; incidentally, we have started seeing PP imports on both coasts peting for domestic resin orders.
Royal DSM has introduced Somos PerFORM resin at the annual AMUG conference in Tucson, AZ. PerFORM is the latest posite material for additive manufacturing, answering the need for parts that require thermal stability, high accuracy and a quick turnaround. Users can achieve maximum accuracy and detail with a reduced processing time with Somos PerFORM, which is available for 355 nm and 365 nm photopolymer-based machines for 3D printing.Make sure to keep up with our latest news“We are thrilled to announce the latest addition to the Somos product portfolio and the expansion into 365 nm equipment,” said Kelly Hawkinson, Global Marketing Manager Somos. “Somos PerFORM creates durable parts with dimensional stability, high detail and excellent surface finish that are ideal for the rigorous testing in the automotive and aerospace industries. The added durability of Somos PerFORM allows tooling to be designed with the strength needed to achieve more parts per mould than traditional stereolithography materials used in the injection moulding industry.”Based in Cologne, Germany, Toyota Motorsport GmbH offers design, development, testing and production services to the Toyota family, as well as external, independent clients with wind tunnel services, engine testing and electric vehicle development.”Toyota Motorsport GmbH is proud to have such a mutually-beneficial relationship with DSM.
Sources told Plastics News that planned turnarounds at some propylene production facilities could tighten that market in April, potentially reducing the chance of another price drop.
These recent decreases have e even as North American polypropylene sales have improved in the first two months of 2014. Two-month sales in the region are up one point four percent vs. the same period in 2013, according to the American Chemistry Council. That increase es entirely from exports, which almost doubled in the period. Domestic sales, on the other hand, tumbled almost 1 percent.For the two-month period, polypropylene sales into sheet grew almost 32 percent and sales to distributors climbed 18 percent. Weak demand, however, was seen in two-month PP sales into injection molded rigid packaging, which fell almost 18 percent.
In the polyethylene market, PN recently got an update from ExxonMobil Chemical President Steve Pryor at the IHS conference in Houston.Pryor told PN that his firm is close to starting construction on new PE capacity in Mont Belvieu, Texas, as well as on a new ethylene cracker in nearby Baytown. Production on both projects is set to begin in 2017. ExxonMobil and many other petrochemical firms are adding capacity in North America because of newfound supplies of natural gas feedstock in the region.Pryor said that petrochemical expansion in the U.S. and around the world will be a driver of middle class growth by creating many good, well-paying jobs, as well as raw material for a wide range of consumer products.
In the R&D world, German materials firm Evonik recently announced it would expand its medical devices portfolio with a pair of new research facilities. The specialty plastics and chemicals maker is opening a Medical Devices Project House in Birmingham, Alabama., and one in Hanau, Germany. These R&D sites will develop biomaterials and polymers for medical technology, focusing on implantables.Earlier this year, Evonik introduced new high-performance polymers specially designed for medical devices. These include grades of nylon 12 and PEEK for catheters, surgical instruments and hearing aids.That’s what Plastics News is reporting this week. Make sure to keep up with our latest news, both online and in print.
Finally, Huntsman will feature tri-functional, TGHPM-type epoxy resin called Tactix 742, which reportedly provides higher glass transition temperature resistance than any other epoxy resin with which it’s fully patible. It can also be processed into prepreg formulations for high-temperature applications. Arkema King of Prussia, Pa., USA reported on March 3 that it is launching at JEC Europe 2014 March 11-13 a new range of liquid acrylic thermoplastic resins under the brand Elium, which is transformed using the same processes as posite thermosets, but results in parts with thermoplastic polymer chains. Elium resins are said to polymerize quickly and can be used to design structural parts as well as aesthetic elements in automotive, transportation, wind power, sports and building and construction applications.
Arkema told CW that Elium acrylic resins are engineered for reactive closed-mold processes, including resin transfer molding RTM, infusion and Flex-Molding. Further, they require activation with peroxide; Arkema r mends its Luperox Initiators, but pecific r mendations are provided based on manufacturing process chosen. Although traditional thermoplastic manufacturing processes like injection molding and extrusion are not designed to use Elium in its virgin liquid form, Arkema says these process methods will be used in the the reprocessing of recycled and reclaimed material.
