Solvin Develops Smart PVC Nanocomposite Material

Solvay announces today that its vinyls joint venture in Europe, SolVin, is launching NanoVin®, an innovative nanocomposite combining polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and nanoparticles of clay. This specialty product displays exceptional properties in terms of plasticity, viscosity and flow. These distinctive rheological properties make NanoVin® a so-called ‘smart material’, capable of sensing and reacting to changes in its environment (see Notes to the Editors below).

More specifically, NanoVin® is a ready-to-use product suitable for PVC paste applications, which require non-dripping and shear-thinning properties – meaning that the viscosity of the material decreases when a shear stress is applied to it and recovers a high value when the stress is released. These applications include for instance bodywork in the automotive industry as well as so-called thick coatings, such as artificial leather.

NanoVin® was developed at Solvay Research & Technology, the Group’s R&D campus in Neder-over-Heembeek (Belgium). The product is now entering into a pre-commercial phase, with a pilot production unit located in Jemeppe (Belgium).

“Research and innovation are feeding Solvay’s strategy of sustainable and profitable growth,” commented Michel Tchapian, Paste PVC Business Manager. “We succeeded in creating a smart material that opens up new commercial opportunities, thanks to our work on the combination of vinyl with nanoparticles of clay,” he said.

SolVin combines the competences of Solvay and BASF in the European vinyls sector. The synergies achieved in know-how and organization, the complementarities of product ranges as well as upstream integration have built up SolVin as a leader on the PVC and PVDC markets. The joint venture has operations in France, Germany, Spain and the Benelux countries and a total annual production capacity of 1.3 million tons of PVC, with nearly 2000 employees. Solvay owns 75% of SolVin and BASF, the remaining 25%.

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