Braskem, the largest thermoplastic resin producer in the Americas and the world's leading biopolymer producer, has set up new partnerships and global initiatives to further reach out to its clients in more than 100 countries. The company will officially announce these developments at K Fair 2019, the world's largest event in the plastics and rubbers industry, to be held from October 16 to 23 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
According to Fernando Musa, global CEO of Braskem, the company has prioritized investments in innovation and technology in partnership with clients: "Our strategy of growth and international expansion is focused on proximity to clients. We have already achieved positive results through our offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia, which helped us to understand the real needs of our customers," explained Musa.
New PP plant in La Porte, Texas
One important initiative is the construction of Braskem's sixth polypropylene (PP) plant in United States located in the city of La Porte, Texas, which is planned to start up in the first half of 2020. The unit is being built to meet the demand growth for PP in the U.S. market, which grew by 3.1 percent in 2018. The company has already invested around US$ 675 million in the new unit.
Braskem Idesa Petrochemical Complex in Veracruz
Operating for a little more than 3 years, Braskem Idesa is already the leader of the Mexican polyethylene (PE) market and will have manufactured 3 million tons of PE at its Petrochemical Complex in the state of Veracruz by the end of 2019. Braskem Idesa has differentiated itself by providing excellent products and important technical support for the development of solutions for its customers, located mainly in North and Central America, in addition to exporting to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
"In our three years of operation, almost three million tons of PE have been produced, and we keep expanding and improving this production process to meet the demands of our clients and society. For example, we will be launching this quarter our first Mexican PCR product (Post Consumption Recycled High Density PE) in line with our commitment to sustainability and meeting the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development," explained Musa.
Braskem's Mexican unit will also present at K Fair two solutions for the construction sector. One of them is the HDG0739 resin, a high-density PE developed to provide higher resistance in the production of geomembrane, and the other is HDP3049LS resin, another high-density PE, which focuses on superior chemical resistance and has the right mechanical properties for pipes that can be used in the distribution of natural gas, potable water, as well as mining or chemical processes.
3D printing, from space to earth
At the same time, Braskem has invested in 3D printing for the past two years. According to Fabio Lamon, Innovation and Technology leader for Additive Manufacturing at Braskem, the company will introduce its solutions for 3D printing at K Fair. "Braskem has pioneered the development of renewable polyolefin, and now is expanding the adoption of polyolefins and PVC in additive manufacturing offering a portfolio of ready-to-print materials for filament and powder bed fusion. Previously, polyolefins were a challenge for 3D printing, but I'm proud to announce that Braskem's solutions will soon be available for our clients."
In 2016, Braskem collaborated with Made In Space, a leading U.S. manufacturer of 3D printers and a supplier to NASA, to supply Braskem's sugarcane-based Green Plastic to produce objects in space. "We developed a Green PE based solution for printing in the space that was a success, and now we are bringing to our clients something even more innovative to enable 3D printing from prototyping to mass production," concluded Lamon.
At its additive manufacturing laboratories in Triunfo and Pittsburgh, the company has invested in 3D printing capabilities, which includes a pilot plant for filaments, 3D printers for material extrusion, and a selective laser sintering 3D printer of EOS.