ASCEND
New PA 6.6 for automotive applications / BTP compounding business highlighted at "Fakuma" / Force majeure in Florida continues
Polyamide 6.6 producer Ascend Performance Materials (Houston, Texas / USA; www.ascendmaterials.com) has developed a material called "Vydyne R433H" for reinforcing down-gauged steel and aluminium used in used in vehicle body in white (BIW) structures. The BIW accounts for nearly half the weight of a vehicle, noted Vikram Gopal, Ascend’s senior VP of technology, and the new PA 6.6 grade helps reduce weight without compromising safety or comfort.

Vydyne R433H offers improved energy absorption than conventional glass-reinforced PA 6.6, which dampens noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) as well as absorbs impact energy from crashes. According to Ascend, the new material helps carmakers save weight and increase efficiency.

Lightweighting and NVH reduction are important in e-cars, and Vydyne R433H is also suitable for battery frame and housing applications. The new PA material will be presented for the first time at the "Fakuma" trade fair taking place in Friedrichshafen / Germany from 16-20 October 2018 (www.fakuma-messe.de) – see Plasteurope.com of 16.10.2018.
Integration of Britannia Techno Polymer's compounding activities
Ascend will also highlight its recently acquired manufacturing facility in Tilburg / The Netherlands. With the takeover of compounder Britannia Techno Polymer (BTP, Tilburg; www.btpolymer.com) completed on 31 July 2018, the Texas-based manufacturer has gained its first European production base – see Plasteurope.com of 06.08.2018. "By establishing dedicated manufacturing capabilities in Europe, we ensure greater reliability of supply to our customers in the region," said Scott Rook, Ascend’s senior VP of nylon.
FM on PA 6.6 products from Pensacola continues
In a statement before Fakuma, Ascend CEO Phil McDivitt said because of "conflicting reports on long-term PA 6.6 availability," the company reaffirms its commitment to meeting rising demand, supporting customers and maintaining reliable operations. As announced, Ascend's planned 40,000 t/y capacity expansion for PA 6.6 precursor adiponitrile (ADN) in Decatur, Alabama / USA for the end of 2018 is nearly complete – see Plasteurope.com of 07.06.2018. The additional 180,000 t/y ADN expansion by 2022 is "underway to begin." The company plans to keep adding capacity to relieve the "bulk of constraints" in the market.

The supply shortage on the global PA 6.6 market continues in the meantime. No easing is in sight from Pensacola, Florida, where Ascend declared force majeure on all PA 6.6 base polymers, compounds and fibres after a fire there on 10 July 2018 – see Plasteurope.com of 13.07.2018. The FM remains in effect, although McDivitt noted that production is running at around 90% of capacity. The duration of the FM is still not known.
18.10.2018 Plasteurope.com [240876-0]
Published on 18.10.2018
Ascend: Neues PA 6.6 für AutomobilanwendungenGerman version of this article...

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