PITTSBURGH—Emerald Kalama Chemical L.L.C. has expanded its K-Flex line of plasticizers.
The firm unveiled X-121, X-124 and X-505 at the recent Adhesive & Sealant Council Fall Convention and Expo in Pittsburgh.
Research Fellow William Arendt said the products are built upon the firm's expertise in benzoic acid, but their compositions are different than the dibenzoate ester platform that make up Emerald's core products. The new products have higher molecular weight and are designed for sealant systems, meaning they are more permanent with higher resistance to extraction and migration.
“These new products expand the range of applications we serve, to areas such as insulating glass sealants, automotive underbody coats and sealants,” Arendt said. “These are some of the target areas where we know our product is functional and will give excellent performance characteristics.”
Each product is tailored for a specific application. X-121 focuses on underbody coatings, X-124 for automotive sealants and X-505 for b-side two-part polysulfide sealants, specifically focusing on insulating glass. Application Chemist Emily McBride said the characteristics of X-505 in two-part polysulfide sealants will speed up cure time and cure-through, which can enable faster production.
“Molecular weight is one of the differences, and this impacts the viscosity of the plasticizer as well as the viscosity of the overall formulation,” McBride said. ”The higher molecular weight influences the permanence in polymeric systems that are not easily extracted and have less of a tendency to migrate in contact with various fluids, so that they retain key performance features and flexibility over time.”
Emerald developed the products at its global research and development center in Kalama, Wash. Arendt said the products have been produced on the commercial scale in trial runs and are currently in beta testing to ensure performance and deliver the value that the firm anticipates. The market release is anticipated for 2016.
The company will provide the products globally and already has evaluated them with regard to certain regulatory registration processes in other regions of the globe. McBride said the products will be compliant under the European Union's Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program, which will be important for Europe and customers who prefer to use materials on a global basis.
“We have developed close relationships in key industries and customers within those industries,” McBride said. “We are constantly looking at ways these industries are evolving and in areas where we can provide some unique and valuable solutions for our customers.”
Emerald Kalama, a business group of Emerald Performance Materials L.L.C., employs about 250 combined at its locations in Kalama and Rotterdam, Netherlands. The firm said it has more than doubled its K-Flex capacity at Kalama as a result of recent new product development.