Emerald Kalama Chemical announced that it has expanded the range of chemistries available in its portfolio of high performance plasticizers. VITROFLEX™ B, based on advanced polymeric technology, has been tailored for performance in today’s environmentally friendly polysulfide sealants.
According to Scott Neuheardt, vice president and general manager for Emerald’s plasticizers business, this launch is the first major milestone for the organization’s recently established business development team, which is focused on growing the business through strategic solutions- and opportunity-focused initiatives.
“We have become increasingly adept at continuous innovation and market-focused solutions in the past couple of years as a result of establishing a business development team that is laser-focused on market strategy and taking us into new areas. Coupled with our global applications lab, our organizational capabilities for market responsiveness and innovation are greater than they have ever been. This launch demonstrates exactly what we set out to accomplish by building this team, and we expect many great things to come,” Neuheardt said.
Julie Vaughn, global business development director, explained that polymeric chemistry represents a significant growth opportunity for Emerald.
“We work closely with our customers and partners and also scrutinize industry trends and regulatory changes. This allows us to identify major challenges and future needs, then develop solutions such as VITROFLEX B that address them,” Vaughn said. “Polymerics are a new and exciting technology for us, and the platform will serve as a springboard to new applications and technologies in high-opportunity areas, such as vinyl, adhesives, sealants, coatings and films.”
VITROFLEX B is a non-phthalate plasticizer that has been optimized to enhance performance characteristics in the “B” (catalyst) side of two-component polysulfide sealants. It provides formulators with a solution to replace plasticizers under increasing regulatory pressure, without sacrificing value or performance.
Polysulfide sealants are widely used in construction and transportation applications, especially insulated glass window seals. They provide the best overall balance of performance and value in these applications compared to other sealant chemistries, including excellent elasticity, adhesion, solvent resistance and weathering resistance.
Conventional plasticizers used in polysulfide sealant applications, such as benzyl phthalates and certain chlorinated paraffins, are increasingly subject to regulatory pressure and restrictions. Specifically, the chlorinated paraffins are classified according to their chain length, with more concern in the low- and medium-length categories and less concern in high-length categories. Short-chain chlorinated paraffins have been classified as probable human carcinogens and as PBTs (chemicals that are persistent, bioaccumulative and have toxicity to the environment and/or to humans). Medium-chain-length varieties are under scrutiny in a number of countries due to concerns over potential bio-accumulation in adipose tissue and persistence in the environment.
VITROFLEX B is expected to be a more environmentally friendly, safer, REACh-compliant alternative to chlorinated paraffins. It also enhances many critical performance characteristics, achieving faster hardness development, improved lap shear strength and excellent flexibility, adhesion and elongation. It is non-settling due to its high viscosity stabilization and provides superior compatibility for greater formulation stability over time.
Emerald is a leading global producer of benzoic acid, benzaldehyde and related chemistries, as well as a key producer of antioxidants and accelerators. In addition to its new VITROFLEX brand, Emerald’s portfolio also includes K-FLEX® non-phthalate plasticizers and low-VOC coalescents; Kalama® flavor and fragrance ingredients; Kalama® and Purox® benzoates, food-grade antimicrobials and intermediates; Good-Rite® antioxidants and intermediates and Cure-Rite® accelerators. Emerald has manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Europe and a worldwide sales and distribution network.