CompositesWorld

AUG 2018

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NEWS 37 CompositesWorld.com Styrene Reduction Update 10 years, we've designed new polymers and formulations that overcame these issues. As it stands today, we have a broad range of MACT- compliant products meeting the requirements of composites applications. Our products are being used in industries ranging from automo- tive interiors to cured-in-place pipe for resi- dential neighborhoods." Voeks says the group's R&D team will continue working closely with customers to understand their needs, to reduce or eliminate styrene and to develop technical solutions based on cost vs. performance metrics. He adds that managing the supply chain for alternative monomers is critical for security of supply and cost. Doug Gries, market development director – Engineered Composites & USCAN at A. Schulman Inc. (Fairlawn, OH, US), says the company has received specific requests from automotive and aerospace customers — espe- cially those in the EU — to develop high-perfor- mance products with low outgassing, reduced VOCs and low odor. "In response to changing customer and market demands, A. Schulman has recently launched its Quantum LYTEX SF line of styrene-free, epoxy-based SMC," adds Gries. "Anticipating further changes in the market, we're planning to launch a global initia- tive to develop and commercialize an entirely styrene-free portfolio comprising standard products and custom formulations to meet evolving application needs for lower styrene and other VOCs. Plus, we also plan to offer a range of low-styrene formulations with lower VOCs. We pride ourselves on our innovation and willing- ness to listen to what customers and markets are telling us. We're committed to working with our supply base on raw materials that help move the industry in a desirable direction." "Styrene is a major commodity chemical and, as a raw material, it is very important to the composites industry, although its use in composites is, overall, a very-small part of the overall styrene market," explains AOC's Lindberg. "Industry has used styrenated composites for decades and styrene has been heavily studied in terms of its overall health effects. It's noteworthy that many of these studies are relatively positive toward styrene." He notes that so far, the EU and Prop. 65 regs haven't caused significant changes in how AOC goes to market, but if future regulations require different formulations, then the company will be ready. "Almost 20 years ago, when the potential Replacing styrene in resins and sizings Work by resin suppliers and compounders to reduce or remove styrene and other VOCs from their polymers has had an impact on fiberglass suppliers, too. Owens Corning Co. (Toledo, OH, US) reports that during the past 10 years, it has significantly reduced VOCs and styrene in its facilities. Further, its fiber sizings, which these scanning-electron micrographs show, make the difference between poor (top) and good (bottom) bonding of fiberglass and the resin matrix. These sizings were reformulated and have been styrene-free for seven years. Source | Owens Corning Sample 2 Sample 4

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