PENSACOLA, Fla.—Nylon 6/6 customers need to pull in their belts another notch as markets for the engineering plastic just got tighter.
Ascend Performance Materials has declared force majeure on shipments of its nylon 6/6 resins, compounds and industrial fibers due to a July 10 fire at its Pensacola complex.
Ascend claims the Pensacola site contains the world's largest production facility for adipic acid, a key monomer for nylon 6/6 resins. The site also has a hexamethylene production plant, one of Ascend's two plants making the comonomer for nylon 6/6. The other is located in Decatur, Ala.
In an email, Ascend spokeswoman Alison Jahn confirmed the force majeure declaration.
"At this point we are assessing when our polymerization units will restart," Jahn said in the email. She provided no further details on the declaration or the fire.
While nylon 6/6 customers scramble for supply, replacements for the polymer used in automotive, appliances and a host of other industries, are under heavy scrutiny. One firm touting a modified nylon 6 as a replacement is Akro-Plastics GmbH, a compounder based in Germany.
The Pensacola fire occurred about 4 a.m. on July 10 in one of the site's vapor stacks, according to local reports.
"A fire at our Cantonment, FL site occurred this morning," Ascend tweeted at 6:36 a.m. on July 10. "The fire was put out immediately and there were no injuries."
According to PetroChemWire, Ascend sent a letter to customers advising them that it will "allocate polymer and fiber in a fair and equitable manner among its own internal requirements and Ascend's contract customers."
Ascend is one of the world's largest fully integrated manufacturers of nylon 6/6.