Dow Elastomers expands products, facilities
Cleveland, Ohio – Dow Elastomers is setting an entirely new course for its Nordel EPDM operations with three new Nordel products and two new production facilities, according to company executives.
"We've been on a journey for the past five years," said David Mitchell, Dow global marketing director, performance plastics. "It's an exciting time for us."
Mitchell was interviewed at the International Elastomer Conference in Cleveland 9-12 Oct, where Dow Elastomers – a business unit of the newly formed DowDuPont Material Science – exhibited the new Nordel grades along with other company products.
The new, extra-fast-cure (XFC) Nordel grades will enable auto parts manufacturers and brand owners to make higher-performing weatherstrip parts while meeting consumer demand for lighter weight, safety and aesthetics, according to Dow.
The new Nordel grades are: 6555 OE, for class A manufacturing of sponge weatherstrip profiles; 6565 XFC EPDM, for clcass A manufacturing of dense/microdense weatherstrip profiles; and 6530 XFC, for class A manufacturing of corner injection molds.
The Nordel XFC grades are low-gel polymers that provide the optimum balance of surface sealing, part strength and improved elastic and compressive properties, the company said. It is used for sealing applications for car doors, glass and windows, trunk seals, and hood seals, it said.
Production of the new XFC grades is via a "first-of-its kind" molecular catalyst technology, which exceeds the performance of both Ziegler-Natta and metallocene EPDM technologies, according to Dow.
Compared with Ziegler-Natta, advanced molecular catalyst technology offers a 20-25% reduction in overall energy use, a nearly 40 % reduction in CO2 emissions, and an on-average 50% improvement in overall environmental impact, the company claims.
The XFC grades will be manufactured at a new facility in Plaquemine, Louisiana that will be ready for production by December, according to Mitchell.
The Plaquemine plant will produce 440 million pounds of EPDM, Mitchell said. It is one of four facilities DowDuPont Material Science plans to open in the Gulf Coast between now and the end of 2018, he said.
On 21 Sept, Dow opened world-scale ethylene and polyethylene facilities in Freeport, Texas, according to the company.
An EPDM unit is scheduled to open in early 2018, and a unit for the production of high-melt index specialty and conventional polyolefin elastomers will go online in late 2018, it said.
"Our technology [offers] multiple options available," said Seema Karande, Dow associate director for elastomers, electrical and telecommunications TS&D. "We can tailor the molecular architecture for each customers. There are a lot of different paths we can take."
DowDuPont was officially created 1 Sept by the merger of Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co.
DowDuPont Material Science will offer both Dow and DuPont products, and customers will see no change in service, according to Mitchell.