March 12, 2019
Novel technologies offer safer chemistry profile and enhanced performance for polysulphide sealants
Emerald Kalama Chemical announced the launch of two new, proprietary innovations in its Kalama® VITROFLEX® range of benzoate plasticisers introduced last year: Kalama VITROFLEX A90 and Kalama VITROFLEX A99. The new products are used in the “A” (polymer) side of two-part polysulphide sealants, providing formulators with high performance, environmentally friendly alternatives to existing technologies.
“As Emerald grows, we look for opportunities to innovate and expand into new areas where we add value. Our business development team is focused on identifying opportunities and challenges within specific markets and then commercializing new innovations that address those gaps. For example, with polysulphides, the existing solutions have a number of pain points for manufacturers, including performance, regulatory status and long supply chain. The [Kalama] VITROFLEX brand is the direct result of a strategic initiative to minimize or eliminate those issues,” said Scott Neuheardt, vice president and general manager for Emerald’s Industrial Specialties business.
Kalama VITROFLEX A90 and Kalama VITROFLEX A99 have been optimized to achieve excellent processing characteristics, pot life, development of mechanical properties and adhesion. They also exhibit low volatility. These properties are critical to ensure proper bonding and maintenance of the seal, as well as low fogging in insulated glass, which represents the largest application for polysulphide sealants.
In addition to insulated glass, polysulphide sealants are used in applications such as construction joints and sealants, transportation fuel tanks and secondary (spill) containment. In these applications, they outperform alternative chemistries and provide excellent elasticity, adhesion and maintained sealing characteristics in demanding environmental conditions, including exposure to UV, petrochemicals, moisture, mechanical stresses and extreme temperatures.
Kalama VITROFLEX A90 and Kalama VITROFLEX A99 are complementary technologies to Emerald’s Kalama VITROFLEX B polymeric plasticiser, which was introduced in 2018 as a solution for the “B” (catalyst) side of polysulphide sealants. Kalama VITROFLEX A90 is Emerald’s fundamental offering for the A side of polysulphides, while Kalama VITROFLEX A99 maximizes purity to meet the highest performance requirements of specialty applications.
“Together, the [Kalama] VITROFLEX products represent a complete package option for both sides of polysulphide sealants. This is important because they offer formulators the ability to replace chemistries that are being squeezed out by regulatory and consumer pressure—benzyl phthalates and certain chlorinated paraffins. At the same time, they can achieve better performance than what they had before, so it’s a win from all sides,” said Julie Vaughn, global business development director for Emerald’s Industrial Specialties business.
Kalama VITROFLEX plasticisers are REACh compliant, produced in Europe and enable polysulphide formulators to replace plasticisers under scrutiny or regulatory restriction. This includes chlorinated paraffins, which present concerns related to bio-accumulation and, in the case of short-chain lengths, have been classified as probable human carcinogens.
Emerald is a leading global producer of benzoic acid, benzaldehyde and related chemistries, as well as a key producer of antioxidants and accelerators. In addition to Kalama VITROFLEX plasticisers, Emerald’s portfolio also includes K-FLEX® non-phthalate plasticisers, modifiers and coalescents; Kalama® flavor and fragrance ingredients; Kalama® and Purox® benzoates, food-grade antimicrobials and intermediates; Good-Rite® antioxidants and stabilizers and Cure-Rite® accelerators. Emerald has manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Europe and a worldwide sales and distribution network.