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All-In-One Solutions, Made in the Middle East 

SONGWON Industrial Group, a world leader in the production of polymer stabilizers and other plastic additives, has established a presence in the Middle East in order to better serve customers in the region. Its state-of-the-art facility in Abu Dhabi produces one pack systems, SONGNOX® OPS additive blends designed to facilitate the processing of plastic. Not only must the properties of the numerous products that go into these blends be suitably balanced but the latest technologies must also take account of increasingly stringent environmental regulations. 

Why plastics need to be stabilized
Since it is not inherently resistant to light, cold or heat, plastic has to be stabilized to prevent degradation. Specially developed plastics stabilizers protect the polymer during processing, ensuring that plastic end products retain their physical properties during use and prolonging their useful life.
SONGWON offers a comprehensive range of stabilizers for plastics in a wide variety of blends and physical forms that facilitate handling and application. 
Polymer stabilizers include antioxidants, UV absorbers, hindered amine light stabilizers (HALS), heat stabilizers, and blends of these.

Antioxidants and binary blends
Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that can damage polymers and cause degradation. Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidation of other molecules, thereby terminating this reaction. Numerous types of antioxidants are used in industry.
Phenolic antioxidants (AOs), also known as primary antioxidants, are highly effective, non-discoloring stabilizers for organic substrates prone to oxidation, for example plastics, synthetic fibers, elastomers and waxes. They act as free radical scavengers and serve primarily to protect the finished product. 
Phosphite or secondary antioxidants decompose peroxide, protect the polymer and ensure color retention of oxidation-prone organic polymers, especially during processing.

Thioester antioxidants decompose and neutralize hydroperoxides, which are formed by polymer oxidation. Thioesters are used to provide protection against heat aging and to preserve color. Aminic antioxidants are like the phenolic antioxidants also primary antioxidants. They are highly effective radical scavengers and mainly used in polyol or lubricant applications. Binary blends, which are a combination of primary (phenolic) antioxidants and a secondary (phosphite) antioxidant, are designed to stabilize polymers during processing and throughout use.

Optimum protection against damage through UV radiation 
To protect plastics against degradation from UV light, the energy from the UV light can either be absorbed or neutralized.
UV absorbers (UVAs) provide protection by absorbing energy from UV radiation and, through a reversible chemical rearrangement, dissipate the energy as heat. 
Hindered amine light stabilizers (HALS) protect polymers from degradation by UV light by neutralizing their effect. HALS regenerate during neutralization and continue to offer protection throughout the life of the end product. They also act as primary antioxidants with low color generation. Monomeric HALS offer effective surface protection, while polymeric HALS protect the core of the material. Hydrobenzoates are free radical scavengers that in some cases also act as UV absorbers. They can act synergistically with HALS to provide superior performance.
HALS and UVAs can be used together to optimize UV protection. 

One pack systems (OPS) facilitate compounding
SONGWON’s multi-component additive blends are designed to help manufacturers manage the dosing and processing of additives. SONGNOX® OPS can be tailored from a wide range of products to meet individual needs. Homogeneous and highly accurate in composition, the pre-dispersed pellets can be easily processed into a polymer matrix. OPS help to optimize compounding processes, improving dosing accuracy, minimizing dust, increasing process reliability and reducing quality control and logistics costs.

Thanks to their high consistency, OPS can be of particular value in a wide range of industries and applications where end-use specifications are critical. Additionally, they do not require the use of the carrier materials often needed where separate powder additives are combined. Advanced technical knowledge is required for the formulation and application of OPS.

A vast array of applications
Specially high-performance stabilizers are needed in the automotive industry, where parts made of polypropylene (PP), polyurethane (PUR) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) as well as other plastics used inside and outside vehicles are exposed to extreme conditions of light and heat. These include seats, roof linings, dashboards and steering wheels, as well as fenders, headlamp covers and other exterior parts. Antioxidants also prolong the life of oils, lubricants and fuels, both on the shelf and in use. Used in small quantities, they reduce viscosity, prevent deposits and foam formation, and increase resistance to temperature fluctuations. 
In the building and construction sector, stabilizers are used to strengthen plastics such as acrylics, polystyrene, polycarbonate, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polyvinyl chlorine (PVC) as well as composites for cables, roofing and doors, and insulation materials. In this, as well as numerous other industries, stabilizers strengthen and prolong the life of adhesives and sealants, helping to keep joints air- and water-tight, for example. 

