AkzoNobel (Amersfoort, The Netherlands) and OM Group (OMG, Cleveland, Ohio, USA) reported on Sept. 5 that they have signed an exclusive worldwide distribution agreement for OMG’s Borchi Oxy Cure accelerators. The agreement is limited to the curing of unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins in the composite industry.
Borchi Oxy Cure is an alternative to cobalt in the curing of unsaturated polyester resins and is based on a patented Iron ligand technology.
Steve Hunt, sBU director XTP for AkzoNobel Functional Chemicals, explains: “OMG’s Borchi Oxy Cure products are an important addition to our Nouryact Cobalt replacement portfolio. The partnership with OMG perfectly fits our sustainable growth ambitions and strengthens our position as the world’s leading supplier of thermoset curing systems.”
“We are extremely excited about our partnership with AkzoNobel,” adds Mike Stanko, VP and general manager for OMG Advanced Organics business. “Their expertise and global distribution network will help us bring the Borchi Oxy Cure product range to customers in the composite industry. At the same time, it allows us to fully focus on our core markets.”
The Borchi Oxy Cure Iron ligand technology was originally developed by Unilever for detergents and has recently been acquired by OMG.
Anticipating increasing environmental pressure on cobalt, both AkzoNobel and OMG have developed sustainable alternatives. Cobalt salts are an essential part of the curing mechanism of unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins. Induced by REACH, cobalt salts like cobalt octoate are under evaluation by ECHA. This evaluation has already initiated two reclassifications of which the latest took place last month and is a reclassification to “reproductive toxin cat. 2” under CLP. The evaluation process by ECHA is not yet closed and further reclassification might take place.
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The facility, which employs about 50 people, manufactures unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) used in a variety of end markets, including transportation and construction.