As well as the established plasticizer Mesamoll, these include the new product Mesamoll TP LXS 51067 and the equally phthalate-free bonding agent TP LXS 51099. The Functional Chemicals (FCC) business unit will be presenting its products at the K’2010 plastics fair, which will be held this year in Düsseldorf from October 27 to November 3.
LANXESS has recorded above-average growth with its high performing plasticizer Mesamoll since 2005. This product is used by many customers as an alternative to phthalate-based plasticizers. “We expect this trend towards phthalate-free additives to accelerate,” says Jorge Nogueira, head of the FCC business unit. “Our Mesamoll plasticizer business is growing by around 15 percent a year and is thus already outperforming the plasticizer market overall.”
Phthalate-free Mesamoll TP LXS 51067 is a fast-solvating product for PVC manufacture – particularly for the production of floor coverings and wall coatings. This additive will help, among other things, to replace the plasticizers dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP). Both of these are regarded as toxic for reproduction and are subject to considerable limitations on use. “To make Mesamoll TP LXS 51067 a good alternative, we combined our active Mesamoll ingredient – alkane sulfonic acid ester of phenol – with another plasticizer,” says Karsten Job, Director Marketing Polymer Additives in the Functional Chemicals business unit. “This component is also phthalate-free and has even been approved for food contact applications.”
Phthalate alternatives are also in demand in the field of PVC bonding agents. To date, isocyanates dissolved in phthalates have frequently been used to ensure optimal bonding of PVC plastisols to technical fabrics made, for example, from polyester fibers. DBP has mostly been used for this. “In the course of discussions on phthalates, we also saw a need for action here,” explains Job. “Our new TP LXS 51099 bonding agent uses the same isocyanate that was previously deployed in our tried-and-tested 2001 bonding agent. However, this is dissolved in a phthalate-free plasticizer in our new product. As far as we know, this makes us the only major, globally active supplier to offer phthalate-free bonding agents on a commercial basis.”
Users can deploy the new LANXESS product particularly easily. The effectiveness and required quantity are virtually identical to the standard phthalate containing material, Bonding Agent 2001, making a 1:1 exchange possible in many cases. Among other applications, PVC bonding agents are used in the manufacture of billboards, dinghies and bouncy castles/moonwalks.
“We are currently working on several new formulations with the aim of continually improving the properties of our products. As an experienced supplier, we are keen to find the ideal combination of properties without losing sight of the cost/benefit relationship,” remarks Job.
The Functional Chemicals business unit is part of the LANXESS Performance Chemicals segment, which achieved total sales in fiscal 2009 of EUR 1,530 million.
LANXESS (lanxess.com) is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 5.06 billion in 2009 and currently around 14,400 employees in 23 countries. The company is represented at 42 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.