The Dow Chemical Company continues to drive growth and demonstrate its strong patent position through a number of licensing programs and technologies that are gaining momentum on a global scale and providing customers with next-generation industry standards and solutions.
Dow PP Licensing & Catalysts
The UNIPOL™ Polypropylene Process for manufacturing polypropylene (PP) resins, for example, brings the power of Dow’s market-leading gas-phase process technology with its high quality SHAC™ and CONSISTA™ Catalyst and Donor systems to resin producers worldwide.
Capitalizing on strong growth in polypropylene demand, Dow has signed four licensees in 2012, which would create another nearly 1,500 KTA polypropylene capacity by 2015. Resins produced by UNIPOL Polypropylene Technology from Dow account for 17 percent of global polypropylene output and enable producers to make resins that improve the performance of other types of plastics, or to offer polypropylene resins with better clarity, stiffness and impact strength.
“The decision to grow Dow Polypropylene Licensing & Catalysts despite the Company’s sale of its global polypropylene resins business in 2011 was the right decision,” said Tracy Cleckler, global commercial director, Dow Plastics Licensing & Catalysts. “We have reached record sales and EBITDA in 2012, while maintaining our 100 percent repurchase rate on catalysts for new licensees since 2000, which demonstrates how our innovation strategy is meeting market needs for operational reliability and new levels of advanced product capabilities.”
The business unit has also broadened its innovation reach beyond its UNIPOL PP technology, including the licensing of its catalyst technology to producers in liquid loop processes. Earlier this year, Dow signed an agreement with W.R. Grace & Co. to develop new catalysts for liquid-phase polypropylene production using one of Dow’s non-phthalate internal donor technologies.
Thin Foamed Polyethylene Films
Providing packaging manufacturers with another option to enhance their sustainability efforts, Dow and MuCell Extrusion LLC recently announced the two companies will exclusively license Dow’s thin foamed films patent family. This partnership connects Dow’s formulation expertise with MuCell’s strong process background for a bundled one-source proposition that will significantly streamline the development process.
Foaming films are an excellent choice for a more sustainable package, reducing the usage of resin by 10 – 20 percent, and are widely used in applications such as pigmented and/or printed packaging for consumer packaged goods as well as industrial films.
“Through this agreement, both companies are demonstrating their commitment to create superior foamed products that have less impact on the environment,” said Greg Bunker, associate marketing director, Dow Performance Packaging. “The results will help our customers address their sustainability platforms and develop low environmental impact technology.”
Earlier this year, Dow and MuCell announced a similar partnership where the two companies agreed to exclusively license Dow’s patent family on flat sheet resin technology.
Polymeric Flame Retardants
The power of Dow’s scientific leadership and the reach afforded through the licensing process have also fueled a transformation within the polystyrene foam insulation market. Dow’s groundbreaking and award-winning Polymeric Flame Retardant solution is quickly becoming the new, global industry standard.
“Dow applied its polymer expertise, as well as its competency in environment, health and safety modeling to find a new flame retardant solution the entire polystyrene foam industry could use,” said Inken Beulich, senior R&D manager, Dow Building Solutions. “Dow’s polymeric solution meets the stringent building and construction energy efficiency codes and extensive fire safety performance standards, while offering a superior sustainability profile. Further, as a result of the manufacturing/marketing licenses, this revolutionary technology is now available to the polystyrene foam insulation industry worldwide.”
Dow’s Polymeric Flame Retardant is poised to be the next generation industry standard flame retardant for use in both extruded and expanded polystyrene foam insulation applications globally, and has been honored as a 2012 R&D 100 winner, was runner-up in The Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards, and earned the 4th annual Michigan Green Chemistry Governor’s Award.