Industry News

Hexamoll® DINCH - The Success Story Continues

Published on 2006-10-19. Author : SpecialChem

  • Capacity in Ludwigshafen will be increased to 100,000 metric tons per year
  • European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approves Hexamoll® DINCH

BASF will increase the capacity for its specialty plasticizer Hexamoll® DINCH in Ludwigshafen to 100,000 metric tons per year. Hexamoll DINCH is an innovative plasticizer that was especially developed for use in sensitive applications. Demand for Hexamoll has continuously increased since the market introduction in 2002 leading to full utilization of the 25,000 metric tons per year production plant in Ludwigshafen. The additional capacity will be ready for commercial production in the second quarter of 2007.

Up to now the main focus has been on toys and medical applications, but in the future food contact applications such as cling film or sealants will also gain importance. At the beginning of October, Hexamoll DINCH received a positive review from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in addition to the existing recommendation from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). Hexamoll® DINCH is regulated under the global migration with 60 mg per kilogram food. This makes Hexamoll DINCH suitable for a wide range of food contact applications such as cling film, tubes or sealants.

"We are able to support our customers' growth plans with the capacity expansion. The EFSA approval is an important milestone for the global development of Hexamoll DINCH", said Dr. Albert Heuser, President, of the Petrochemicals Division of BASF Group. "This approval, although at a European level, is also important to all our customers globally. It is further confirmation of the excellent toxicological profile of Hexamoll DINCH for example for our customers in the toy industry in Asia, the toy production center of the world. Since they export their products throughout the world, regulatory issues in Europe or NAFTA have a major impact on their business", added Heuser.

For a number of years plasticizers for PVC have come under increased criticism as a cause for possible health risks in specific applications. Consequently, BASF started in 1997 the research project "Sustainable Plasticizers" in order to find alternative products for applications such as toys, medical devices and food contact applications.

From the start Hexamoll DINCH was subject to a large number of toxicological tests. In total €5 million has been spent on toxicological testing, making Hexamoll DINCH the best researched plasticizer on the market. All tests confirmed the excellent toxicological profile of Hexamoll DINCH, underlining its exceptional suitability for sensitive applications. Furthermore, Hexamoll DINCH is also remarkable for its extremely low migration rate that has also been confirmed during comprehensive tests by the Fraunhofer-Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging.

The simple switch

The benefit for customers is twofold: the excellent toxicological profile is complimented by a very good technical performance. Hexamoll DINCH can be processed by existing machinery without any problems. "The switch to Hexamoll DINCH is easy and only requires some slight adjustment of existing recipes and process parameters. Our global technical team is ready to support our customers with the switch and where necessary to consult directly at the local production site" said Heidrun Goth, Global Marketing Manager for Hexamoll DINCH.

Hexamoll DINCH also complies with the new EU-regulation on the restriction of phthalates in toys and children articles and is already widely used by the toy industry in Europe and Asia. The toy producers Schleich, Simba Toys, Annette Himstedt and John are among the customers that already rely on Hexamoll DINCH as an alternative . Also Primmer Nutricia, one of the leading producers of sets for enteral nutrition now uses exclusively Hexamoll DINCH from BASF. "In view of the concerns surrounding some plasticizers, we wanted to be the first in our sector to completely eliminate these substances. After all, with Hexamoll DINCH a safe alternative is now available", highlighted Dagmar Dehler, responsible for marketing at Pfrimmer Nutricia. More and more customers are inquiring about Hexamoll DINCH for other flexible PVC-products, like garden hoses or for sensitive non-PVC-applications like modeling material for children.

Multiple awards

The increased success in the market has also brought special recognition: Hexamoll DINCH has received two innovation awards this year. Hexamoll DINCH was awarded externally the ICIS Publications Innovation Award for Best Product Innovation 2006. In addition Hexamoll DINCH has received the BASF Innovation Award 2006. Dr. Stefan Marcinowski Member of the Board and Research Executive Director highlighted the importance of the award: "With the BASF Innovation Award, the Board of Executive Directors rewards inventions that have been successfully turned into innovations. I am excited about the ICIS Award as the external acknowledgment of our Hexamoll DINCH."

Plasticizers are used to give flexibility to normally rigid and brittle PVC, thus opening up a large number of applications in consumer goods. Plasticizers are essential for a large number of everyday-products like flooring, cable insulation, blood bags and cling film. BASF is one of the leading global plasticizer producers with a production capacity of more than 500,000 tons per year, offering its customers the widest range of standard and specialty products based on their individual requirements.

Source: BASF

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