A new plant to manufacture halogen-free and heat-resistant vinyl plastic compounds is reported to have been commissioned in southern Russia by PlastKab, an offshoot of the JSC Kaustik chemical company.
The new operation, located in a production hall at the site of Kaustik chemicals plant in the south western city of Volgograd, is set to turn out thermoplastics material aimed at cable insulation.
Kaustik, part of Russia’s Nikochem Holding industrial group, has invested €3.5 million to launch the new plant which currently employs about 60, according to Volgograd regional administration.
With a capacity of 10,000 tpa, the PlastKab facility is due to provide the specialised compounds for the national cable manufacturing industry as part of Russia’s continuing drive to replace imported products.
Kaustik has invested in the development of innovative raw materials for use in its production of the compounds. A recent project saw the company develop technology to manufacture nano structured magnesium hydroxide (MDH) used as a flame retardant additive for polymer compounds.
The technology for the production of modified magnesium hydroxide is the development of Kaustik’s scientific production centre and the additive’s manufacture is being handled by the firm’s offshoot JSC NikoMag in Volgograd.
Tests carried out jointly with Russian polymer compound producers found that using the nano structured magnesium hydroxide with a modified surface as a flame retardant resulted in higher fire resistance and environmental safety.
Kaustik reported that “a considerably less amount of the nano structured magnesium hydroxide is required to be added in flexible PVC compounds” compared with standard flame retardants to achieve the same standard combustion index.
Other advantages of using the include energy saving processing and better insulation, according to Kaustik.
The company set up a new laboratory, investing €700,000 in its equipping, to test the new modified MDH additive production quality which was due to be operating at the Kaustik site this summer.
NikoMag, which was already a manufacturer of MDH, is the only producer of magnesium hydroxide in Russia and has been boosting its exports. Early batches of the modified product, once tested, were sent to customers in Europe and Asia to ensure the company can fully meet the MDH requirements of each customer.
PlastKab, merged with Kaustik in 2013, produces flexible PVC compound for footwear and freeze-resistant flexible vinyl compound apart from vinyl compound in insulation for cable manufacture and protective wire and cable casings.
MDH additive applications include wiring in cars and for telecoms systems, relays, housings and electrical connection parts as well as for plastic panels.