• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

News Flash

Braskem S.A. is leading the way to manufacture biobased polyethylene using catalytic dehydration

McMaster university (Canada) researchers developed flexible solar cell technology

NIST develops greener solution to challenge commercial fire retardants

In Milan, art and science get together to showcase Vegetal, weather resistant designer chair

Stanford researchers use cheap plastics film to make safe lithium batteries

Plastics help design non-shatter pint glass to prevent pub attacks

Work of North Carolina State Univ. researchers shows how to remove radioactive elements from drinking water

Battelle researchers are improving PLA for injection molding applications

Oil-SAP, a novel development to clean-up oil spill & recovery from Penn State University, USA

Brazilian scientists are actively pursuing bioplastics research and innovation

Bio-succinic acid is becoming new green platform chemical for plastics

Canadian researchers claim world’s most efficient “inverted” OPV solar cells

Chinese researchers made a bendy polymer that could separate aromatics hydrocarbons from aliphatic

MIT researchers show how to draw Polyethylene as nanofibers and get a very high thermal conductivity

How computer modelling & 3D printing create fracture resistant composites – reports Stratasys and MIT researchers

Polymer helps to designing higher capacity Li-ion battery

A novel technique to manufacture continuous twisted yarn from aligned PAN nanofibers

How plastics helping revolutionize stretchable electronics applications – a review, not to be missed!

Using biodegradable polymer, University of Basque country researcher report on bone regeneration

Rice Univ (USA) researchers grew high quality graphene from polystyrene, cookies, grass, cockroach leg & dog feces

UCLA scientists showed how simple it could be to make conducting polymer thin films

Binder free multilayer graphene based polymer composite for high performance supercapacitor electrodes

Siver nanowire electrodes for flexible electronics

Current trends and future prospects for flame retardants in polymeric materials

UC Berkley researchers have developed paper thin e-skin that responds to touch

Polymers can be used to package insulin into a pill for diabetes treatment reports Indian scientists

Mannigton converts large stickers from 2010 winter games into commercial flooring

Researchers review how to characterize polymer nanocomposites by different microscopicy techniques

Wax could be green too – touts GreenMantra Technolgies!

Plastrec, a Quebec recycler unveils recycled PET production combining two plastics technologies

A team of researchers demonstrate plastics and graphene can work together to make touch screen device a reality

ZogglesTM earns Invention of the year 2010 award and keeps the fog away

A new microcellular injection molding process for polycarbonate using water

Scientists from IBM and Stanford University are developing new plastics recycling process

Block copolymers could create hard disks with 10 tera-bit-per-Square-inch:Researchers predict

Researchers develop unique printable thin film supercapacitor using SWCNT

Singapore researchers touts corn starch can help solve body armour and protective sports padding

Caltech researchers show through telechelic polymers how to produce a safer and a cleaner fuel

Something old... Something new.... produces an interesting marriage

Strain Paint: an alternative to strain gauges

Plastic Logic sees mass production of flexible display in 2008

Japanese scientists report a unique, smart and self-healing polymer nanocomposite hydrogels

Rutgers Univ researchers moves plastic electronics with graphene based PS thin films

Polymers help Addidas to launch lightest soccer boots and 2010 FIFA World cup match ball never seen before in the field

Can polycarbonate be replaced with another polymer? Click chemistry might provide the answer!

Stanford Univ researchers make Jell-O-like conducting polymer hydrogels

Harvard University researchers design stretchable, transparent ionic conductors

USA researchers report polymeric blood-resistant surgical glue that can repair minimally invasive heart defects

University of Texas at Austin researchers show use of polymer membranes for fracking in shale gas

New ambipolar polymer beats others: reports US researchers

Can Gas Jet process challenge electrospinning in producing polymeric nanofibers?