Agricultural films and plastics designed for applications such as greenhouses, tunnels, mulches and irrigation systems require protection against high UV radiation, extreme temperatures and chemicals used for crop protection. HALS and UV stabilizers, for instance, preserve plastic irrigation pipes, reservoirs, and greenhouse covers and foil. 

Plastic coatings, which are used in numerous industries, are made more durable with stabilizers, protecting surfaces made of numerous different materials from scratches, abrasion and the detrimental effects of light, heat and moisture, such as color degradation and corrosion. Ground-breaking technological advances in additives enable the fast-developing electrical and electronics sector to use plastics in numerous, widely varying applications, ranging from cables and computers, washing machines and microwave ovens to photovoltaics. They can help store energy for longer, increasing the efficiency of liquid crystal display screens, for example. Plastic components make household appliances such as vacuum cleaners lighter and easier to maneuver, and help reduce energy consumption. The use of plastics in small devices such as smartphones has increased as a result of advances in polymer technology. Poor conduction of electricity, inherent flame retardancy, resistance to mechanical shocks and stress, flexibility and durability make plastic ideal for household applications and power supplies.

In addition to its aesthetic aspect, packaging can today be given important functional properties. State-of-the-art additives help to protect both the packaging and its contents. The use of antioxidants in plastic food packaging, for example, can allow a reduction in the use of conservation agents in the contents.
Latest developments and trends In the plastic additives sector, there is strong focus today on performance improvements, on cost saving, and on fulfilment of increasingly stringent regulations, such as emissions.

Advances in stabilization products and technologies have enabled plastics to be used much more widely. The higher performance achieved through additives allows plastic to replace metal, glass and other materials in applications such as automotive, electronics and consumer goods.  
Thanks to their light weight, flexibility and processability, plastics can enable substantial cost savings, both in processing and in use.
Emissions depend on the quality (purity) and degradation of the polyolefin, and the solubility and inertness of the additives used. Emissions from PP are one of the biggest challenges faced by manufacturers today. In response, resin producers have introduced low-VOC products. However, these grades are more expensive than standard products and do not always meet profitability requirements. One way to reduce VOC emissions is to slow down the pelletization step after the polymerization of the PP, but this increases the cost of the resin. SONGWON is developing new experimental processing stabilizers for PP that are both cost efficient and reduce VOC, allowing resin producers to run the pelletization step faster. This makes low-VOC PP resins more profitable, adding value for resin producers and compounders, who can maintain a low VOC level while increasing throughput rate. 

SONGWON industrial Group
Founded in 1965 and headquartered in Ulsan, Korea, SONGWON Industrial Group has grown to become a leader in the development, production and supply of additives and specialty chemicals and the second largest manufacturer of polymer stabilizers worldwide.

Expansion in the Middle East, production in Abu Dhabi 
SONGWON’s plant, part of Songwon Polysys Additives LLC, in the Khalifa Industrial zone of Abu Dhabi (Kizad) was opened in January 2016. Like SONGWON’s plants in USA, Germany and China, the facility is dedicated to the manufacture of one pack systems (OPS) and benefits from full backward integration of key raw materials as well as its own quality control laboratory. 

Kizad, which lies between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and is easily accessible by sea, air and road, is strategically located to provide a localized service encompassing commercial, technical and logistical support. The plant supplies customers across the entire Middle East and beyond. The Middle East region is one of the fastest growing markets for polyolefins and already a major consumer of OPS. With an initial capacity of 7’000 metric tons per annum, the Abu Dhabi facility was planned and constructed in such a way as to make expansion easy. It places SONGWON in a stronger position to meet the increasing demand for OPS products in the region, allowing the replacement of imports with locally produced products. “Our OPS customers in the region are pleased to have a locally-based partner with a global reputation for quality, service and technical competence that can offer them the security of supply they demand,” says Peter Fleming, Regional Director, MEA. In addition: “Our presence here has attracted the attention of a few industrial heavyweights who have expressed an interest in working with us on new development projects. This would not have happened if SONGWON was a remotely operating OPS player.” Hans Daniels, Global OPS Manufacturing Manager / General Manager SPA, explains future plans: “MEA is a key market for our polymer stabilizers strategy and a key growth region for OPS in particular. The expectations for the plant are very good and in order to prepare for the future, we have started to look at possibilities for expanding capacity and further investment.” 

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