By Frank Esposito, Plastics News staff
Chicago, Illinois - BASF Corp. is broadening its specialty plastics lineup with new grades of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), nylon 6 and polybutylene terephthalate.
Earlier this year, Florham Park, New Jersey-based BASF launched new grades of LoTac-brand and LoCof-brand TPU. The LoTac product is aimed at industrial hoses where a material that would not tangle or squeak was needed, TPU project manager Roger Huarng said in an interview at NPE 2009.
The LoCof product also is being sold into the wire and cable market. Both new grades are made at BASF's compounding plant in Wyandotte, Michigan.
BASF also is working on a calendering grade of TPU that could replace PVC and other materials in automotive seat covers or headrests, as well as in medical or furniture uses, Huarng said. The new grade is being made in small-scale commercial runs but could see a broader roll-out by the end of 2009.
In nylon 6, BASF in mid-2008 introduced Ultramid Seal-Fit-brand materials used to provide better seals and connections in electrical connectors, engineering plastics new business development manager Phil Wilson said at NPE 2009.
The new material "solves an enormous problem" caused by gaps in electrical seals in a variety of automotive and industrial products, he said.
A new grade of Ultradur-brand PBT - commercialised earlier this year - can resist hot water, detergent and other chemicals in automotive and appliance parts. BASF makes the new Ultradur in North America, while the new Ultramid Seal-Fit is imported from a European location.
BASF also recently launched an Ultramid grade for automotive oil pans that can withstand impacts of stone, road salt, heat and oil while offering 50 percent weight savings vs. conventional materials, Wilson said. Two new grades of Terblend-brand ABS/nylon blends also now are available from BASF. The new grades offer excellent flow and are easier to process for large and intricate visible parts such as center consoles in car interiors and motorcycle parts.