Huntsman Consolidates Approach to Speciality Building Blocks for Formulators

26 June 2012

Huntsman has introduced a four-pronged approach to building blocks predicated on performance enhancement, cost reduction, formulation processing optimisation and the limitation of toxic substances wherever possible.

Huntsman explains it is leveraging its core competencies in synthesis and formulation to add new and innovative high performance materials to its range of proven and qualified building blocks in the drive to enable market differentiation for formulators in the areas of adhesives and composites, focused on the delivery of mechanical and thermal performance improvement.

Examples of how Huntsman says it is working to deliver enhanced formulation performance are as follows:

• Resins and hardeners:
o TGMAP type Araldite MY0610 offers very high mechanical and thermal properties.  In comparison to TGMDA resins (eg. Araldite MY 721), higher modulus can be achieved with similar thermal resistance. (graph 1)
o Tri-functional, TGHPM type epoxy resin Tactix 742 provides higher glass transition temperature resistance than any other resin.
o Dycyclopentadiene based, novolac epoxy Tactix 556 presents the lowest moisture absorption among any other epoxy resin. (graph 2)
o Diaminodiphenylsulfone hardener Aradur 976 offers thermal resistance and stability, as well as chemical resistance.

• Tougheners and flexibilizers:
o Specially modified epoxy/rubber adduct Araldite LY 1146 improves impact resistance, adhesion on contaminated surfaces and corrosion resistance.
o Working at higher temperature than epoxy/rubber adducts, Flexibilizer DY 965 provides outstanding impact resistance and adhesion to metal. (graph 3)

• Other resins
o Araldite Benzoxazine resins, such as Araldite MT35600 are a novel class of thermosets, exhibiting extremely good thermal and mechanical properties
o Kerimid and Matrimid Polyimide resins are a range of polyimide and bismaleimide resins suitable for long term resistance above 200°C.

According to Huntsman, while reducing the cost of formulations can be achieved through the careful selection of raw materials, the manufacturing process is also pivotal to the delivery of sustainable solutions.  Reducing the number of mixing or synthesis operations, lowering production time through easier incorporation and reducing the investment in manufacturing equipment are all examples of the factors that strongly influence the final cost of a formulation.

With access to a number of complementary global production facilities the company says it offers unique, off-the-shelf or customised products and services for formulators within blends (of resins or hardeners), master-batches, as well as pre-adducted chemicals.

Huntsman explains that one of the main characteristics of any type of formulation is its ability to be processed in an easy, efficient and cost effective way.  Rheology and curing kinetics are among the most important influencing parameters:

• Formulators are often looking to achieve the lowest final viscosity or for low viscosity building blocks that allow introduction into the formulation of larger amounts of other components without negative influence on the processability.

• Gaining control over curing kinetics is essential for determining whether a formulation is suitable for the intended application and process. 

The European Union, government and company policies concerning the toxicity of chemicals are becoming more stringent.  REACH, the European Community Regulation on chemicals provides a good illustration of this: Companies must register each chemical substance they wish to sell in Europe, and REACH also calls for the substitution of the most dangerous chemicals wherever suitable alternatives are available. In backing the initiative, Huntsman supports chemical formulators by initiating the registration all of the substances present in its various ranges.  Huntsman is also committed to support customers in any kind issues they can face in term of regulation of chemicals. The company has also decided to withdraw, wherever technically possible, the toxic substances from its ranges of components. 

Huntsman claims the key to success in helping the formulators of adhesive or composite solutions to achieve market differentiation is based on producing speciality chemical building blocks that meet customer’s expectations. To achieve this, Huntsman remains focused on its four-pronged approach based on performance enhancement, cost reduction, formulation processing optimisation and limitation of toxic substances.

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