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Solvay has begun production at its new fluoroelastomers (FKM) plant in Changshu, China, as part of its ongoing strategic site expansion, to meet booming demand for its specialty polymers from Asia’s fast-growing automotive industry and multiple other high-end markets.
As Solvay Specialty Polymers’ third fluoroelastomer unit in the world, it explains that it benefits from the site’s existing Specialty Polymers operations and infrastructure, as well as from secure raw material supplies through its joint venture with nearby Shanghai 3F New Materials.
According to Solvay, the Changshu plant will supply its FKM brand Tecnoflon which resists aggressive chemicals and heats of more than 250°C and is easy to process in various different moulding techniques. Typical end-use products are gaskets, shaft seals and hoses used in sealing applications in the automotive, industrial and oil and gas industries.
“This state-of-the-art fluoroelastomers facility considerably strengthens our global industrial footprint, extending our reach from Europe and the United States to Asia,” said Augusto Di Donfrancesco, President of Solvay’s Specialty Polymers Global Business Unit. “Solvay Specialty Polymers offers the industry’s most diversified range of high-end polymers and our expansions in Changshu will bring us closer to our customers and support them in maintaining their competitive edge in their market segments.”
At the same site, Solvay says it is constructing a unit for the production of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) to supply Solef. The unit is due to come on-stream by early 2017. In addition to fluoroelastomers, Solvay’s operations at Changshu include compounding, based on its specialty polymers resins.
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