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Additives drive automotive plastics in new directions

SpecialChem / Mar 19, 2003

Growth in the use of polypropylene in vehicles and the increasing demands on the overall performance of plastic materials made by the manufacturers are two of the factors driving the increased use of plastics additives in the automotive sector. Jennifer Markarian reports on the use of plastics additives in compounds for the automotive market. The higher growth speciality resins, including nylon, polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terepthalate (PET), polycarbonate (PC) and PC blends, consumed only $2 billion in additives, with almost $1.5 billion of this going into PP. The growing use of PP in automotive applications, with its use of antioxidants, light stabilizers and coupling agents is a major driver for additive growth, adds Mr. Constable.Overall demands on performance of plastic materials in automotive applications, and consequently of plastic additives, has increased as vehicle manufacturers' expectations have moved from a five year to a ten year lifetime, notes Jim Botkin, NAFTA marketing manager for the automotive industry segment at Ciba.

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