Ferro Corporation's (NYSE: FOE) Engineered Polymer Products (EPP) business has introduced several new products that cut costs or provide enhanced performance to end-use products.
New Gapex(R) HP products
These new high performance, chemically coupled fiberglass-reinforced polypropylene compounds provide 15 to 30 percent higher tensile strength and rigidity than Ferro's standard Gapex compounds. These attributes allow the use of lower glass loadings without sacrificing performance when compared to traditional Gapex products. In addition, with Gapex HP products, it is possible to offer equivalent performance at slightly higher or equal glass loadings, and a lower cost per pound and cost per cubic inch when compared to traditional long-glass products. The products also have better molding properties with lower scrap rates. Gapex HP products are colorable, UL-listed, and are ideal to use as replacements for structural and metal parts in appliances, seating, automotive under-the-hood, and other applications. Glass reinforcement levels range from 20 to 50 percent in the product family.
Glass- or mineral-filled reclaimed polypropylene
Ferro has developed a line of recycled products aimed at keeping glass- and mineral-filled polyproylene out of landfills and making it into usable materials for less demanding, economically-driven applications. These include non-structural automotive under-hood parts, shipping skids, flower pots, and outdoor decorative items. Products are available with glass or mineral levels ranging from 20 to 40 percent, in black only.
Cost-effective white color concentrates
Ferro has formulated a new, more cost-effective product line of white color concentrates in response to customers' needs for high-volume applications such as appliances and packaging. The products provide the same physical and mechanical properties and meet the same color standards as Ferro's traditional white colorants. Compared to the traditional colorants, the new products show no noticeable difference in color, brightness, or opacity in injection molding applications where the part is greater than .065 inches thick; variations of up to 10 percent may occur in thinner applications. The new white color concentrates are tailored to match customers' needs and can be highly loaded to minimize usage levels.
Anti-microbial additive for color concentrates
Ferro has expanded its color concentrates additive line with an organic anti-microbial that enables manufacturers to add prevention of fungal and bacterial growth to their plastic products during processing. This can reduce odor and cleaning needs for dishwashers, refrigerators and other appliances, housewares, wastebaskets, storage bins, dumpsters, and hospital and medical equipment. The additive has NSF and FDA regulatory approvals for food contact. It can be incorporated into Ferro's full range of colorants, including special effects and tints, and can be processed under normal injection molding and extrusion conditions with temperatures of less than 600EsF.
Ferro EPP is a one-stop source for mineral- and glass-filled compounds, color concentrates, and thermoplastic polyethylene (TPE) products. EPP serves a broad range of industries, including large and small appliances, automotive parts, commercial trucks, power sports vehicles, housewares, floorcare, liquid handling, medical equipment, food packaging, disposable utensils, synthetic cork, lawn and garden, power hand tools, sports and recreation, wire and cable, and computer peripherals. Its products are available from plants in the United States, Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, and The Netherlands.