Arkema divests acrylics business to Trinseo

Having shopped around for most of 2020 to divest its acrylic business consisting of the Plexiglas brand in N. America, France- based Arkema sold to Berwyn, – PA based Transeo for $1.36 billion.

UHMW-PE capacity in U.S. increased by 15000 tons annually by Celanese

Celanese announced this massive increase to be completed by 2022.  Increased demand for  Electric Vehicle (EV) battery separator plates is driving this need. Celanese last increased capacity in 2017 and  this expansion will raise their capacity to 120,000 t/y. EV demand is estimated to grow 25% through 2025.

2020 North American Film & Sheet Manufacturers Ranking

Company                  $Sales (millions)

Inteplast Group         $2,690

DuPont Co.                 $1,250

Klockner Pentaplast $600

Primex Plastics         $600

Plaskolite                   $584

Spartech                     $400

SABIC                         $220

Aristech                      $175

Arkema                      $150

Simona America      $147

Rohm America        $130


Clear barrier applications growing

Delta Airlines announces ” 2600 plexiglass shields in place throughout your journey”. Plaskolite running at capacity although expecting slowing as market becoming saturated. Growing market is maintenance (using proper cleaners) and replacement of clear MMA & PC sheet.

Plaskolite adds antimicrobial coating to its barrier sheet -called AMGARD

Plaskolite just announced the availability of an antimicrobial coating for its MMA, PC and PETG sheet used in coronavirus barrier applications.  Trademarked AMGARD, it is touted as an additional safeguard to protect infection prevention applications from being contaminated especially when continual cleaning is not practical.

Resin Production and Pricing at halfway 2020

US resin production to fall 6% in 2020, rebounding in 2021 by increasing 13 %, year over year.

Prices of volume resins bottom out. Increased exports, higher prices for feed stocks, and a slow ramp up of production of industrial goods are projected  to stabilize  resin prices, Upward pressure on PE and PC seems certain. MMA and PC also rising due to unprecedented increased demand due to infection barrier applications.

Plexiglass with 2 ss’s helps defeat Covid-19

Much is reported, and in fact now being seen  universally,  about “Infection Protection” barriers and dividers made from “Plexiglass” as this pseudo mark is referred to.

Some background: Originally trademarked Plexiglas® in 1933 by Rohm und Haas in Germany, now owned by Arkema France.

First used as a glass substitute; one of the first applications was airplane windows.

Other trademarks for acrylic sheet are Acrylite®, Lucite®, Perspex® and Altuglas®

SIMONA acquires PMC ( Premier Material Concepts )

PMC is an extruder of sheet products for primarily thermoformed products made of ABS and PVC/Acrylic. and TPO and combinations of these materials. PMC was formerly PE company owned. Integrated with its Boltaron subsidiary this new SIMONA entity will continue its growth in the U.S., it’s second largest market.

Infection Protection…continued

In an interview with Forbes, Mitch Grindley, Plaskolite’s Executive Chairman, reports their ramped up production was extruding enough acrylic sheet to be used for over 200,000 barriers back in March-April, 2020 with current revenue up 6- fold while current deliveries running about 15 weeks

Lucite International has been supplying polymer at record volumes to Plaskolite.

Altuglas/Arkema meanwhile reports the increased revenue brings them up to full capacity but has no plans to expand and may still may be looking to divest its MMA monomer and sheet business.

Typical completed barriers are being marketed for an average of $250 uninstalled by companies such as Display World, E & T Plastics and Faulkner Plastics.