US regulation driving PPS in automobiles, environment management

21 March 2013 20:41  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US regulatory sector is driving demand for the use of polyphenylene sulphide (PPS), particularly in the automotive industry, as well as air and water management, a manager at a US-based specialty chemicals company said on Thursday.

“We see a lot of growth in the automotive market,” said Kyle Mathis, engineering polymers general manager at Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem).

“Primarily we’re taking PPS and putting it into a part that’s made out of metal and taking weight of out it, so that’s a huge driver for growth for us,” he said after his presentation at the IHS World Petrochemical Conference.

PPS is a polymer that has dimensional stability, particularly toward both thermal degradation and chemical reactivity. It is used in a variety of segments including the automotive, electrical and electrics, water management and filtration industries.

Mathis said the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard is pushing automotive manufacturers to examine materials that not only reduce weight but are also cheaper than metal.

The CAFE standard was enacted to reduce energy consumption by increasing the fuel economy of cars and light vehicles.

In addition, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) potable water regulation, which reduces the amount of acceptable lead in plumbing fixtures to 0.25%, is offering similar advantages in the replacement of brass.

The EPA’s mercury emissions standard is also driving PPS use in flue gas filters because of its high filtration efficiency at high temperatures.

Flue gas filters are often used in coal-fired powerplants, cement plants, stone industries and water incineration plants.

Mathis explained that PPS’s early uses were in the electronics industry for connectors, desktop computer components and other large electronics parts.

“As things have miniaturised, the electronics demand for PPS products have gone down, but what’s taken its place again is in other regulatory areas,” he said. “That’s going to more than make up for that.”

The IHS World Petrochemical Conference ends on Thursday.

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By: Tracy Dang
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