AKRON, OH - The engineering team at Emerald Polymer Additives and Nitriles, a business group of Emerald Performance Materials, has commissioned its new pilot plant to expand the group’s range of Nychem™ specialty nitrile and butadiene emulsion products. The new plant, which is located at the group’s Akron, OH, facility and includes a 100-gallon pilot reactor and advanced research and development (R&D) facilities, was commissioned in October following a rigorous process validation.

Emerald has been ramping up nitrile-related operations over the past several years in response to increasing demand for existing and new products that outperform other polymers. Coupled with other recent upgrades to the business group’s production capabilities, including process controls upgrades for the group’s Cure-Rite® line of rubber accelerators, Emerald Polymer Additives and Nitriles is expanding the range and scope of capabilities for a global market. The pilot plant will enable the group to facilitate a more diverse range of end-use applications by supporting innovations in new emulsion compositions, including emulsions that fall outside the traditional lattices of butadiene, acrylonitrile and styrene monomers.

“Development of customized solutions has been one of the strengths of our organization that we have continued to build on in recent years,” said John Zuppo, Vice President of Commercial Services for the Polymer Additives and Nitriles business group. “The pilot plant adds tremendous value to the Nychem product line by ensuring we can collaborate directly with customers on a wider range of new technology.  We are already seeing very positive responses from our customers to the expanded possibilities to tailor next-generation products.” 

The Nychem specialty emulsions line is used for a variety of niche applications, including paper, abrasives and tape, adhesives, specialty coatings, coated fabrics, coal tar sealing binders, and leather. For many decades, the line was sold under the Hycar® brand. Emerald rebranded the product line following the divestiture of the business from its predecessor company.

The Nychem line is produced at the group’s ISO-9001 Akron facility and includes nitrile, SB and ABS latex emulsions.