The PVC industry met in Dusseldorf, Germany, in March 2012 at the Applied Market Information (AMI) Ltd.’s PVC Formulation 2012 conference to discuss the market trends and the latest recipes to improve the environmental performance of vinyl compounds.

According to the report, VinylPlus, a European PVC industry organization, is driving many of the environmental initiatives in Europe and reported that in the 27 EU countries approximately 1 million tonnes of post-consumer PVC have been recycled, cadmium stabilisers have been phased out and lead stabilisers are scheduled for complete substitution by 2015. In addition more than 80 percent of plasticisers are now unclassified high molecular weight phthalates thus addressing many of the concerns that have affected the industry.

Dr. Josef Ertl, CEO of Vinnolit, has reviewed the business situation in Europe, reporting that the PVC market in Western Europe peaked at 6.5 million tonnes in 2007 and was just more than 5 million tonnes in 2011. At the same time the market in Eastern Europe has seen growth every year since 2005 except 2009 and has now reached approximately 1.2 million tonnes, according to the report.

As for the situation in 2012, Dr. Ertl indicated, “Attenuation of the economic recovery has put a damper on PVC demand” and the situation could move in either direction depending on business confidence.

In the United States in 2010 nearly 50 percent of resin was used in extrusion according to the ACC, with 12 percent into siding, 6 percent into profiles and 3.5 percent into fence and decking. The report notes that Mark Lavach at Arkema also reviewed the formulation trends for rigid PVC in North America. Different sectors are regulated by different bodies, for example there is a code for profiles set by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, which is not taken up by all companies. For exterior PVC products one issue will always be weathering performance, for siding this includes the colour stability of new darker products. Some foamed products with are making inroads. Cost is a factor in every sector and foaming reduces material use.

At the same time in Europe, the 2010 PVC window profile market is estimated to be 2.5 million tonnes with Turkey the largest manufacturer at 590 ktonnes, followed by Germany at 580 ktonnes and Russia at 443 ktonnes. The use of stabiliser type varies by region: the EU countries have cut lead (Pb) use to 30 percent in profiles, compared to 50 percent in the whole of Europe, 97 percent in Asia, 80 percent in South America and 93 percent in the Middle East. In contrast the United States is 100 percent tin stabilizers. Calcium-based alternative stabilizers require co-stabilizers to ensure color hold.

According to the report, the biggest trend in PVC compounding in 2012 is the move toward renewable additives and environmentally friendly ingredients. The primary focus is on optimizing the sustainability of the industry.

The next AMI global networking event, PVC Formulation 2013, will take place March 12-14, 2013 at the Hilton Hotel in Dusseldorf.


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