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New BlocBuilder™ Technology from Arkema allows for control over free radical polymerizations and facilitates the development of novel materials exhibiting tailored end-use polymer properties

Published on 2005-12-16. Author : SpecialChem

Arkema announced the introduction of its new BlocBuilder™ technology. The technology is based on novel and patented nitroxide-based compounds capable of controlling free radical polymerization. BlocBuilder™ technology is commercially available on a global basis. Arkema officials noted separately that Dr. Peter Callais, Applications Group Manager, will present a paper at the Pacifichem 2005 Meeting introducing and explaining BlocBuilder™ technology in detail.

BlocBuilder™ technology – a nitroxide-based reaction controller and a free radical initiator combined in one molecule.
Over the course of its development, Arkema studied hundreds of nitroxide compounds before identifying BlocBuilder™, a product that combines a nitroxide-based reaction controller and a free radical initiator in one molecule. Results to date have shown BlocBuilder™ initiator/controller to be suitable for a wide variety of monomers, including acrylates. In most cases, BlocBuilder™ technology is compatible with existing polymerization reactors and processes, so that capital investment is minimized.

BlocBuilder™ technology can provide notable benefits in a broad range of applications, including paints and coatings (resins and additives), impact modification, electronics, lubricant additives, personal care, adhesives and drug delivery. An astounding number of polymer structures and chemistries are possible with BlocBuilder™ technology.

Frank Tortorici, Worldwide Group President for Arkema's Organic Peroxides business, noted, “The strongest benefit of BlocBuilder™ technology is its ability to make acrylic block copolymers easily and rather inexpensively. The commercialization of BlocBuilder™ initiator/controller, the first product based on Arkema's Controlled Radical Polymerization technology platform, is consistent with Arkema's commitment to innovation. This technology will bring significant value to our customers in numerous industries, and we're excited about its commercial potential."

BlocBuilder™ Technology Solves A Major Problem – Controlling Free Radical Polymerization

Many companies have investigated the use of Controlled Radical Polymerization (CRP) for years as a means to develop novel copolymers with tailored end-use properties. Obstacles to CRP commercialization to date include discoloration, odor, metallic by-product removal, slow kinetics, and incompatibility with reactor metallurgy. Laboratory tests and customer trials using Arkema's BlocBuilder™ technology have proven the general ability of BlocBuilder™ technology to overcome each of the aforementioned obstacles.

Extending BlocBuilder™ Technology

Arkema's market approach for the BlocBuilder™ technology is a threefold strategy involving sales of three types of products: BlocBuilder™ polymerization initiator/controller for polymer producers; macro-initiators, which are intermediates in the production of block copolymers; and customized block copolymers developed for polymer formulators.

The next product based on BlocBuilder™ technology to be introduced by Arkema is the FlexiBloc™ living polymer, a telechelic polymer product that functions as a macro-initiator or prepolymer. The FlexiBloc™ living polymer has reactive end-groups, so customers further polymerize it to produce copolymers of various architectures.

Arkema can also create custom block copolymers for partners using BlocBuilder™ technology to create a custom formulation to meet specific needs. Examples of applications include adhesives, superabsorbents, flow modifiers, personal care products, medical devices, and epoxy tougheners.

About Arkema

Arkema was launched October 1, 2004, as a result of the reorganization of Total's chemicals business. Arkema has tremendous potential and counts on the experience and expertise of its 18,600 employees worldwide to create a company of innovation, growth and performance.

With EUR 5.2 billion ($6 billion) in sales worldwide, 90 industrial sites in more than 40 countries, and six research and development centers, Arkema consists of three balanced business segments: Vinyl Products, Industrial Chemicals, and Performance Products. With its internationally recognized brands, Arkema holds leadership positions in its principal markets.

In the U.S., Atofina Chemicals, Inc. is now Arkema Inc. In Canada, Atofina Canada, Inc. is now Arkema Canada Inc.

BlocBuilder™ and FlexiBloc™ are trademarks belonging to Arkema Inc.

Source: Arkema

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