For a company that was established six years ago as a fully vertically integrated PA 6.6 producer with, at that time, a predominant focus on carpeting, Ascend Performance Materials has since considerably broadened its scope. While the company still exclusively manufactures and sells polyamide 6.6, its offerings today extend well beyond the traditional fibers for the carpet industry. At last week’s Fakuma trade show in Friedrichshafen, PlasticsToday talked with Phil McDivitt, President of the nylon business at Ascend, who left Celanese Corp. to join the company in April of this year.
According to McDivitt, the Houston-based company was more or less a victim of the quality of its product. “The carpeting didn’t need to be replaced often enough, it was that strong. It was therefore essential to redirect our attention, and right now, automotive and E&E are the primary areas, at least from a compounding perspective,” he commented. “The regulations in the automotive industry—whether on emissions, in Europe, or on gas mileage, as is the case in the US—are driving the changes, and offering a good opportunity to grow. Lightweight, our materials can also withstand the higher temperatures under the hoods of today’s cars. In fact, environmental regulations have been a tremendous boost for PA 6.6.”