Improved materials based on ABS and thermoplastic elastomers have expanded the product mix at Avient Corp.
An Artisan-brand pre-colored ABS has a metallic effect that can help electronics manufacturers eliminate secondary painting to reduce VOC emissions, time and cost, officials with Avient in Avon Lake, Ohio, said. The new material offers a high-gloss metallic look and enhanced scratch performance.
"Customers want the look and feel of paint without the extra steps," Senior Marketing Manager Russ Danielson said in an interview with Plastics News. "Interest in that area continues to grow."
A new, nonblooming Versaflex-brand TPE allows brands and OEMs in consumer electronics to achieve a "silky-soft" overmolded surface without surface blooms, officials said. The new material also offers UV and stain resistance to endure everyday wear and tear. Overmolding onto polycarbonate and PC/ABS with a smooth surface also eliminates the need for secondary coatings, officials added.
Avient also recently commercialized ColorMatrix Optica PET-brand blue toners and colorants, which enhance recyclability of PET packaging. The new materials work to correct and reduce yellowing or color variation that can occur during recycling. Optica PET also can provide improved bottle mechanical strength; reduced stoppages, blowouts and scrap rates; and reduced energy consumption during bottle blowing, officials said.
Other new product developments at Avient include:
• Trilliant Healthcare compounds with longer device life. The materials guard against cracking from disinfectants.
• PKE polyketone compounds that can replace nylon 6/6 and acetal. Officials said the materials have a lower carbon footprint than nylon and they perform well in chemical and fuel contact, and high-moisture environments.
• ReSound R recycled content TPEs with more than 80 percent recycled content.
Danielson said that although product development during the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging in some ways, it hasn't affected Avient's rate of new product introductions.
"Demand is skyrocketing for recycled content," he added. "People want to know where their products are coming from."
To meet demand growth, Avient earlier this year added a new production line to support health care customers in Singapore. The line makes specialty pre-colored, medical-grade Mevopur-brand materials used in medical devices and pharma packaging.
Avient also expanded production for color concentrates in Vietnam to address double-digit growth in that country, particularly in packaging, construction and electronics.
With sustainability in focus, Avient officially opened a new CycleWorks facility in Pogliano, Italy, late in 2020. The new lab and demonstration plant, which mimic real-world recycling, will conduct chemistry testing and evaluations to produce data for use in development of masterbatch formulations.
"Circularity is a goal for Avient customers in many industries and is affecting how the company directs its resources now and in the future," officials said. They added that the firm "is also committed to bringing more and better sustainable solutions to market to help customers achieve their circularity goals."
Like many firms, Avient has been dealing with the impact of COVID-19 since early 2020.
"The pandemic has affected our customers and our associates in so many ways, and their resilience and adaptability have been truly inspiring," officials said. "We applaud our manufacturing associates who have kept production lines going so that Avient could continue to support the COVID-19 recovery effort by supplying essential advanced materials to manufacturers of critical medical equipment and devices."
Avient changed its name from PolyOne on July 1, the same day it completed its acquisition of the masterbatch concentrates business of Clariant AG. The firm employs more than 9,000 worldwide and posted sales of $3.24 billion in 2020.
Avient is one of the world's largest concentrate makers and one of North America's largest compounders and resin distributors.