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Dow Introduces HYPOD™ Polyolefin Dispersions

Published on 2007-07-13. Author : SpecialChem

Midland, MI -- The Dow Chemical Company introduced HYPOD™ Polyolefin Dispersions, propylene- and ethylene-based dispersions that combine the performance of high-molecular-weight thermoplastics and elastomers with the application advantages of a high-solids waterborne dispersion. These dispersions are the first in a family of products made possible by Dow's proprietary BLUEWAVE™ Technology, a mechanical dispersion process technology that enables the production of waterborne dispersions of polymers that are not possible via emulsion polymerization.

Unlike typical thermoplastic conversion processes and traditional waterborne products, HYPOD™ Polyolefin Dispersions provide converters an opportunity to introduce olefinic performance benefits to latex applications. This creates the potential for converters to reduce the number of process steps during conversion, lower systems costs, develop entirely new product offerings, and positively address solvent-related environmental and regulatory issues.

HYPOD™ Polyolefin Dispersions offer the excellent heat stability, low-temperature flexibility, and water and chemical resistance of polyolefins; as well as the application benefits of waterborne systems, such as thin coatings and the ability to formulate with other additives and fillers. These combined benefits create the opportunity for new, differentiated coatings, binders, sealants, adhesive layers, and foam coatings for a variety of substrates.

According to Bob Ranger, Dow business development manager, HYPOD™ Polyolefin Dispersions can help customers improve existing applications and create new products. "The introduction of this new, innovative product underscores Dow's strategy to invest for growth in its performance businesses. By choosing the right polymer and surfactant, customers can tailor-make dispersion systems appropriate to their needs," Ranger explained.

"For example, HYPOD™ Polyolefin Dispersions can provide benefits to carpet manufacturers by allowing them to apply a thermoplastic backing using conventional coating equipment," he said. "A thermoplastic backing offers a wide variety of potential benefits such as lighter weights, ease of recycling, excellent physical properties, and differentiation in the marketplace. Polyolefin dispersions are candidates for many end uses including residential and commercial broadloom, carpet tile, synthetic grass, cushion/pad, and thermo moldable applications."

HYPOD™ Polyolefin Dispersions can be applied via traditional low-viscosity coating techniques including printing/coating processes, dipping, frothed foams, and spray applications. Compared to extrusion techniques, the dispersions can offer thinner coatings and higher line speeds using existing converting equipment. They also provide converters the opportunity to coat complex geometries, coat in pattern, coat at low temperatures, and penetrate porous and fibrous webs.

Dow is selling and developing HYPOD™ Polyolefin Dispersions in several markets globally, including paper coatings; carpet backing; architectural / industrial coatings and construction products; fabric coating and textile impregnation; footwear; flexible packaging; and glass coatings. In addition, Dow has signed licensing agreements with Michelman of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, and Paramelt B.V., headquartered in Heerhugowaard, The Netherlands, to deliver polyolefin dispersions enabled by BLUEWAVETM Technology from Dow, in selected market segments.

"Polyolefins have always been very effective materials, but because of their aversion to water, they have not been offered in high molecular weight, high solids waterborne dispersion," said Mikael Dahlström, Paramelt business manager. "Where application via printing or coating techniques was required, formulators had to compromise on polymer selection or were limited to high-melt-index materials with performance substantially below extrusion grades. With BLUEWAVETM Technology from Dow, we're able to help coating designers completely optimize target properties without the need to compromise for dispersiblity."

BLUEWAVETM Technology is a high-shear mechanical process that works by taking traditional thermoplastic polymers and elastomers and breaking them up into submicron particles. The resulting dispersion can be made with very low surfactant levels while still maintaining a solids content of up to 60 percent. Low surfactant content enables customers to minimize surfactant effects, and maintain a very high level of product performance. When applied to a substrate and heated, the polymer melts and the water evaporates, forming a coating that is thinner and more cost effective for a variety of applications. For example, while extruders can achieve a 12-µm-thick polypropylene film, polyolefin dispersions yield a 4-µm film with good adhesion properties.

"This technology addresses some of the most important issues and opportunities facing brand owners and converters in the flexible packaging market," explained Bob Poletti, vice president of marketing for Michelman. "Not only can it be used to tailor-make dispersion systems that can meet various customer challenges, it is also a highly sustainable alternative to traditional techniques. The combination of the benefits of polyolefins and waterborne systems optimizes performance, while the lack of solvents involved in polyolefin dispersion production makes them environmentally preferable."

About Dow

Dow is a diversified chemical company that harnesses the power of innovation, science and technology to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company offers a broad range of products and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping them to provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. Built on a commitment to its principles of sustainability, Dow has annual sales of $49 billion and employs 43,000 people worldwide. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

About Michelman

Michelman, with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Belgium and Singapore, is a global producer of performance-enhancing barrier, functional, and decorative coatings for flexible film packaging, paperboard, and corrugated boxes; and additives and modifiers for many industries including industrial coatings, inks, composites, and construction products.

About Paramelt B.V.

Paramelt B.V. is Europe and Asia's leading manufacturer of specialty wax blends and a fast growing producer of industrial adhesives. From sites in The Netherlands, Belgium and China, Paramelt provides a complete product offering for the converting industry. The Paramelt range encompasses a comprehensive suite of hot melt, water and solvent based adhesives, wax blends, and water-borne heat seal and barrier coatings for paper & board, film and foil.

Source: Dow

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