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Airtech

Soybean and Corn Resin Used For Agricultural, Off-Road Markets

12 October 2001

The Composite Polymers Division of Ashland has developed a new renewable-source resin system, called ENVIREZ(R) 5000 soybean and corn resin, and has granted John Deere exclusive use in the agricultural and off-road markets.

ENVIREZ 5000 soybean and corn resin contains 25 percent (by weight) renewable-source content using Ashland's new, patented process for making polyester resin. The new resin system is used in sheet-molding-compound (SMC) for the compression-molding market, which makes it ideal for a variety of SMC applications used in the transportation, agricultural, off-road and construction industries. For the transportation market, it can be formulated into Class A body-panel applications or structural applications. The Ashland-Deere agreement gives John Deere exclusive rights to ENVIREZ 5000 soybean and corn resin for off-road and agricultural markets until mid- March 2002.

John Deere is using it to manufacture composite hoods and body panels for its combines. Beginning with the 2002 model year, all John Deere combines will have exterior body panels made from a soy-based plastic composite, which John Deere calls HarvestForm(1).

""We're the first in our industry to develop this particular renewable- source technology,"" said Troy D. Wade, a product manager for Ashland CPD, ""and we're proud to introduce it through John Deere's agricultural equipment. Our new ENVIREZ 5000 soybean and corn resin performs with less porosity and blistering through paint, which means less scrap at the press. The fact that it supports U.S. soybean and corn growers while conserving fossil-fuel energy makes it that much sweeter."" Barry E. Nelson, manager of public relations for John Deere, said, ""Using Ashland's new ENVIREZ 5000 resin, made from soybeans and corn, in this revolutionary manufacturing process has added strength, flexibility and endurance to the design of our combines' composite-polymer panels. This new composite is extremely strong, yet it weighs 25 percent less than steel.""






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