Elium resins are available in a range of viscosities. The range of Brookfield viscosity is between 100 and 500 cps at 25°C/77°F and 50 rpm. Reactivity varies as well, depending on the grade chosen. Some grades have been optimized for elevated temperature curing in a matter of minutes,Sugarcane jerry can secures sweet award while others cure at room temperature with part cycle times ranging from 20 minutes to a few hours depending on part size and process.Because of its thermoplastic properties, Elium can be used to manufacture posite parts that are easily thermoformed and recyclable with parable mechanical performance to epoxy parts. Parts made from Elium reportedly can be assembled by welding and/or gluing, especially with adhesives from Arkema’s subsidiary, AEC Polymers
Repsol, which is Chevron Phillips’ first licensee in this area, will implement the technology in its existing integrated site in Tarragona, Spain, which already uses the latter’s MarTECH SL Loop Slurry Technology.”We are pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with Repsol and to provide them with technology to help optimise their polyethylene product portfolio,” said Pawan Bassi, global director of licensing for Chevron Phillips Chemical.”We are proud to be Chevron Phillips Chemical’s first licensee to implement their technology to produce metallocene-based polyethylene resins, plementing our portfolio for film and packaging solutions” said Esteban Gimeno, polyolefins business director for Repsol’s Chemicals Division. ndustrial packaging producer Greif has received the 2014 Manufacturing Leadership Award in Sustainability for its DoubleGreen COEX 10-litre plastics jerry can, which it calls one of the first sustainable multilayer 10-litre jerry cans made from a renewable resource, sugarcane, with a stackable design that eliminates the need for a carton during transport.
The jerry can incorporates polyethylene that is derived from sugarcane ethanol and exceeds 50 per cent of the total packaging position. Based upon the main Brazil agrochemical market volume, the use of sugarcane ethanol is estimated to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions by 1,390 tonnes annually.
“At Greif we are serious about sustainability and strive to find new ways to use natural resources wisely without promising the ability of future generations to meet their needs,” said Eduardo Simoniello, vice president and general manager of Greif Latin America.Greif’s manufacturing process requires less material in the production of the jerry can, reducing its weight for shipping even as it maintains the same pression strength as heavier containers. Its stackable design for shipping directly on transport pallets is said to improve inventory management cost, remove the necessity for printing a duplicate label and optimise the recycling process. The elimination of carton packaging is estimated to save 3,643 trees and avoid 23 tonnes of excess carbon dioxide emissions.The pany has been growing double digit for the past five years and is expecting growth of 25 per cent in 2014.
“Production is expected to dramatically ramp up in 2014 versus 2013,” said Stewart, “and production will jump faster than others because of the experience from other shale plays.”Our best interest is in the orderly development of this resource. I’m very happy to see it ing to the state of Ohio.”
For this reason it is primarily used inside rotor blades. Kerdyn is certified by German Lloyd and available in densities of 80, 100 and 115 kg/m3.Stewart added that there’s “a dark side” to shale, in that it’s driven down natural gas prices while driving up demand for services and led to regulatory scrutiny.The spot resin markets saw moderate activity; transaction volumes in February were somewhat above average, but below the rapid pace of January and December, according to The Plastics Exchange. Anecdotally, most major domestic resellers seem to have posted similar results.
Business was off a bit more for the Houston exporters, as higher costs often rendered their asking prices u petitive in the global theater. Almost all grades of spot polyethylene were up $.01/lb this past week. The ADVALITE VINYL HYBRIDS provided optimal performance The $.04/lb PE increase was implemented on February contracts and most producers have nominated another $.06/lb, but not until April. Spot PP prices were flat again; contracts shed a cent in February and will likely see a similar or slightly larger decline in March.
The U.S. energy markets moved in opposite directions. Crude Oil traded in a narrow range of less than $2.50/bbl. The April futures contract ended the week at $102.59/bbl; it was a small $.39/bbl gain. April Natural Gas futures were much more volatile. The market initially continued to rally, jumping another $.20/mmBtu Monday morning, but prices proceeded to collapse from there.
