CERRITOS, Calif.—R.D. Abbott Co. Inc. has signed several new partnership agreements, one that will give it a broader range of health care material offerings and another that expands a long-standing partnership.
The pact that will boost the health care presence of the Cerritos-based distributor of materials and related items to the rubber industry is a distribution agreement with an affiliate of Kraton Performance Polymers Inc. It allows R.D. Abbott to distribute Kraton's Cariflex-brand IR0307 KU and IR0310 KU polymers to manufacturers and fabricators in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Cariflex isoprene rubbers are high molecular weight, anionically polymerized polyisoprene, boasting such features as high purity, excellent clarity, good flow and low-gel content, according to the firms. The elastomer can be used in such applications as food and pharmaceutical packaging, seals, stoppers, baby bottle teats, transparent shoe soles and rubber parts, protective gloves and other technical molded goods.
R.D. Abbott is developing a health care line of products, and the addition of these Cariflex lines will give it four distinct materials to offer to the sector, said Tom Jenkins, the firm's executive director of business development. The others include Dow Corning Corp.'s silicones for health care, Arlanxeo's halobutyl products and TSE Industries' MillaMed line of medical-grade millable polyurethane compounds.
He said the Cariflex material was one area where R.D. Abbott didn't have an offering, so it went out and pursued it. "We talked to Kraton and developed a relationship and they've agreed to allow us to handle the product in North America," he said. "Now we can go to fabricators and OEMs and we have the elastomers that will handle more than 90 percent of thermoset elastomer applications in the health care industry."
Philippe Henderson, Kraton global market development director for Cariflex isoprene rubbers, said the firm established state-of-the-art polyisoprene production at its Belpre, Ohio, plant in 2011 that allows it to make the Cariflex products.
"We anticipate that R.D. Abbott's focus on rubbers, true technical service capabilities and quality of service will increase value for our customers throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico," Henderson said.
Jenkins said health care represents a growing area of R.D. Abbott's business. "We've traditionally been industrial based," he said. "Within the staff, we have a lot of health care experience, and we're trying to leverage that."
R.D. Abbott also was appointed as Cancarb Ltd.'s sales agent for Thermax-brand N99 and N991 lines for non-tire applications in the U.S. and Canada. The distributor previously represented the Thermax thermal carbon black products in the Western U.S., said Scott Kearns, R.D. Abbott chief operating officer. The expanded agreement took effect Jan. 1.
"Our expanded partnership with R.D. Abbott will provide Cancarb with a more comprehensive approach to customer sales and new application development," Cancarb President Ken Tate said. "R.D. Abbott with a coordinated approach between technical application assistance and sales is uniquely positioned to help Cancarb customers in the coming years."
Kearns said that as part of the agreement R.D. Abbott also will represent the furnace black lines of Cancarb parent company Tokai Carbon Co. Ltd.
He added that R.D. Abbott's extensive sales staff will give the Cancarb lines more exposure to potential customers. "We have more than 3,000 distinct customer activities in a year," Kearns said. "Because of our portfolio, it gives us an opportunity to talk to customers about more things. That helps our supplier partners have more time with fabricators or customers, who may have a need in one area, but often more comes out of the discussion."
R.D. Abbott also reached two other agreements.
It inked a revised distribution deal with 3M for select fluoropolymers and additives accounts within the U.S. 3M offers FKM Type I, II, III, and IV, as well as FFKMs for extreme temperature and fluid resistance. The new agreement took effect April 1.
It also signed a pact to distribute Lord Corp.'s In-Mold Bonding adhesives in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The IMB-brand adhesives bond platinum-cured liquid silicone rubber with "unprecedented strength" to various substrates, the companies said.
R.D. Abbott said it and Lord have a partnership that dates back 68 years.