K.D. Feddersen Ueberseegesellschaft become the official distributor for the polyketone produced by the Korean-based Hyosung Corporation. (Image: Hyosung)
K.D. Feddersen Ueberseegesellschaft has become the official distributor for the polyketone produced by the Korean-based Hyosung Corporation.
The Hamburg-based ‘polymers and compounding technology’ division of K.D. Feddersen, which specialises in the distribution and marketing of raw materials, became the official distributor of the polyketone in November 2015.
“We distribute these raw polymers in Europe and Latin America in the three standard types of high-flow, medium-flow and high-impact", explained Lukas Musial, Head of Polymers and Compounding Technology at K.D. Feddersen Ueberseegesellschaft. "The focus is clearly on the extrusion industry with an emphasis on compounding.”
Since 2000, when the petrochemical company Shell discontinued its production of polyketone (PK) that was formerly known under the brand name Carilon, the demand for this material was low. Until recently, many companies that used to process the material were not able to find an adequate alternative and had to stock up on remaining quantities that were still available.
Nevertheless, efforts have been made in South Korea in recent years to bring back this interesting polymer. In 2011, the Hyosung Corporation made its first step with a pilot plant and later took a regular production line with a capacity of 50 kt / year into operation in Ulsan, Korea in mid-2015.
Aliphatic polyketone has some interesting properties that cannot be matched by any other polymer in this combination. For instance, the resilience of PK is significantly higher than that of polyoxymethylene (POM) and polyamide 12 (PA 12). The stiffness of the unmodified PK is 1,500 MPa and therefore on par with PA 12, however, the terpolymer of PK only melts at a temperature of 220° C, which is 40° C higher than that of PA 12.
The resistance of PK is one of the greatest advantages of this material. This is how PK can resist corrosion due to mild acids that would normally decompose long-chain polyamides such as PA 12. PK even is resistant against halogenated hydrocarbons and aldehydes. Only very strong acids and alkalis are able to corrode this resistant structure.
Furthermore, PK is also characterised by a high barrier effect against many low molecular media such as oxygen or fuel. It also has excellent tribological properties.
In addition to its very good technical properties, the polymer is also characterised as climate-friendly due to its chemical composition. As a monomer, PK uses carbon monoxide (CO), which is harmful to the environment. At full capacity, the plant in Korea can annually process 25,000 mt of harmful carbon monoxide.