Posted in | Design and Innovation

Polypropylene Replaces Styrene Acrylonitrile in Brazillian Washing Machines

Milliken Chemical, a division of Milliken & Company, today announced that Suggar, a leading appliance maker in Brazil producing 2,500 washing machines a day, is using polypropylene (PP) clarified with Millad® NX8000 to replace styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) in three of its most popular washer models: the Top Max 5.0, the Viva, and the Viva Max 6.0. By upgrading the existing washer top doors to PP clarified with Millad NX8000, which delivers previously unattainable levels of clarity, Suggar has provided the transparency that customers desire while significantly improving impact resistance for better durability. Further, due to lower density, the clarified PP is equivalent in cost to the SAN resin.

“Clear plastic has superior aesthetics and imparts a premium appearance to our washing machines,” said Marcelo Emrich Soares, manufacturing director, Suggar. “When we initially switched from opaque plastic top doors to transparent doors, consumers were enthusiastic and sales went up. But SAN could not deliver the impact resistance we needed for this part, which receives constant handling. With Millad NX8000 clarifier, polypropylene provides the beautiful appearance customers seek, combined with practical performance in everyday use.”

The next generation in Milliken’s range of world-leading industry standard polypropylene clarifiers, Millad NX8000 offers a step change in haze reduction compared to existing clarifiers. Its typical 50 percent reduction in haze vs. the current industry standard makes highly transparent polypropylene an achievable reality. For an upscale, sophisticated look, Suggar colors the clear resin with a smoke tint before injection-molding the parts.

Further, Millad NX8000 clarifying agent makes polypropylene an even more appealing choice through performance benefits including increased material strength and rigidity, and improved heat and chemical resistance. Compared to SAN in the Suggar application, PP clarified with Millad NX8000 provides Notched Izod impact that is up to five times higher, making it much more resistant to dropping, banging, and other handling impacts.

To produce PP clarified with Millad NX8000, Milliken worked closely with Nova Petroquimica, one of the biggest polypropylene producers in South America with 875 kt/year capacity in Brazil, to help formulate the resin. To establish the proper parameters and conditions for manufacturing the parts, a team from Milliken and Nova Petroquimica ran molding trials initially at Nova’s Innovation Center in São Paulo, Brazil, and later at Suggar’s facilities in Belo Horizonte.

“This joint effort involving the manufacturer, resin supplier, and our technical team successfully created high-performance, attractive top doors that add important consumer appeal to Suggar’s washing machines,” said Jeff Jones, Millad global market manager, Milliken Chemical. “Our breakthrough Millad NX8000 clarifier has significantly expanded the range of applications suitable for polypropylene, allowing manufacturers to capitalize on its performance without the traditional drawback of low clarity. These washing machine doors are a great example of the huge value Millad clarified PP can add to consumer products.”

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