Nouryon has revealed the location selected for the construction of the new Expancel expandable microsphere production facility in the US announced last year.
The new plant, to be built in Green Bay, Wisconsin, will allow the company to better serve its customers in the US and globally, according to Sylvia Winkel Pettersson, Director Expancel at Nouryon.
“This investment is an important step to meet the fast-growing demand for this product,” she said. The first step will be the start of initial production in Green Bay in October 2020.
“This will be followed by further increases over the next several years,” she added.
Expancel expandable microspheres are used by customers as a lightweight filler and blowing agent to make end products lighter and obtain different surface effects. They also reduce costs and environmental impacts by requiring less raw material.
Developed in the mid-1970s, the concept is a simple one, consisting of a small thermoplastic microsphere that encapsulates a gas. When heat is added, the microspheres expand up to 60 times their original size without increasing in weight. This offers advantages such as lower density and better insulation, with key end-use markets including the automotive, construction, packaging and mining industries.
“The ability to create lightweight products with Expancel, such as polymer parts and coatings, presents tremendous growth opportunities as customers drive to implement improved sustainable solutions,” said Johan Landfors, President of Technology Solutions at Nouryon.
This investment in a new plant complements Nouryon’s production sites in Brazil, China and in Sundsvall, Sweden. It follows a €20 million project at the latter site completed just last year that significantly raised the production capacity for Expancel.
Nouryon is the leading producer of expandable microspheres worldwide.