NPE '12: High resin costs raising demand for compounds - sources

04 April 2012 04:32  [Source: ICIS news]

ORLANDO, Florida (ICIS)--High resin costs and growing interest in sustainability is helping to improve demand for compounded resins, market participants said on Tuesday.

New compounds are being developed and existing product lines are growing as downstream buyers look for ways to limit exposure to the volatile polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) markets, said compounders, speaking at the sidelines of the National Plastics Exposition (NPE) at Orlando.

Holly Hansen, vice president of technical services at Heritage Plastics, said she is seeing new interest in the company's line of calcium carbonate and talc-based concentrates, in part because customers can realize savings of as much as 10 cents/lb ($220/tonne, €165/tonne) off virgin resin prices.

The savings are possible because the cheaper calcium carbonate can be used as a filler to replace some of the resin. The additive also is designed to enhance performance by adding stiffness, reducing warping and reducing cycle times, Hansen said.

"It offers very robust cost savings," she said.

Polymera, which produces wood polymer compounds that can replace high density polyethylene (HDPE), PP and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), began operations in January, but is already seeing strong interest in its products, said company president Maan Said.

The compounds, which use fibre from the waste stream blended with virgin resin, offer cost savings of 10-30% over virgin resins, but also create a more sustainable product, said Said.

"It is equal measure – customers are looking for cost savings, but the environmental element is also very important," he said. "A lot of companies are trying to look at ways to tell a better story."

The four-day NPE is sponsored by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) and runs through Thursday.

By: Michelle Klump
+1 713 525 2653

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