MIT researchers develop first Solar Thermal Fuel storage platform in solid-state

Princeton university researchers embedded piezoelectric material onto polymer as energy harvester

Norner touts major research project on polymers based on carbon dioxide

Are you interested in self-healing polymers – must read reviews

US researchers develop shape memory polymer nanocomposites exhibiting fast actuation speed

Sabic Innovative Plastics unveils its newly developed a clear flame retardant Polycarbonate copolymer

For the first time, IBM researchers showed 3D molecular structure could be observed

Kyoto researchers are upbeat about cellulose nanofibers based composites for auto parts

Advanced nanocomposite membrane technology of NanoH2O turns it to a Global clean technology company

US and South Korean researchers develop a printing technique to make high performance CNT transistors

Electric Glue: Another twist to make controlled polymer-surface adhesion

IKV researchers report thermoplastic/metal hybrid materials for Direct manufacturing electronic part

3D systems introduces non-halogenated flame retardant for aircraft applications

Researchers show stretchy battery for flexible and stretchable electronics

Researchers gather to discuss advances in organic photovoltaics (OPV)

Scientists from Sweden and USA showed electronics can truly be organic or say truly be plastics

Can you 3D print yourself? TwinKinds of Germany shows just that!

Will your windows generate power one day?

MIT researchers develop first Solar Thermal Fuel storage platform in solid-state

Teijin Techno Products claims to be world’s first mass producer of aramid nanofibers

GM recycles oil soaked booms from the Gulf of Mexico for its Chevrolet Volt under hood parts

Practical Devices provide useful power from the body

Innovations in design come from plastics to win several 2009 International Design Excellence Awards

James Cropper Speciality Paper touts recycling of disposable coffee cups

Bayer uses PC film Makrofol? for it's new Innosec Fusion? technology to stop counterfeiting

Work of North Carolina State Univ. researchers shows how to remove radioactive elements from drinking water

Can you “Cool Your Roof” - reports researchers from Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing

Harvard Univ researchers show how soft robotics could navigate a difficult obstacle

World’s first all-plastic LED lamp comes from Japan

How Collagen nanofibers could find use in Tissue Engineering

Arkema unveils a range of "green" polymers for its textile market

Univ of Texas @ Austin scientists reported method to produce a large scale reduced graphene oxide

Austrian scientists claim to be the first to have developed an image sensor that is fully transparent

German researchers unveiled a green approach to electrospinning technique for making biodegradable nanofibres

Prof. Alan Heegers group demonstrated the potential of plastics solar cells

Carbon3D, a Canadian company unveils a breakthrough technology for layerless 3D printing

Stratasys touts World’s first color multi-material 3D printer for rubber & plastics products

Korean scientists provide a different twist to the “Smart Window” technology

French scientists tout first use of nano-structured assemblies that could revolutionize dentistry

A review on polymer/bioactive glass nanocomposites provides current trends in polymer research

Current status in graphene based polymer nanocomposites – a review

Japanese researchers are developing stereo-block type PLAs for high performance materials

Cima NanoTech flexes mussels with its non-Indium Tin Oxide, high performance transparent conductors

Polymer bank notes on the rise to avoid counterfeit paper currencies

AMI unveils the North American Bioplastics technology agenda

How blood can clot to heal a wound - Science reports

USA researchers develop all-polymer multilayer coating to retard fire and to suppress smoke

Can you “Cool Your Roof” - reports researchers from Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing

MIT team aims to develop application specific surgical adhesives to seal tissues

Swedish researchers show highest reported charge capacities for all polymer paper-based battery

Yale scientists develop high performance thin film composite membrane

It is time to make “Perfect Plastic” reports UK researchers

Green Composites - all you wanted to know about

Umass, Amherst researchers find ways to hold 300 kilograms of weight using sticky tape

If you follow plastics electronics - follow Unidym’s innovative product lines

Non-toxic, liquid bandage from Chesson Labs of Durham, NC is ready for the healthcare market

Can polymer reinforced aerogel make a space mission? University of Akron researchers think so!

Austrian researcher reports new opportunities from Silicon oxide Nanofilms

Are you an injection moulder, you may want to read the ultimate in mould cooling article

Can polymer reinforced aerogel make a space mission? University of Akron researchers think so!

Alberta scientists help to make Canada’s first bio-composite based electric vehicle body design

Self-healing plastics healing like human skin

Stanford university researchers detect mercury ions in sea water using organic polymer transistor sensor

Nanoparticle coating prevents ice build up

21st Century Advanced Plastic Additive Solutions to Watch [Part II]

E-mail Print PDF

nanophase_figure9A lot has changed in the plastics additive segments in the last few years. The need for product differentiation is the primary driving force behind the wealth of new additives those are being incorporated in the plastics products.  These additives are tailor-made systems to meet ever changing applications of plastics. The plastics additives global market of $46.3 B by year end 2014 has been growing at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 4.5% over the last five years. Property modifiers have the largest share of the market, worth an estimated $22.8B by year end 2014. New market development is growing rapidly in Asia and likely to do so in coming years.

