PARIS—3M is set to bring significant new fluoroelastomer capacity online in response to increasing global market demand, according to Laurent Sportouch, the company's key account manager for elastomers in France.
"3M is building more FKM polymerization capacity to align with growing global demand," he said in a presentation at a recent French rubber industry meeting, organized by the CFDP (Centre Francais du Caoutchouc et des Polymeres).
This includes the addition of a new reactor at the company's existing production plant in Decatur, Alabama, Sportouch describing this as a "a significant investment that shows 3M's ongoing commitment to customers."
Scheduled to begin operating in the first quarter of 2021, the expansion will mark a "step-change" in 3M's total global capacity for fluoroelastomers, he added, without giving further details..
The presenter went on to highlight a new 3M range of peroxide-cured Dyneon fluoroelastomers—terpolymers of vinylidene fluoride, hexafluorofluoropropylene and tetrafluoroethylene, with cure-site monomer.
The materials were said to offer the highest fluorine-content of any 3M peroxide cured grade, at 20.1 percent. They also avoid the need for metal oxides in the curing process, thereby providing improved acid resistance.
Other features, he said, include excellent processing properties and a wider range of processability due to the ability to blend grades for optimal Mooney and fluorine content.
Target applications include automotive turbocharger hoses, valve-stem seals, fuel line hose, battery valves/seals, chemical & process gaskets, calendaring sheets, wire coatings and wearable devices.