SK Chemicals Targets Western Markets at K2016

Korean plastics producer SK Chemicals is “aggressively” promoting its high-end engineering plastics such as a “greener” polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) in Western markets, the company announced at K2106.

SK Chemical CEO Kim Cheol met with resin producers and compounders to promote the company’s line, which includes Ecozen copolyester PETG, Ecotran PPS, Skypura polycyclohexylene, and Skypel thermoplastic polyester elastomer.

SK at K2016. CEO Cheol is second from left.

SK at K2016. CEO Cheol is second from left.

An additive manufacturing grade brand-named Skypelte was introduced at K2016.

The company has an interesting new bio polyester alloy based on biomass that is used in window panels and steering wheel bezels of the 2015 Hyundai Ioniq EV, which will go up to 110 miles on one charge, and is expected to go on sale in the U.S. by the end of this year.

The optimized PETG/ABS composition replaced a PC/ABS blend, resulting in a reported 57 percent reduction in carbon emissions and an 88 percent reduction in VOCs. There are functional benefits as well, specifically a significant increase in molded part chemical resistance, according to the company. By weight, the biomass content is 25 percent.

The processor is Seoyon E-Hwa Interior Systems Manufacturing. The part is a finalist in the 46th-annual SPE Automotive Innovation Awards competition. Winners will be announced Nov. 9 at Burton Manor in the suburbs of Detroit. 

SK Chemicals began as Sunkyong Fibers Ltd. In 1969. The current name was adopted in 1998. In 2013, SK Chemicals and Teijin Chemicals launched a joint venture called  INITZ and begin constructing a 12,000 metric tons per year PPS plant in South Korea. The JV is targeting a global market share of 20 percent in PPS and annual sales of $280 million by 2020. The PPS is said to be the world’s first chlorine- or sodium-free grades, and uses proprietary technologies of SK Chemicals. Chlorine and sodium byproducts can lead to the corrosion of molds and functional deterioration of metal parts, such as defective contacts, according to SK.

SK Chemicals, which also makes drugs, had 2015 sales of $874 million.


Components made partially of bioplastics are used in a Hyundai EV. (SPE Automotive Division)

About Doug Smock

Former Chief Editor at Plastics World and Senior Technical Editor Design News
Injection Molding

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