News briefs - 3/11/2008

Ashland announces new European distribution agreements; PlastiComp names Zhehui Liu development scientist; GLASSFILLERS.COM names U.S. distributors; AOC announces price increase; EuPC issues Q&A document on bioplastics and degradability

Ashland Composite Polymers (Dublin, Ohio), a business group of Ashland Performance Materials, a division of Ashland Inc., has announced two new distribution agreements in Europe for DERAKANE epoxy vinyl ester resins. The agreements, which go into effect March 15, are with T&T Metalli e Compositi in Italy, and Romar-Voss in the Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxemburg) market. The move replaces the current distributor for DERAKANE resins in those regions. These agreements extend the existing relationships between Ashland, T&T Metalli e Compositi and Romar-Voss, which currently serve composite fabricators in their respective regions as distributors for Ashland’s full line of polyester, vinyl ester, acrylic and phenolic resins, premium gelcoats and low-profile additives.

PlastiComp LLC (Winona, Minn.) has announced that it has hired Zhehui Liu as development scientist. Liu will help PlastiComp further advance its Pushtrusion direct long fiber reinforced thermoplastic (DLFRT) technology and Complēt long-fiber reinforced thermoplastic (LFRT) pellet technology. With more than 12 years experience in polymer chemistry, Liu has developed materials and processes for many industry leaders, including Boeing, Nova Chemicals, Chinese Petrochemical, and Solvay. PlastiComp says Liu has become a research and development expert of polymer blends, composites and nanocomposites, formulation, compounding, extrusion and processing.

GLASSFILLERS.COM, an operating unit of Vitro Mineral Inc. (Atlanta, Ga.), has announced the appointment of a national network of distributors to promote, warehouse and sell the new GLASSFILLERS.COM product line of LA Glass fillers. LA Glass powders are functional fillers and extenders produced from uniform chemistry low alkali glass powder from renewable sources. The following distributors will promote the LA Glass products to the coatings, plastics, adhesives, sealants and rubber industries: Harry W. Gaffney & Co. Inc. (Hatboro, Pa.) covering Virginia to New England; CheMarCo Inc. (Greenville, S.C.) covering the southeast U.S.; Walsh & Associates Inc. (St. Louis, Mo.) covering states west of the Mississippi River (also Colorado and Utah); Maroon Inc. (Avon, Ohio) covering the Midwest including Western Pennsylvania and and Western New York; TCR Industries Inc. (La Palma, Calif.) covering the western U.S.

AOC LLC (Collierville, Tenn.) has announced a $0.07 price increase on all resins, gel coats, pigments, colorants and additives for the United States, Canada and export shipments for Latin America, effective for all shipments on and after Monday, April 7, 2008.

The European Plastics Converters (EuPC, Brussels, Belgium) trade group has published a questions and answers document on bioplastics and degradability. The brochure provides answers to the commonly asked questions on the subject and follows the preparation of a detailed internal industry position paper issued to EuPC members in 2006. Bioplastics are generally considered to be types of plastics derived from natural resources such as wood (cellulose), vegetable oils, sugar or starch and the aim of the document is to give clear and concise information in order to clarify precisely what is meant by the terminology used and to correct misinformation which has entered into circulation about this family of materials. The document also will help the reader understand the relationship between bioplastics and biodegradation, positioning biodegradation within the wider context of degradation as a whole. Visit for more information.