Paris - 3M is set to bring significant new fluoroelastomer capacity on stream in response to increasing global-market demand, according to Laurent Sportouch, the company’s key account manager Elastomers France.
“3M is building more FKM polymerisation capacity to align with growing global demand,” he said in a presentation at a recent French rubber industry meeting, organised 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 on-going 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%. 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 processabilty 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 wearables.