In his final part of the article, Dr. Rosato reviews some of the latest developments in additives and describes how these additives nanotubes to glass fiber could change future of plastic products.

Flame Retardant Filled Halloysite Nanotubes

To replace halogenated flame retardants, nanotechnology comes into play. NaturalNano Inc., a developer of advanced nanomaterials and additive technologies based on halloysite clay nanotubes, is developing a range of products with extended release properties including flame retardants for furniture applications based on its family of Pleximer products. The nanotubes, with their hollow structure, can be filled with additives to create a slow or extended release of the additive concentrate. For FR naturenano_figure10applications, the company believes it can develop flame-retardant compounds that would release only under extreme heat conditions. NaturalNano believes that commercializing Pleximer with extended release capabilities is not only the next step in expanding their product offerings, but also is an important next stage in the evolutionary development of nanocomposites.

Flame Retardant Phosphonate Polymers

FRX Polymers has commercialized its proprietary phosphorous-derived inherently flame retardant polymer as an answer to concerns regarding halogen-based flame retardants. The company which holds 35+ patents and patent applications is developing entirely new polymers based on phosphonate. Its polyphosphonates are being commercialized as a homopolymer (FRX100) and polyphosphonate/polycarbonate block copolymers FRXCO25, FRXCO35, and FRXCO85 with 25%, 35%, and 85% polyphosphonate content respectively. With its high phosphorus content (10.8%) polyphosphonate homopolymers offer the highest limiting oxygen index (LOI) of all known thermoplastics. FRX 100 is being marketed as a halogen free flame retardant for use with other resins. In comparison with typical FR additives, it has the advantage of not affecting host resin mechanical properties. In terms of flame retardant performance the material has achieved a UL V0 rating at 0.75mm with full transparency and a glow-wire test rating of 825ºC.frx_figure11

The clear, tough, and inherently very flame-retardant engineering resins have some similarities to polycarbonate. The glass transition for the neat homopolymer is 107ºC and 135 ºC as a 65/35 polycarbonate/polyphosphonate copolymer which is comparable to pure polycarbonate’s 147 ºC. FRX copolymers are moldable or extrudable thermoplastics which depending on copolymer ratio have higher melt flow and flame resistance than polycarbonate but lower heat and impact resistance.

Polymer Reinforcement

S-1 Glass, Higher Performance at Lower Cost

AGY Holdings Corporation recently introduced its trademarked S-1 Glass high performance rovings for use in long-fiber reinforced thermoplastics. Designed for use with a range of resins including polycarbonate (PC), polyetherimide (PEI), polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and nylon (PA 6/6), S-1 Glass was created to bridge the cost–performance gap between E-Glass and higher performance S-2 Glass fibers. Intended for industrial applications, such as compressed natural gas (CNG) storage, wind energy, and military armor end uses, these glass fibers achieve desired levels of mechanical properties in reinforced thermoplastics at much lower levels of glass fiber than E-Glass, providing better processing with higher impact performance. Compared to traditional E-glass, the S-1 Glass has higher hydrolytic stability, a 30 to 45% improvement in tensile properties and an 18 to 25% improvement in tensile modulus. It has been demonstrated that an LFT (long fiber thermoplastic) with 32% S-1 Glass fiber content can deliver the same performance as a 60% E-glass filled product. The lower fiber content provides higher impact, better aesthetics and easier processing.
S-1 Glass roving has received approval for use in thermoset epoxy based wind turbine blade applications by Germanischer Lloyd, a classification society based in Germany that is the foremost international certification body in the wind energy sector. The product’s better performance/cost balance allows manufacturers to optimize wind blade design to lower blade weight, or extend blade length without increasing weight.


Weight Reducing Stiffness/Impact Modifier

Milliken Chemical’s Hyperform 803 is an inorganic fibrous mineral designed to deliver an outstanding balance of impact strength and stiffness while reducing weight by up to 15% versus traditional mineral filled systems. The material offers comparable performance at lower weight versus competing mineral additives such as talc.milliken_figure13

While weight had customarily been reduced by replacing metal with high performance or engineering plastics, advances in resin, additive and process developments have bridged the gap between polyolefins and engineering resins. Glass reinforcements for polyolefins have enabled them to achieve performance similar to more expensive and heavier engineering resins but are known to cause deterioration of the surface properties of the molded parts. Hyperform 803 can produce a surface finish comparable to that of a talc-filled compound allowing polypropylene to be used in automotive applications beyond concealed structural parts. This excellent surface finish versus glass-filled polypropylene allows polypropylene compounds to be used in highly visible bumper and door panel components.

