2011-05-17

Simple alternatives

Phthalate-free plasticizer and bonding agents from LANXESS

Specialty chemicals group LANXESS offers a range of products enabling interested users of phthalate-based additives to switch to alternative safer products. As well as the established plasticizer Mesamoll, these include the new product Mesamoll TP LXS 51067 and the equally phthalate-free bonding agent TP LXS 51099. The Functional Chemicals (FCC) business unit will be presenting its products at the Chinaplas 2011, which will be held this year in Guangzhou, China from May 17 to 20.

LANXESS worldwide has recorded above-average growth with its high performing plasticizer Mesamoll since 2005. This product is used by many customers as an alternative to phthalate-based plasticizers. “We expect this trend towards phthalate-free additives to accelerate,” says Hak Leong Chok, Sales Director of Business Unit Functional Chemicals for Greater China, India and ASEAN region, head of the FCC business unit. “Our Mesamoll plasticizer business is growing by around 15 percent a year and is thus already outperforming the plasticizer market overall.”

Phthalate-free Mesamoll TP LXS 51067 is a fast-solvating product for PVC manufacture – particularly for the production of floor coverings and wall coatings. This additive will help, among other things, to replace the plasticizers dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP). Both of these are regarded as toxic for reproduction and are subject to considerable limitations on use. “To make Mesamoll TP LXS 51067 a good alternative, we combined our active Mesamoll ingredient – alkane sulfonic acid ester of phenol – with another plasticizer,” says Hak Leong Chok. “This component is also phthalate-free and has even been approved for food contact applications.”  

Phthalate alternatives are also in demand in the field of PVC bonding agents. To date, isocyanates dissolved in phthalates have frequently been used to ensure optimal bonding of PVC plastisols to technical fabrics made, for example, from polyester fibers. DBP has mostly been used for this.

Users can deploy the new LANXESS product particularly easily. The effectiveness and required quantity are virtually identical to the standard phthalate containing material, Bonding Agent 2001, making a 1:1 exchange possible in many cases. Among other applications, PVC bonding agents are used in the manufacture of billboards, dinghies and bouncy castles/moonwalks.  

The Functional Chemicals business unit is part of the LANXESS Performance Chemicals segment, which achieved total sales in fiscal 2010 of EUR 1.98 billion.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.1 billion in 2010 and currently around 15,500 employees in 30 countries. The company is at present represented at 46 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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