BASF is expanding the production capacity for its engineering plastic Ultraform® at the Ludwigshafen site. The expansion from roughly 41,000 to 55,000 metric tons per year will be completed in the first quarter of 2008.
“Thanks to this increase in capacity, we can grow along with our Ultraform customers in Europe while meeting some of the growing demand from Asia as well,” explains Willy Hoven-Nievelstein, head of BASF’s Business Unit Engineering Plastics Europe. “Annual market growth of this plastic is about four percent in Europe and more than six percent in Asia, involving consumer goods as well as capital goods,” according to Hoven-Nievelstein.
Ultraform®, chemically a POM (polyoxymethylene, also referred to as polyacetal), is processed directly into technical components such as cogwheels, ball bearings or clips. However, fuel pumps, loudspeaker grilles, toy parts and the brewing units of many commercially available coffee machines are likewise made of Ultraform. The reason behind this wide spectrum of applications is that the material combines good sliding-friction and resilience behaviour with high resistance against chemicals and very good mechanical properties.