Mitsui Chemicals has announced its decision to set up a new production facility for Milastomer TPE at the Ohio plant of its US subsidiary Advanced Composites, Inc. There will be one production line; capacity is said to be 6,000 t/y. Construction start is scheduled for January 2019, completion for June 2019. Operations are expected to commence in October 2019.
Mitsui Chemicals currently owns production locations in Japan, Europe and China. The company said that the new facility will address growing demand in North America and will serve as the company's fourth production base worldwide. Mitsui Chemicals America, Inc. will sell Milastomer in North America, while Advanced Composites, Inc. will handle production.
Advanced Composites, Inc. is a joint venture of Mitsui Chemicals America, Inc. (59.8 %); Prime Polymer Co. Ltd. (3 %); Mitsui & Co. Ltd. (27 %); and Marubeni America Corporation (10.2 %). The company has been established in June 1986.
Milastomer is a thermoplastic vulcanizate elastomer (TPV), derived from olefin-based rubber and polyolefin resin. With its low density, light weight and good mouldability, the resin is marketed by Mitsui as a substitute for vinyl chloride and vulcanized rubber. Applications include auto parts, building gaskets, toothbrushes, golf club grips, and more. Global demand is projected to rise, primarily for applications such as automotive interior covers, weather strips, air bag covers and steering bellows. Demand for use in automotive interior covers is expected to expand especially in North America.