PVC and Sustainability

Alternative Plasticizers–Non Ortho-Phthalate Esters

Lanxess’ phthalate-free Mesamoll/Mesamoll II are not di-isononyl cyclohexanedicarboxylate (DINCH) products that are produced through catalytic hydrogenation of di-isononyl phthalate. DINCH is the most widely used phthalate plasticizer substitute. In the EU, DINCH is not listed in directive 2005/84/EC which bans the use of certain phthalates in toys and childcare articles and thus can be used safely in these products. The main difference between Mesamoll II and Mesamoll is the former's reduced volatility. With growing demand for phthalate-free plasticizer, Lanxess is expanding its Mesamoll family production capacity by 40%. Sales of the Mesamoll product line is growing at an annual rate of roughly 15%. The additional capacity is available at the Krefeld-Uerdingen facility. Mesamoll II received FDA approval for use in products that come in contact with aqueous-based foodstuffs. Mesamoll II has now taken the final step toward gaining European approval for full use in food contact applications. Lanxess expects to receive official approval from the European Commission very shortly. When this is granted, Mesamoll II would be one of the few plasticizers deemed suitable for use in food packaging in both the United States and the EU. However, the benefits aren't limited to just this specific market – the approval will also have a positive effect on the use of Mesamoll II in toys. Products from the Mesamoll range are particularly notable for their good resistance to saponification, outstanding solvating and migration properties, and compatibility with a wide range of polymers such as PVC, rubber and polyurethane.


Phthalate Plasticizers Covalently Bonded to PVC

Researchers at the Institute of Polymer Science & Technology in Madrid are developing technology to prevent potentially harmful plasticizers such as DEHP (DOP) from migrating from PVC. The advance could lead to a new generation of PVC plastics that are potentially safer than those now used in packaging, medical tubing, toys, and other products. The permanent plasticizer effect will also ensure PVC flexibility is maintained with the possibility of extending useful product life. The functionalized plasticizer DOP-SH [di(2-ethylhexyl) 4-mercaptophthalate] was developed with physiochemical properties similar to those of commercial DOP, but with an additional functional group able to establish a covalent bond to the polymeric backbone. madrid_figure15The percentage of plasticizer that could be covalently linked to the PVC backbone was similar to plasticizer amounts usually commercially employed. The approach completely suppressed plasticizer migration. While the plasticizer efficiency of the novel plasticizers is less than conventional DEHP (DOP) the glass transition temperature of modified PVC is largely reduced and is around 0°C for the highest modified samples. This approach may open new ways to prepare flexible PVC with permanent plasticizer effect and zero migration.

Surface Modification

Graphene Loaded Conductive Polymers

Vor-x from the Vorbeck Materials Group, a proprietary form of graphene containing functional groups, is a recent entry into the conductive additives market. The functionalized graphene allows compatibility to be ‘tuned’ to a specific matrix, or specific material properties to be enhanced. Vor-x graphene layers are entirely disassociated, and due to their wrinkled morphology individual sheets do not re-aggregate, ensuring good dispersion/handling, while providing the full performance advantages of graphene. Compounding Vor-x masterbatches into plastics is said to be much less difficult than CNT masterbatch material. The robust filler can take the high shear forces of a twin-screw extruder or mixer. Vorbeck has developed masterbatches in a wide range of thermoplastics, from polyolefins to PEEK. Vor-x is said to yield conductivities ‘well beyond surface anti-static and into the conductive regime.’ The material’s surface area can be theoretically as high as around 2,600 m2/g (meters square per gram) and in practice is as high as 1,700 m2/g. Electrical conductivity of natural rubber with 4% Vor-x compared with the same rubber loaded with 40% carbon black. Vorbeck and BASF are jointly developing graphene-based formulations and composite materials for conductive coatings and compounds, especially for the electronics industry.vorbeck_figure16

Silver Based Antimicrobial Elastomer

StatSil elastomer developed by Momentive Performance Materials incorporates a silver-based antimicrobial additive into the base silicone elastomer using patent pending technology to provide antimicrobial protection. The product line offers excellent design flexibility. These antimicrobial elastomers are particularly suited to applications where controlling the growth of microbes in or on the human body is of concern in healthcare devices such as urinary catheters and intravenous components. Available as HCR (High Consistency Rubber) and LSR (Liquid Silicone Rubber) products, StatSil elastomers can be custom formulated to meet specific performance/processing requirements. The elastomers are available in hardnesses ranging in durometer from 3 to 80 shore A.


