THE HAGUE, Netherlands-Du Pont Specialty Chemicals and Uniroyal Chemical Co. have invested jointly in a new plant to manufacture para-phenylene diisocyanate for use in high-performance cast polyurethane elastomers. The two chemical companies are teaming up to establish a production facility at Chambers Works in Deepwater, N.J., said Dave Yake, Du Pont's global marketing manager for Terathane and urethane products.
PPDI offers PU elastomers improved mechanical properties, especially tear strength and cut resistance, according to Vin Rooney, Uniroyal's business manager for Adiprene/Vibrathane.
The PPDI plant will have 500 metric tons capacity and begin full production by the end of 1994, Yake said.
The deal does not give Uniroyal sole rights to Du Pont's PPDI, he said.
``Du Pont will continue to sell PPDI monomer in the market independent of Uniroyal and will continue to develop prepolymers with other customers,'' Yake said.
Further details of the partnership were not available.
Commercial scale production of PPDI by Du Pont Specialty Chemicals has taken ``a high level of manufacturing resource and capability,'' Yake said. ``It is a difficult production process.''
The venture follows five to six years of Du Pont development work-the last two years in cooperation with Uniroyal to cultivate a market.
Du Pont looked at other potential partners at this stage, but Uniroyal, which was ``the only one to step up and take a leadership role,'' had the right market knowledge and technological background, according to Yake.
The PPDI program offers an ``exciting'' opportunity to advance cast elastomer technology, compared with the traditional isocyanates-TDI, MDI, NDI and TODI (toluene, methylene diphenyl, naphthalene and ortho-toluidine diisocyanates), Rooney said.
``We see a line of prepolymers based on PPDI as the perfect complement to Adiprene, Royalcast, Vibrathane-Uniroyal's existing range of elastomer prepolymer materials,'' the Uniroyal executive said.
The new facility's site allows for future expansion, Yake said, noting he expects the unit to hit full capacity within seven to eight years.