Dow additive keeps PC from scratching
By Roger Renstrom, PLASTIC NEWS CORRESONDENT
MIDLAND, MICH - March 08, 2012
Dow Chemical Co. plans to introduce an anti-scratch additive for compounding with polycarbonate to compete with ultraviolet-light-cured PC hard coatings.
“The solution eliminates a hard coating and cuts the cost by half to obtain a hardened PC,” Arthur Chiu, global marketing and asset director for Dow’s plastics additives business, said in a recent telephone interview.
While PC has “great intrinsic properties [including] temperature resistance, toughness and even clarity,” Chui noted, it has poor scratch resistance and needs a hard coating — usually an acrylic monomer — to maintain its glossy appearance.
After learning that some customers didn’t like hard coatings, Dow set about developing a solution, by working on a proprietary basis with numerous electronics and automotive customers. Dow intends to unveil the anti-scratch additive technology during Reed Exhibitions Ltd.’s Plastic Japan show, April 11-13 in Tokyo, and Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd.’s Chinaplas show, April 18-21 in Shanghai.
Dow plans to commercialize the product, probably during the second half of 2012. Multiple Dow locations will manufacture the additive.
Potential applications for additive-enhanced PC include electronic-device housings and touch screens, automotive components such as knobs and dashboards, and eyeglass optics.
In the past, the Dow’s plastics additives business focused mostly on PVC applications. Over the decades, resin additives have helped make PVC tough, colorfast and processable, according to Chiu.
“We do sell some existing products into electronics and automotive where PVC is not used,” Chiu said. “In the last year or two, we in plastics additives have renewed our focus on markets including the electronics materials business.”
In addition to PVC and soon PC, Dow’s plastics additives business supplies packaging, building and construction and engineering materials for compounding with polyester, other engineering thermoplastics, their alloys and polylactic acid.
Midland, Mich.-based Dow declined to identify or discuss competitors, but industry players in various aspects of supplying or manufacturing hard coatings include Advanced Polymer Solutions LLC of Port Washington, N.Y.; Bayer MaterialScience AG of Leverkusen, Germany; Cytec Industries Inc. of Woodland Park, N.J.; Evonik Industries AG of Essen, Germany; Mitsui Chemicals Inc. of Tokyo; Momentive Performance Materials Inc. of Wilton, Conn.; Plaskolite Inc. of Columbus, Ohio; and Tekra Corp. of New Berlin, Wis.
About Dow Plastics Additives
As a global supplier of plastics additives serving packaging, building and construction and engineering materials worldwide, Dow Plastics Additives provides the market with a broad line of high quality additives for vinyl, polyester, polycarbonate and other engineering plastics, their alloys and poly-lactic acid resins. With manufacturing facilities globally and a worldwide team the business offers speed to market, technical expertise and market-driven solutions to customers. More information about Dow Plastics Additives can be found at www.dow.com/additives.
About DowDow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2011, Dow had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.