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ChevronPhillips doubles PPS capacity in Texas

ChevronPhillips doubles PPS capacity in Texas

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.

Chevron 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, Belgium where 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 Woodlands, TX.

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.

Engineers specify PPS for components requiring thermal stability, such as these hot water tanks.

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