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There are big changes in the global PVC marketplace with shale gas providing cheap feedstock in the USA and opening up the export markets, mergers and acquisitions occurring in the European PVC compounding industry, and growth in production in China and Russia.  There will be several different views of the world markets presented at AMI"s international conference on PVC Formulation 2014, which is scheduled for 24-26 February 2014 at the Maritim Hotel in Dusseldorf, Germany.  To kick off the conference Vestolit will give a market review focused around European PVC and from Brazil, Mexichem will outline the opportunities for PVC in construction in Latin America.  As an overview of the industry history SolVin will give a presentation on 100 years of PVC use.

Flexible PVC compounders are still assessing the range of plasticisers on offer as replacements for DEHP, from bio-based chemicals to higher phthalates.  Galata Chemicals is offering renewably-sourced plasticisers that enhance the effect of biocides.  There are also new bio-based plasticisers from Proviron and there will be a review of plasticisers and the future from Perstorp. Also in this area,  Metabolix has studied the beneficial effects of incorporating PHA in PVC to add toughness, plasticisation and better processing performance.  To combat bacteria Lonza has developed new antimicrobial technology for flexible vinyl.

There are vital industries depending on reliable materials, particularly the medical device manufacturers.  The Dutch blood bank, Sanquin, has conducted research on the potential replacements for DEHP and the effects of the replacement material on the stability of red blood cells and platelets.  In pharmaceutical applications fake products are a global issue so Klockner Pentaplast has developed anti-counterfeiting technology for PVC films and Polysecure sells additives for the same purpose.

For rigid materials with outdoor applications appearance is a priority and this depends on the right combination of colorants and stabilisers: BASF has looked at the combinations of additives and colours required for successful PVC products.   There are new opacifying pigments for profiles from FP Pigments in Finland, while Huntsman Pigments has developed pigments that enhance reflectance and transmittance of infrared wavelengths.  The issue of photo-pinking will be highlighted by Akdeniz Kimya with a focus on the correct selection of stabilisers to prevent this issue from arising.

Dow has shown that adding rubber particles to profile formulations improves the rheology and mechanical properties and Chemson has reviewed the global trends in stabilisation of profiles, where change has been driven by increasing chemical regulation, particularly governing the types of metal stabilisers that are permitted. This makes legacy products a potential issue in the re-use of recyclate.  Sustainability and recycling considerations are now significant factors in formulations.  The profile industry is making great strides in recovery of used windows with companies like Veka leading the way. Foaming technology can reduce the weight and material use in a product and Arkema has invested in developing new processing aids for foams.

The mixing of a compound is critical to performance and Coperion has reviewed the latest trends in twin-screw technology, while Farrel Pomini has developed compact processors as an energy-efficient alternative.

There will be plenty of industry professionals at the annual PVC Formulation 2014 conference in February in Dusseldorf for this focused forum for vinyl compounders and processors, end users and the industry supply chain. Nothing stands still in the chemical industry right now, and this is an opportunity to catch up with the news.

PVC Formulation 2014

24-26 February 2014, Maritim Hotel, Dusseldorf, Germany

Web site: www.amiplastics.com/events/Event.aspx?code=C555&sec=3475

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Author and contact for further information:

Dr Sally Humphreys

Email: sh@amiplastics.com