Maastricht, Netherlands – Aliphatic diisocyanates look set for attractive growth for a number of years, according to Kamel Amari, global product manager for HDI and derivatives at Vencorex.
Amari, talking at UTECH Europe said: ‘This is driven by many factors.
‘We expect nice growth in coming years, with the biggest growth in the Asia Pacific region, and steady growth in Europe and the US.’
Vencorex has three HDI plants, with the main production site in Pont de Claix, France. There are additional plants in Freeport, Texas and Rayong, Thailand. ‘Automotive plastics and coatings are the biggest application area for HDI,’ Amari said. ‘The majority of usage is in coatings, TPUs and cast elastomers. Coatings are growing, while aliphatics are still a niche for TPU and cast elastomers compared to aromatics. We expect 4–5% growth, mainly driven by coatings.’
The company also manufactures IPDI in the French site. ‘We think the market is going for better quality and better UV stability,’ he said. ‘This will drive growth for aliphatics in the future.'
Vencorex closed its TDI plant in 2016, having secured a long-term agreement with one of the large TDI producers, according to Jacques Terjan, the company’s sales director, TDI – Chloralkali.
‘The TDI market has been challenging lately,’ Terjan said. ‘A number of plants closed down in 2016, including ours, and there were some delays in new plants, for example BASF’s in Ludwigshafen. This led to shortage in the market.’
He added that the situation is now stabilising, but his company does not expect a balanced TDI market until the end of 2018. ‘We hope it will be easier in 2019,’ he said. ‘TDI is an unpredictable market. The industry has changed a lot, with a limited number of large plants. The drawback is if one plant is not trading in normal mode, the whole market is affected.’