By Michael Tolinski
Most new additives now can be viewed as tools for creating novel product features, rather than just for speeding up processing or protecting polymers from heat and light. And like the contents of a good toolbox, these tools are diverse in form and function. This yearly update focuses on some of the newest of these handy additives; many of them come from companies that have never before been covered in this annual report.
Continuing interest in inherently bacteria-resistant products has driven the release of a number of new antimicrobial additives. “Developed in response to hygiene concerns, antimicrobial agents have already proven effective in enhancing the freshness of end-products across a wide array of industries,” says Vaman Kulkarni, director of business development for Americhem Inc. Accordingly, the company has introduced its nShield™ antimicrobial masterbatches; their non-migratory, thermally stable formulation is said to inhibit discoloration, degradation, and odors caused by bacteria, when used in synthetic fibers and plastic articles such as artificial turf and automotive interior parts.
The effective agent in most antimicrobials typically is silver, a material known by ancient Romans to be antibacterial, notes the Swiss supplier Sanitized AG. There are different ways in which the silver ions can be delivered via an additives system. The company’s product is composed of small ceramic glass particles that encapsulate the silver; this reportedly permits higher transparency when it’s used in polyolefins, polystyrene, polyurethanes, and various coatings.