There will be no shortage of engineering compounds available
when the economy returns to normal. Major companies are opening large amounts of new capacity, showing
confidence in engineering resin demand, as well as the economy.
Phillips Chemical Co. announced that a new 10,000 metric-ton-per-year Ryton
polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) plant in Borger,
TX is mechanically complete. The
plant is currently in the commissioning and start-up phase, with commercial
product available soon. Built
side-by-side to an existing PPS plant in Borger,
the new facility expands the company's total PPS capacity at the site to 20,000
metric tons per year.
"With the start-up of the new plant, Chevron Phillips
Chemical now has the broadest portfolio of PPS polymers available," says Mark
Amelunke, general manager of the company's engineering polymers group.
Polyphenylene sulfide is a dimensionally stable polymer
known for its ability to resist chemical and thermal attack. PPS is also a
precursor to a conducting polymer. One
way to identify a component made from the plastic is by the metallic sound it
makes when struck.
Much of the PPS produced by ChevronPhillips will be sent to Chevron
Phillips Chemical's compounding facilities in LaPorte,
TX and Kallo,
it is compounded with glass fibers and minerals to boost strength.
PPS is used in injection molding, blow molding and
extrusion applications for computer components, automobile parts, industrial
parts, fibers and various electrical appliances. Chevron Phillips Chemical is
equally owned by Chevron and ConocoPhillips and is headquartered in The
Other producers of PPS include Ticona (Fortron), Sabic Innovative
Plastics (Supec), Solvay Advanced Polymers (Primef) and Toray (Torellina).
Earlier this year, Ticona announced development of a low-viscosity grade of
Fortron PPS that meets requirements for low-halogen materials.
Design News reported
earlier that capacity for compounded nylon is being expanded by Invista. Sabic
Innovative Plastics is also boosting capacity to produce polycarbonate.