By Liz White, ERJ staff
Baton Rouge, Lousiana-Albemarle Corp. is expanding production of its mineral-based flame retardants, Martinal, a fine precipitated aluminum trihydrate (ATH) and Magnifin, a high-purity magnesium hydroxide. Both the products are used in a range of elastomeric parts, according to Albemarle.
As part of the expansion, Albemarle said it will turn a former zeolite plant at its Pasadena, Texas, site into a plant to make ATH, by 2006. The plant's projected capacity is 25 kilotonnes, which Albemarle said boosts its global ATH production more than 20 percent and will serve the needs of its existing customers in North America.
To meet growing global demand for high-purity magnesium hydroxide flame retardants, Magnifin Magnesiaprodukte GmbH & Co KG-a joint venture between Albemarle and RHI Group-has started to double capacity to 20 ktpa at the JV's Breitenau, Austria, site in two stages, also to be completed in 2006.
Martinal is used in wire and cable and various other plastics and rubber applications because of its recyclability and smoke-suppressant properties, said Albemarle's statement. Specially formulated Magnifin magnesium hydroxide powders are used in a wide range of polymer applications, especially thermoplastic materials and elastomers requiring high processing temperatures-above 200Â°C. Albemarle describes typical applications as energy & LAN data cables, automotive wire & cable, engineering thermoplastics (connectors), and construction foils.