Houston, Texas – Kraton Corp. is building a ‘semi works latex unit’ in Paulinia, Brazil, set for start-up in the second quarter of 2020, the company has announced.
The facility is designed to operate in ‘direct connect’ (DC) mode or using solid polymer feedstock (non-DC mode), Kraton said 18 March.
In DC mode, the unit will pump polymer materials directly from the onsite commercial polymerisation reactor.
This, said Kraton, offers “tremendous flexibility” for development projects based on polymers supplied by third parties, or sourced from Kraton's anionic polymerisation operations.
The statement did not make further reference to operation of the facility in the non-DC mode.
The goal is to accelerate the company’s product-development efforts, said Philippe Henderson, Kraton's market development director for Cariflex polyisoprene products.
"We can reduce the cost and complexity during the early stages of new product scale-up activities and commercialisation," said Henderson.
The platform will allow for more efficient transition from lab-scale pilots and full-scale commercial production.
Kraton, thereby, aims to speed up the “flexible commercialisation” of Cariflex IR2GL1 Latex – billed as a next generation thermoplastic elastomer latex.
The product, Kraton claims, offers purity, strength and softness while reducing type I and type IV allergies frequently encountered in dipped goods.
"We believe the Cariflex technology has high growth potential," said Henderson.
Kraton recently announced a strategic review of its Cariflex business, with a view to a possible sell-off.