The market did recover did some $.15/mmBtu from Friday’s low, but when the dust settled, the price stood at $4.609/mmBtu, a $.403/mmBtu loss. The Crude Oil: Natural Gas ratio expanded to 22.2:1.Spot ethane prices fell substantially, ending the week around $.33/gal $.14/lb, almost a $.09/gal loss. Spot ethylene prices were higher in active trading. Ethylene for February delivery transacted quite a number of times, initially a tad lower – under $.51/lb and then spent the rest of the week in slightly higher territory.
The MTM23 had been adapted and mechanically characterized for high volume press mould processing, with good mechanical performance, controlled flow, excellent handling and self-release capability. Cytec and Reichhold worked collaboratively through the prototype and production implementation phases of the Spark battery tray and we continue to develop further enhancements to the vinyl hybrid technology in conjunction with Reichhold.” The ADVALITE VINYL HYBRIDS provided optimal performance and productivity not available in petitive materials.
Prepregs produced using the ADVALITE technology can either be adhesive filmed or directed coated to the reinforcements. The free radical cure mechanism allows for extended room temperature storage while delivering snap cures at elevated temperatures. When pared to epoxy resins ADVALITE’s rapid rate of cure permits significantly reduced production cycle times. Additionally, in automotive headspace testing the cured laminate was demonstrated to be VOC-free. Reichhold’s long history of innovation continues with the introduction of a revolutionary technology based on its proprietary vinyl hybrid resin chemistry for advanced posite applications. The ADVALITE VINYL HYBRIDS hot melt prepreg resins are monomer free and testing confirms VOC-free in the cured state.”Novel Vinyl Hybrid resin technology meet demanding performance and environmental requirements in Automotive”
The ADVALITE VINYL HYBRIDS hot melt prepreg resins exhibit excellent mechanical properties and temperature resistance up to 170 C. These resins are cured using standard free radical inhibitors and initiators. This allows significant processing advantages when pared to epoxy resins. Prepreg posites produced using ADVALITE hot melt prepreg resin can be stored at room temperature for 12 months and can be snap cured at 120 – 150 C.The first mercial application of the ADVALITE was in prepreg supplied by Cytec Industries for application in the electric vehicle-battery enclosure on the 2014 General Motors Co. Chevrolet Spark EV. According to Nigel Blatherwick, Global Strategic Marketing Director Cytec, Industrial Materials; “The ADVALITE resin served as the base resin for Cytec’s high volume MTM23 prepreg that is used on the Spark.
Still, producers built 45 million lbs of collective inventory, beginning March with 1.49 billion lbs on hand – just a few million lbs below the 2013 average.Final thought from The Plastics Exchange CEO Michael Greenberg:Spot resin trading increased this past week, but still fell short of exciting. Purchasing activity was unenthusiastic again and prices for both polyethylene and polypropylene shaved $.01/lb among all”modity grades. March PP contracts are following PGP contracts down $.015/lb in March; PE contracts should roll steady as there is not an industry wide price increase this month. Polyethylene producers have had such pricing power for the past 20 months that there is really no downstream consideration for price relief just whether or not a nominated price increases will take hold.
It has been two forevers since there was actually a full polyethylene contract price decrease,Drilling and protecting the environment are not mutually exclusive concepts if my memory serves, a deuce last came off in Nov 2012.HMAS Darwin has seized and destroyed more than three tonnes of cannabis resin with an estimated street value of $137 million dollars.The drugs were found hidden aboard a skiff in the Gulf of Aden on 16 March 2014.HMAS Darwin is currently deployed on patrol under the control of the Combined Maritime Forces and the Australian-led Combined Task Force 150.HMAS Darwin’s embarked S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter located a dhow manoeuvring suspiciously.HMAS Darwin continued to track the dhow into the night and observed what appeared to be a transfer from the dhow to a skiff.
After an hour-long high-speed chase before dawn, HMAS Darwin intercepted the skiff. The boarding party discovered 3012 kilograms of cannabis resin in 151 sacks, each containing approximately 20 kilograms of hashish.HMAS Darwin’s Commanding Officer, Commander Terry Morrison, said the guidance and direction of the Australian-led Combined Task Force 150 and meticulous observation of suspicious activity was key to the seizure.”Today we removed these drugs from potential terrorist funding networks and demonstrated the effectiveness of the coalition effort,” Commander Morrison said.This seizure”es only nine days after HMAS Darwin worked closely with the French Navy to intercept and destroy approximately 650 kilograms of cannabis resin.