Arkema launches new range of bio-sourced polyamides

The Rilsan T range of polyamide 10.10 resins, derived from castor oil, is an alternative to other long-chain polymers that, when reinforced with glass fiber, contributes to part rigidity, thermal stability and impermeability when exposed to gas and oil.

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Arkema (Colombes, France) has expanded its specialty polyamides offerings with its trademarked Rilsan T range, a new bio-sourced polyamide 10.10 processed from castor oil. Manufactured at its Serquigny facility in France, it reportedly benefits from unrivaled raw material integration, boosted by the recent acquisitions of Chinese companies Casda Biomaterials Co. Ltd. (Hebei), a world leader in sebacic acid derived from castor oil, and Suzhou Hipro Polymers Co. (Jiangsu), which also produces polyamides from castor oil (trademarked Hiprolon PA 6.10, PA 6.12, PA 10.10, PA 10.12), as well as the recent purchase of a stake in Ihsedu Agrochem, a subsidiary of Jayant Agro in India which specializes in the production of castor oil.

Arkema says the new PA 10.10 is the only polyamide to rank between PA 6.10 and PA 6.12 on the one hand, and PA 10.12, PA 12 and PA 11 on the other, all of which are already part of Arkema’s product range. Over and above the well-known properties of long chain polyamides (chemical resistance, low moisture absorption, mechanical properties), Rilsan T is said to afford an excellent degree of rigidity (in particular when reinforced with glassfiber), thermal stability, permeability to petrol and gas, and processability, yet the resin system consists of up to 100 percent renewable carbon.

Rilsan T also benefits from what sets Arkema’s says sets its polyamides apart in terms of technical possibilities (e.g., exclusive multilayer solutions for transportaton markets) and services (it qualifies for exclusive Rcycle service, which covers the collection, sorting and recycling of waste, and the development of a range of recycled polymers).

The various PA 10.10 grades already available cover most applications in the field of transport (monolayer or multilayer brake lines for trucks and fuel lines for cars), industrial pipes, cables, and injection molded parts for sports or electronics applications.

"This innovation has been developed to meet the most pressing needs of our customers, who are looking for a credible alternative to high performance polyamides, but with specific thermomechanical properties. Thanks to our full integration, from raw material to polymers, we provide a solution that suits our customers’ medium to long term capacity and competitiveness need," explains Lionel Guerdoux, managing director of the Specialty Polyamides business unit.

With its three monomer plants, four polymerization plants, and four R&D centers on three continents, Arkema’s high-performance polyamides business, which includes Rilsan in particular, says it works with its customers around the world to fulfil their specific requirements.

With global brands like Rilsamid 12 and Pebax, unique products manufactured from renewable resources like Rilsan 11 polyamide, Rilsan HT (High Temperature), Pebax Rnew and Platamid Rnew, and leading capacities in polyamides 11, 12 and 10, Arkema believes its specialty polymers business stands out in the industry by providing its customers with global coverage and superior regional service from production facilities and research centers in Europe, Asia, and the U.S.

A global chemical company and France’s leading chemicals producer, Arkema is building the future of the chemical industry every day. Deploying a responsible, innovation-based approach, we produce state-of-the-art specialty chemicals that provide customers with practical solutions to such challenges as climate change, access to drinking water, the future of energy, fossil fuel preservation and the need for lighter materials. With operations in more than 40 countries, some 14,000 employees and 10 research centers, Arkema generates annual revenue of €6.4 billion (nearly $8.4 billion) and holds leadership positions in all its markets with a portfolio of internationally recognized brands.