Ticona GmbH

New high-performance polymers

Düsseldorf / Germany, June 16, 2010 - With the further development of its high-performance polymers, Ticona is opening up additional market opportunities for its customers. The plastics manufacturer is offering Vectra® LCP TREX™, for example: the first liquid crystal polymer for extrusion. One of the innovative POM highlights is Hostaform® XT 20, which is making new applications possible through its unique combination of properties. Blow-moldable variants are also under development. And Ticona has expanded its global LCP and LFT portfolio through product acquisitions.

Vectra TREX extends Ticona's offering in the kitchen and food industry application area. This marks the first time an extrudable liquid crystal polymer (LCP) is available that is particularly well-suited for the manufacture of vacuum-formed large-format sheets and pans. With service temperatures of up to 280°C, they can be used for cooking and baking without any problem at all. But they also withstand very low temperatures such as those involved in the deep freezing or even shock freezing of food - and they are also compatible for use in microwave ovens. This food-safe plastic lets designers choose from a large number of colors and shapes. Products made of Vectra offer a number of advantages in kitchen and food preparation applications, especially versus metal: food does not adhere to them (non-stick effect) so they are easier to clean; they also heat up faster, cool down faster, make less noise and weigh less. The mineral-filled TREX™ 541 grade is used to produce plates, vacuum-formed films and hollow elements. The unfilled TREX™ 901 grade is also available for films and fibers.

Impact-modified POM for greater production efficiency

There's also product-related news to report concerning Ticona's high-impact-strength POM. Hostaform XT 20 is a brand new product developed from the recently launched series with Hostaform S 9362, 9363 and 9364. It complements the existing portfolio and is penetrating areas previously reserved for impact-modified PA 6.6. In terms of impact strength and weld line integrity, Hostaform XT 20 is setting new standards as compared to other impact-modified POM materials.

Ticona's "S" grades of the new generation offer - depending on the grade - either significantly improved impact strength (Hostaform S 9364 and Hostaform XT 20) or substantially higher production efficiency (Hostaform S 9362 and Hostaform S 9363) versus other impact-modified polyacetals. In addition, they feature more advantageous sliding friction properties and better chemical resistance, e.g. against fuels. All grades of the new generation have one thing in common: up to four times greater weld line integrity versus comparable impact-modified POM grades.

Blow-moldable and high-impact-strength Hostaform

Ticona's new blow-moldable Hostaform grades have the good properties for which the material is already well known, such as chemical resistance against fuels, outstanding impermeability and high strength. Optimal adjustment of the melt rheology also makes it possible to use them in applications that were previously off limits to POM. Along with the new Hostaform BM 10, another grade with outstanding low temperature characteristics will become available at the end of the year.

Besides Hostaform, other polymer grades from Ticona can be processed by means of blow molding and are used especially in hollow elements or in components with more complex structures. These include fuel tanks, chemical- or drug-resistant containers, and tubing for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning units.

Hostaform "High Strength" combines good properties of homopolymers and copolymers

Hostaform HS represents a completely new POM generation that is suitable for a large number of applications, such as automotive construction, consumer goods, conveyor and transport systems, sports and leisure products, and the sanitary and drinking water sector. Unveiled at Chinaplas, the "High Strength" series features a unique combination of excellent mechanical qualities, chemical resistance and durability. The first grade of the HS series, Hostaform HS 15, is a particularly attractive choice due to its high stiffness, strength and outstanding notched impact strength. Moreover, it features excellent weld line strength in combination with chemical resistance to aqueous media, including bases and similar substances along with resistance to solvents and automotive fuels.

Expanded offering through strategic acquisitions

Together with new developments among its existing brands, Ticona has also expanded its expertise and global presence through the recently announced purchase of two products from DuPont: Zenite® LCP and Thermx® PCT. Like Vectra, the liquid crystal polymer Zenite also covers a broad application spectrum, including use in components for the electrical and electronics, automotive and aerospace industries. Thermx represents Ticona's first polycyclohexylene dimethylene terephthalate that is primarily suited for applications in the automotive sector and in electrical and electronic products. In order to provide for growth in the long-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (LFT) segment, Ticona has also acquired FACT. As a result, Factor® also joined the product portfolio of the plastics manufacturer at the start of 2010. The polymer is primarily used in the automotive industry. Among Europe's most popular vehicle models, nearly every instrument panel is now made of LFT from Ticona.

Broad product range - individual solutions

Ticona works closely with its customers to develop individually tailored product solutions, creating pioneering new materials based on worldwide trends and developing special grades modified to satisfy specific customer requests. In this way, Ticona is expanding its product range and the broad spectrum of applications that use its polymers - polymers that help reduce weight and costs while improving safety, efficiency and design latitude, whether in miniature components for electronic devices or in large structural components used in automotive and aircraft construction.