Additives that render plastic compounds antistatic or electrically and/or thermally conductive are in hot demand. The wider acceptance of such compounds in replacing metal (particularly aluminum) and non-conductive plastics is evident in their double-digit annual growth rates over the last decade. One reason is that their prices have dropped with increasing use in electronics, computers, medical devices, automotive, aerospace, and appliances.
Antimicrobial additives or biocides are a third group of additives enjoying significant growth. They have been long used in flexible PVC and urethane foams to protect them from attack by microorganisms in applications ranging from medical tubing to outdoor furniture, shower curtains, and liners for pools, ditches, and roofs. Today, they are being incorporated into more plastics than ever, from polyolefins and TPEs to nylons, acrylics, ABS, acetal, and LSR in consumer, industrial, and healthcare applications.
As shown from the examples below, these trends offer many new opportunities for custom and specialty compounders, injection and blow molders, thermoformers, and...
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