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Vertellus’ Industry-Leading Zemac® Copolymers Promote Sustainability, Boost Profits By Enabling Use Of Recycled Resins

ORLANDO, FLA. — March 23, 2015 — Vertellus, a leading global supplier of additives to the plastics and polymer industries, is featuring here at NPE 2015 (booth #S29145), its ZeMac® copolymer line of additives that, during compounding, improve the properties of recycled nylon and other engineering plastics to levels meeting or exceeding those of virgin resin. When used with recycled materials, ZeMac copolymers – once used almost exclusively for glass fiber sizing – can cut raw material costs by up to 12 percent and increase profit margins by up to 50 percent. Not only do these highly efficient additives help support customer sustainability goals, they also deliver impressive results at low loadings. Additionally, by making nylon more shear sensitive, they enable a broad range of profile extrusion, blow molding and thermoforming applications.

“ZeMac copolymers are a game-changing technology that give our customers a way to slash materials costs to become more cost-competitive and profitable, while providing a proven chemistry that delivers exceptional performance and addresses global demand for greater sustainability,” said Ashok Adur, global commercial development director, Plastics at Vertellus. “It also underscores Vertellus’ forward-thinking approach and commitment to overcoming the challenges common with traditional additives with a best-in-class solution that is fast becoming the compounding industry’s performance enhancing additive of choice.”

Maximizing Mechanical Performance

ZeMac copolymers help compounders optimize the performance of recycled or off-specification nylon, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and other polyesters, polyacetal (POM), polycarbonate (PC), thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) and biopolymers to produce less-expensive materials that can compete head-to-head with prime-quality compounds. Specifically, ZeMac E-60P (powder) and ZeMac Extend (master batch) grades act as chain extenders and branching agents to improve resin performance. These improvements include enhancing flexural modulus and strength; increasing tensile strength and elongation; and significantly improving heat deflection temperature (HDT) and impact resistance at ambient and low temperatures – with or without glass fiber reinforcement and/or flame retardants. Potential injection-molded applications for compounds incorporating upgraded recycled nylon are automotive parts, sporting goods, toys, office furniture, tools and appliances.

Typically, when impact modifiers are added to nylon and other engineering plastics to improve impact, other properties decline. By using a combination of impact modifiers with ZeMac products, HDT and mechanical properties such as tensile strength and flexural modulus and strength can be restored to a significant degree at no additional cost. This capability enables OEMs to design lower-weight parts, previously only available with higher-cost plastics.
ZeMac additives also increase the anti-hydrolysis performance of nylon and other engineering plastics typically used with glass fiber reinforcement to mitigate their breakdown in the presence of moisture, heat and antifreeze. Applications include under the hood automotive parts that might come into contact with anti-freeze radiator fluid.

Further, ZeMac copolymers transform nylon into a shear-thinning material with high melt strength. This transformation expands nylon’s potential applications into new areas such as profile extrusion, blow molding and thermoforming at a much lower cost and lower torque and at the same high relative viscosity compared to conventional high relative viscosity nylon produced by solid state polymerization. Applications include nylon pipe offering oil and gas resistance, automotive air and fuel ducts and other under the hood hoses and tubing.

Contributing to Sustainability

By increasing consumption of post-industrial and post-consumer plastics through improved material performance, ZeMac copolymers support global sustainability efforts. For every kilogram of recycled nylon used instead of virgin resin, 2.3 liters of fuel and 22.6 kilowatt hours of electricity can be saved. The use of recycled nylon can also help reduce the amount of scrap that currently goes into landfills or is used for lower performance applications.
Increasingly, compounders are mixing 20 to 40 percent recycled nylon with 80 to 60 percent prime nylon, respectively, to minimize the variability of the recycled part of the nylon in the compound and reduce overall cost. ZeMac copolymers added to the compound elevate all properties to match those of a compound with 100 percent virgin nylon.

About Vertellus

Vertellus is a specialty chemicals company focused on the manufacture of ingredients used in pharmaceuticals, personal care, nutrition, agriculture, industrial and a host of other market areas affected by trends favoring sustainable technologies and chemistries. Vertellus is the largest, global producer of pyridine and picolines, specialty pyridine derivatives, DEET, castor oil derivatives and systems and a world leader in vitamin B3 and citrate polymer additives and systems. Vertellus benefits from a technically advanced global manufacturing base and has approximately 1000 employees. Vertellus is headquartered in the United States in Indianapolis, Ind. More information on Vertellus can be found at

Vertellus® and ZeMac® are registered trademarks of Vertellus

Potential Applications Incorporating Vertellus’ ZeMac® Copolymer Include Automotive Parts, Sporting Goods, Toys, Office furniture, Tools, Wind Turbine Blades and Appliances


Tom Moccia

Sarah Thurston
AH&M Marketing Communications
+1.413.448.2260, Extension 460