Braskem, the largest thermoplastics resins producer in the Americas, announces its plans for the construction of an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) plant at its site in La Porte, TX.
Braskem's UHMWPE products are produced under the trade name UTEC. Groundbreaking of the new plant in La Porte will start during the third quarter of 2014. Construction is expected to last approximately 18 months with a targeted completion date during the first half of 2016. The U.S. plant's output will complement the existing UTEC product line that is produced in Brazil.
Braskem says that the main advantages of UTEC are its "excellent" mechanical properties, such as high abrasion resistance, impact strength and low coefficient of friction. UTEC is a self-lubricating, high-strength, lightweight machinable product used for semi-finished goods. UTEC is eight times lighter than steel and reportedly lasts ten times longer than HDPE. UTEC is used in a vast array of applications in the following industries: construction, agriculture, automotive, textile, pulp and paper, food and beverage, coal and mining, high performance fibers, battery separators and waste water treatment.