Pittsburgh, Pa. (May 25, 2016) - Braskem has enhanced its research and development abilities by adding sophisticated technical equipment to its Innovation and Technology Center located in Pittsburgh. These improvements are in anticipation of the fourth quarter (4Q16) start-up of its new UTEC® ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) plant in La Porte, Texas.
The new capabilities will continue to enable Braskem to expand its technical leadership in UHMWPE by providing instrumentation for testing, application development, and new product research. Quantification of UTEC's unique balance of properties according to ASTM and ISO standards will allow for the comparison of its properties with competitive engineering resins, metals, and ceramics.
The UTEC business benefits by sharing a facility with Braskem's world-class polypropylene organization, which provides access to a wide variety of other thermal and physical analysis, microscopy, and rheological capabilities.
"We are enthusiastic about the future of our technology. The new equipment at our I&T Center will help improve our products and broaden our portfolio to serve high growth markets. Our expectation is we will be able to best serve our clients and provide them a product customized to their needs," said Christopher Gee, Global Business Director for UTEC.
The main advantages of UTEC are its excellent mechanical properties, such as high abrasion resistance, impact strength and low coefficient of friction. UTEC is a self-lubricating, high-strength, lightweight machinable product used for semi-finished goods. UTEC is eight times lighter than steel and lasts ten times longer than HDPE. It is used in a vast array of applications in the following industries: construction, agriculture, automotive, textile, pulp and paper, food and beverage, coal and mining, high-performance fibers, battery separators and waste water treatment.
Braskem is one of the world's leading plastics and chemical companies with 40 industrial plants in Brazil, the United States, Germany and Mexico - the company's newest industrial complex is a joint venture with Idesa, which represents a $5.2 billion investment.
Braskem is the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas and the leading producer of biopolymers in the world, creating more environmental-friendly, intelligent and sustainable solutions through chemicals and plastics. Known for innovative solutions such as I'm green PolyethyleneT made from renewable sugarcane and UTEC®, the company's own trademarked Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene for high-performance applications, Braskem's products and technologies enable the automotive, packaging, healthcare, and construction industries to produce goods that enhance quality of life for people around the world.
Braskem America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Braskem S.A. headquartered in Philadelphia. The company is the leading producer of polypropylene in the United States, with five production plants located in Texas, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and a Technology and Innovation Center in Pittsburgh. For more information, visit www.braskem.com .