“This introduction—the first specialty nitrile that we launched as Emerald—is a direct result of the pilot plant,” John Zuppo, vice president of commercial services for polymer additives and nitriles, said at the conference. “Prior to 2014, we didn't have this capability.”
The pilot plant changed all that.
“We commissioned the pilot plant to expand the flexibility and R&D capabilities of the nitrile operation,” he said.
Since its completion, he said “we have explored a greater range of end-use applications and looked at how we can develop unique solutions that optimize performance and overcome traditional formulation challenges for those applications. Nychem 1561X604 was born as a part of that process.”
Emerald's newest product is a medium-nitrile-level specialty emulsion that Zuppo said improves the performance of previous generation polymers, greatly enhancing tensile strength and providing resistance to water, oil, grease and hydrocarbons.
The advanced technology behind the new offering is based on butadiene, acrylonitrile and styrene.
It provides benefits such as high elongation and abrasion resistance, the firm said.
Designed with low or no emulsifier levels, the new product is a high surface tension emulsion that exhibits low foam, the company added.
Emerald created Nychem 1561X604 “by working closely with our customers to design a superior polymer that would optimize toughness for particular use in paper and textile applications,” said Jeffrey Mathys, R&D manager for Emerald Specialty Polymers. “The result is an emulsion that has exceeded even our expectations.”
He said that the product's tensile strength was increased by 400 percent “while maintaining high elongation over the starting latex in paper testing prior to any crosslinking or vulcanization of the acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene lattices.”
There is an opportunity to tailor Nychem 1561X604 for even further toughness, Mathys said.
He noted that the physical properties of its rubber films demonstrated results similar to those of paper products.
He also credited the company's pilot plant in Akron with the development of the new product.
According to Zuppo there was not a lot of innovation going on before the pilot plant opened.
“We did everything well, but we didn't think enough out of the box,” he said.
After building the plant and adding application equipment, Emerald officials fanned out to meet with customers to find out more about their needs.
Zuppo said the firm is using that information to develop new products.