With demand for safer, more environmentally-compatible materials in smart phones, tablets and laptops showing a steady increase, Clariant steps up its support for the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry with capacity expansion and a pioneering manufacturing-efficiency advance for non-halogenated flame retardants.
The specialty chemicals expert is adding a third production unit for its Exolit® OP non-halogenated flame retardants at its site in Hürth-Knapsack, near Cologne, Germany. It is the latest phase in Clariant’s on-going capacity expansion for its phosphinate-based flame retardant product line, which has become a well-established halogen-free alternative to brominated flame retardants for engineering thermoplastics and other polymers in electric and electronic equipment.
The start-up of the third production facility, scheduled for 2013, will achieve a tripling of the baseline capacity of Clariant’s original Hürth-Knapsack plant, which has been producing Exolit OP since 2004.
Since expansion plans for Exolit OP were first communicated in Q4 2010, a Phase One debottlenecking at Clariant’s existing full-scale commercial plant at Hürth-Knapsack successfully created extra capacity in mid-2011. The completion of a second industrial-scale unit at the site (Phase Two) by mid-2012 will double effective capacity, prior to the third unit coming on-stream in 2013.
In Asia, the manufacturing hub of electronics, Clariant gave key players from the E&E sector a first glimpse of its pioneering efficiency-boosting non-halogenated flame retardants for epoxy resins. Intended for printed circuit boards, Exolit EP 150 and EP 200 enable manufacturers to use only a low dosage of flame retardant to reach the desired fire protection effect, cutting flame retardant use by up to 50% compared to conventional flame retardants.
“Innovation and expansion in core businesses are two important elements in Clariant’s four pillar strategy to grow our profits and, in this case, to support the steadily increasing global demand for more environmentally compatible products,” comments Christian Kohlpaintner, member of Clariant’s Executive Committee. “The capacity expansion and the introduction of enhanced solutions address the unprecedented demand for our Exolit portfolio and strengthen our presence in the highly attractive electrical and electronics markets in Asia.”
Clariant steps up innovation and expansion strategy in flame retardants