Experts in Performance Chemicals

Velsicol Chemical
Written by Samita Sakar

is a crystalline solid used as a building block in the industrial synthesis of many manufacturing end products such as alkyd resins, which are used to improve gloss, hardness, and chemical resistance. Salts and esters of this simple, aromatic, carboxylic acid are called benzoates, and are often used as preservatives.

Velsicol manufactures sodium benzoate as well, the common food and beverage preservative. The firm has recently introduced a granular form of this preservative to the market, to complement its powder and noodle forms. Sodium benzoate is typically used in acidic foods (pH of 4.5 or below) at levels of up to 0.1 percent.

Velsicol’s flame retardant products include PyroVex™, a branded line comprised of bromine, phosphorus, and chlorine chemistry. Its Hex product (or hexachlorocyclopentadiene) is a reactive intermediate used in flame retardant production as well. Finally, Velsicol offers chlorendic anhydride, a solid, reactive flame retardant used in unsaturated polyesters, alkyd resins for specification paint, epoxy curative and UV coatings.

Plasticizers remain a focus of the new Velsicol Chemical. The first patent granted to Velsicol Chemical on plasticizers was in 1953. Dibenzoate esters have been sold by Velsicol since that time. This line of plasticizers is well recognized, with applications ranging from latex adhesives to coatings and a host of PVC applications.

“As one of the first companies to introduce benzoate plasticizer chemistry, we have become a common industrial plasticizer name in this environmentally friendly space of products.Today, Velsicol offers a full portfolio of Velsiflex® benzoate plasticizers with warehouse locations throughout the world. Moving forward, we will continue to develop new product offerings and work to support the needs of the industries we serve,” Business Director Jody Smith tells us.

A high quality product portfolio
Velsicol’s Velsiflex® line of benzoic acid-containing plasticizers, which are a more environmentally friendly alternative to phthalate esters, boasts world-class products used by manufacturers around the globe. In particular, they are used in adhesives, sealants, caulk, coatings, inks, plastisol, and other PVC applications.

The Velsicol Chemical specialty plasticizer portfolio is diverse. The product line consists of the following plasticizers:
• Velsiflex® 342 – Dipropylene glycol dibenzoate;
• Velsiflex® 342S – Urethane grade of Velsiflex 342;
• Velsiflex® 314 – Diethylene glycol dibenzoate;
• Velsiflex® 328 – The classic binary blend of dibenzoates;
• Velsiflex® 320 – Binary blend of classic dibenzoates that is diethylene glycol dibenzoate tailored for performance and economy in numerous applications;
• Velsiflex® 318 – Binary blend of classic dibenzoates that is diethylene glycol dibenzoate tailored for performance and economy for waterborne applications;
• Velsiflex® 332 – Unique blend of dibenzoates used in diverse applications, and;
• Velsiflex® 290 – A glycol dibenzoate design initially for PVC applications but also useable in other applications.

Another notable Velsicol product is Velsiflex® 342-S, the premier polyurethane plasticizer. This product has a low moisture, low hydroxyl content that aids in reducing cure interference, as well as providing better rebound. Velsiflex® 342-S is used in a variety of applications including cast polyurethane parts, adhesives, sealants, graphic arts and TPUs (thermoplastic polyurethanes) for numerous applications including shoe soles.

Velsicol is consistently looking for ways to update its portfolio and remain a market leader. Last year, it added two new Velsiflex® products to its line: 332 and 290. The first product, Velsiflex® 332, is a benzoate ester blend with applications in the adhesive PVC flooring market as well as other applications. This high solvating plasticizer works exceptionally well in PVC applications by lowering the processing temperatures for a variety of plastisol applications. Velsiflex® 290 is a versatile benzoate plasticizer designed originally for PVC applications. This product offers low staining properties for various plastisol applications including ink and flooring,” explains Smith. Velsiflex 290 functions well in other diverse applications such as waterborne adhesives or polysulphide A side insulating glass sealants.

Responsible Care®
Velsicol’s goal is to forge partnerships with its customers, suppliers, and the communities in which it conducts business. Indeed, the chemical industry has come a long way over the last few decades due to changing market demands as consumers grew more environmentally conscious. Velsicol proudly abides by the Responsible Care® Global Charter, the chemical industry’s world class Environmental, Health, Safety & Security (EHS&S) performance initiative.

Responsible Care® covers all aspects of a company’s business over the entire life cycle of its products – and it’s extremely effective. According to the American Chemistry Council website, Responsible Care® companies have an employee safety record that is five times better than the U.S. manufacturing sector; have reduced hazardous releases to air, land, and water by 75 percent between 1988 and 2015; and have improved their energy efficiency by 19 percent since 1992.

On top of the Responsible Care® principles, other important values upheld by Velsicol include creating high quality products for customers with a sustainable, customer-centric approach; investing in technology; and maintaining a socially responsible approach to product stewardship, safety, and giving back to communities. These efforts are spearheaded by Velsicol’s Memphis-based team at its Environmental Center.

The chemical experts at Velsicol will continue to do what they do best, serving customers worldwide while upholding the company’s core values, value proposition, and commitment to Responsible Care®.

The future of Velsicol
Over the last few years, Velsicol has been focused on continuing to provide innovative new products for industrial clients, particularly by refocusing on the benzoic acid business, which it has pioneered. In fact, Velsicol’s Huangang facility, which is an equity joint venture investment with ECOD specialties Co., Ltd., was launched in 2013 to market and manufacture these environmentally friendly plasticizers to the polymer additives sector in China.

“Benzoic acid has been a key contributor to our success for decades,” Velsicol’s President and CEO Tim Horn said in a press release about launching benzoic acid technical grade in other continents. “We have made a strategic decision to re-enter this market to complement our product portfolio by meeting demand in key markets for this product including, Europe, the Americas, and Southeast Asia. Benzoic acid is the most basic of aromatic carboxylic acids and offering it to our customers is a winning combination for all.”

“Our goals moving forward will be to expand upon the rich history of this company with continued development of new products and the expansion of the benzoate chemistry to the market. Whether we are talking about the Velsiflex® benzoate plasticizer line, our line of flame retardants, or food preservatives, our goal is to be a vital supplier to our customers, assisting them in new product development with responsive customer service to meet our customers’ requirements,” Smith concludes.

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