The world’s largest linear polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) operation, with a capacity of 15,000 tonnes/yr, is about to get bigger, as Celanese has announced plans to increase Fortron PPS production at its Wilmington, NC. Fortron Industries LLC, which is a subsidiary of Celanese Corp., says the capacity expansion is to meet increased global demand for the material. Fortron’s operation in Wilmington is a joint venture between Japan’s Kureha Corp. and Ticona Engineering Polymers, a wholly owned subsidiary of Celanese.
Worldwide demand for the high-performance polymer is driven by industrial applications, which exploit Fortron’s chemical and thermal resistance, high hardness, rigidity, dimensional stability, creep properties, and low moisture absorption. The material can be used to replace metals and thermosets in applications like auto pumps; valves; air ducts and powertrains; electronic connectors, plugs, switches and circuit boards; structural and non-structural aircraft components; and heater grilles, impellers, conveyors, power tools, and microwave elements, among other industrial uses....