In Conclusion—Global Plastic Additives Market Drivers

Numerous additives are incorporated into thermoplastics to achieve a specific purpose during fabrication and/or service. Plastics could not deliver their performance without the addition of a broad range of polymer additives. The plastics additives global market of $46.3 B by year end 2014 has been growing at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 4.5% over the last five years. Property modifiers have the largest share of the market, worth an estimated $22.8B by year end 2014. While overall growth for plastics additives is expected to average about 4% in the three major consuming areas (North America, Europe, Asia) growth is projected to be fastest in China and slightly negative for Japan. Plastics would not work without additives, but with them they are made safer, cleaner, tougher, and more colorful as well as more useful. Additives contribute to variable cost, but also reduce production costs and make products last longer, thereby helping to save money and conserve raw material reserves. Although used at only 5% to 7% in terms of weight or about 10% by cost, they provide immense benefits and have contributed significantly to the achievements of plastics.


Strongly tied to resins industry growth, demand for additives is also driven by unique performance and plastic product property requirements of the end-use consumer segments, particularly automotive, packaging, construction, medical, and consumer electronics. Specialty additives are one of the most dynamic segments of the plastics industry. These unique additives play a role in product development, reducing environmental impact, and gaining a competitive edge.

Advanced Plastic Additive Solution Suppliers

Company                                        Trade name                          Website

ScentSational Technologies, LLC    CompelAroma          
Clariant Masterbatch                       CESA-Natura           
Sukano Products Ltd.                      Sukano                    
PolyOne Corporation                       OnCap Bio               
Ampacet Corporation                      Ampacet                  
Toyota Tsusho                                Bio-PET                    
NEC                                                 Cardanol                   
NatureWorks LLC                           Ingeo                         
Teijin Ltd.                                        Biofront                     
Croda Polymer Additives               Solasorb                    
Nanophase Technologies Corp.    NanoArc ATO           
AGY Holdings Corporation            S-1 Glass                  
Milliken Chemical                            Hyperform                
NaturalNano Inc.                            Pleximer                    
FRX Polymers LLC                        FRX                            
Lanxess AG                                 Mesamoll                    
Institute of Polymer Science & Technology                    
Vorbeck Materials Group             Vor-x                         
Momentive                                   StatSil                       


Donald V. Rosato, Ph.D.


don_figure21  Dr. Donald V. “Don” Rosato of PlastiSource Inc. has been actively involved with plastics, moving from aerospace development to leading resin suppliers from the late ‘60s to early ‘90s, before starting his own 20 year old prototype manufacturing, product development, and technical market advisory firm. He was involved with firsts developing the Apollo 11/12/13 composite moonship legs, America’s Cup/Olympic luge/bobsled parts, PET & recycled PVC bottle manufacturing, barrier packaging, super-tough nylons, engineered plastic blends/alloys, high performance LCPs & related ultra-resins, DARPA/ARPA aerospace/defense/alternative energy electronics, biocomposites/green resins, greenbuilding/LEED end uses, electrically/thermally conductive polymers, specialty additive compounds, TPEs/synthetic rubbers, advanced molding technologies, and clean thermoset resins. He continues into his 6th decade to author/present multiple global webinars, papers and books, analytical reports, and online plastic columns.

Don has wide-ranging technical and marketing plastic industry experience from product development, through production, to marketing, having worked for Northrop Grumman, Owens-Illinois/Graham, DuPont/Conoco, Celanese/Ticona, and Borg Warner/G.E. Plastics. He has developed numerous polymer related patents, participates in many trade groups (SPE, SPI, PIA, CPPIA, SAMPE), and is involved in these areas with PlastiSource, Inc. He earned his BS Chemistry, Boston College; MBA, Northeastern University; M.S. Plastics Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell; Ph.D. Business Administration, University of California, Berkeley, and has extensive executive management training.