Issue: Dec 2013


New generation POMs helping to reshape auto manufacturing and design



by Esther Francis


Next Generation of Fortron® PPS — Successful field
trials and tests demonstrate that new Fortron ICE grades
can help customers stay competitive by reducing cycle
times, scrap rates and overall production costs, as well as
improve flatness and enable easier demolding.
Global technology and specialty materials company the Celanese Corporation is celebrating 50 years of its flagship product, the Celcon®/Hostaform® acetal copolymer (POM) product line by introducing a new Hostaform XGC glass re¬inforced series for demanding structural applications. Celanese has also introduced its next-generation GUR® ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) - nearly 60 years since the engineered material was first introduced at K 1955. “We believe this new Celanese technology can deliver tremendous value to our customers across a broad range of applications,” says Christopher Davie, Celanese strategy and marketing director - GUR, Industrial, Medical and Composites. “For example, this breakthrough technology can help manufacturers of membranes and separators achieve superior material performance and processing advantages.” Recently, Celanese underwent a brand restructuring exercise which saw the company simplifying its brand architecture to capture in a single brand the full suite of Celanese technology, resources, products and solutions.

Automotive Industries (AI) asked Mark Rohr, chairman and chief executive officer, Celanese Corporation, what are the reasons behind the Celanese brand restructure.

Rohr: Last year Celanese started on a path to be a first-choice chemistry solution source. We established Global Sales and global Technology & Innovation teams to serve our customers better. Now, we are uniting our businesses under a global brand and identity: Celanese – The chemistry inside innovation. We expect this effort to improve customer understanding of our capabilities and knowledge and, over time, encourage broader discussions on how Celanese can better support them in reaching their goals and aspirations.

AI: What are some of the highlights of the new products/ technologies that Celanese is introducing?

Rohr: Celanese engineered materials are designed to help automotive OEMs and Tier suppliers optimize the balance of functionality, performance, aesthetics and cost via parts consolidation, cost reduction, performance, functionality, appearance, durability and recyclability. This year, at K 2013, Celanese introduced six new engineered materials based on proprietary technology that should be of particular interest to the automotive/transportation industry.

AI then asked Phil McDivitt, vice president and general manager of the engineered materials business at Celanese, what are some of the highlights of the company’s new Hostaform XGC glass reinforced series.

McDivitt: Our new Hostaform XGC POM series, which combines improved mechanical properties with a superior anisotropic shrinkage factor vs. other glass fiber reinforced resins, can give customers a competitive edge in innovative structural applications, such as window lift plates, gears and motor housings used in the automotive industry. In addition, Celanese introduced a Hostaform low permeation and toughened POM, Hostaform extreme toughened XT POM, and Fortron ICE (Improved Crystallization Evolution) PPS. Hostaform LPT POM is a cost-competitive alternative material solution that can perform in fuel systems -even those that use “advanced fuels.” And, our Fortron ICE grades provide all the known performance benefits of Fortron PPS plus unmatched processability, which opens up significant and new design spaces in the automotive industry. This next generation Fortron PPS, with improved productivity and properties, can help customers stay competitive by reducing cycle times, scrap rates and overall production costs, as well as improve flatness and enable easier demolding.

AI: What makes the new product so much better than the earlier variants?

McDivitt: The new series provides wider design latitude and offers features that clearly differentiate it from other short-glass fiber POM copolymers and homopolymers. Celanese also designed its Hostaform LPT POM injection molding and blow molding grades to deliver an unprecedented balance of impact and durability performance.

AI: Tell us about the improvements in Celanese’s GUR® ultra high molecular weight polyethylene.

McDivitt: Our next generation GUR UHMW-PE is capable of delivering a step change in both material performance and processing efficiencies. We believe this technology can deliver tremendous value to our customers across a broad range of applications. For example, it can help manufacturers of membranes and separators achieve superior material performance and processing advantages.

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