February 2010

Bac2 announces blendable latent acid catalysts for energy efficient control of heat activated polymerisation processes

_CSR range of latent acid catalysts now available as a twin-pack to enable custom formulating for precise process control of many of acid catalysed polymerisations _

Southampton, UK, February 24, 2010: Bac2, the cleantech materials company, is offering customisable latent acid catalysts to help manufacturers control polymerisation processes in order to reduce both energy consumption and costs. As resin systems vary widely in terms of pH sensitivity, Bac2 is offering a twin catalyst option to allow the product developer to blend the two catalysts to suit the reactivity of the resin system. CSR20 facilitates fast curing and CSR100 produces a slower cure. By adding an appropriate mixture of the two grades to pre-polymeric mixes latency can be achieved and cure timing precisely controlled. Rapid curing is typically carried out at 120 degrees C, a much lower temperature than that required by most latent catalysts, so energy consumption is minimised. Slower curing is possible at temperatures above 50 degrees C. Using the latent acid catalysts improves quality control and maximises yield in polymer manufacturing processes. The ability to control these reactions also facilitates experimentation with pre-polymeric mixes to optimize resin formulations. Furthermore, the catalysts can significantly reduce manufacturing costs by enabling safe storage and transportation of pre-polymeric mixes. This is useful where manufacturing operations are geographically separate from pre-mix production.

The catalyst was originally developed for use with ElectroPhen, Bac2’s conductive polymer used in the production of moulded components for fuel cell bipolar plates. In this application it had been necessary to pre-mix the catalyst and resin immediately before moulding. The development of the CSR range has enabled storage life of the pre-mix to be extended from 30 minutes to over 3 months, dramatically reducing processing and equipment costs and increasing quality and reproducibility.

The customised catalysts can be used with a wide range of acid catalysed polymers including melamine formaldehyde resins, phenol-formaldehyde resoles, furfuryl alcohol resins and amino-formaldehyde resins. Applications for these polymers include the manufacture of chipboard and laminates, glass-reinforced plastics, foam insulation, furniture, and abrasives.