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NYLON: Supply Interruption of PA12 Could Create Havoc for Auto Industry

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Over 200 auto industry executives met in Troy, Mich., yesterday to find a way to resolve the shortage of a key nylon resin that is used in fuel systems.  

Germany's Evonik Industries, a key manufacturer of the resin - nylon 12 - and a chemical intermediate - cyclododecatriene (CDT) - used to produce the compound, experienced a fire at its manufacturing plant in Marl, Germany, on March 31 (See Automotive NewsWire archives at www.autonewswire.net).

CDT is an intermediate used as a starting chemical for the production of laurolactam, a monomer used in the production of PA12.  Evonik sells products under the brand names of Vestamid, Vestamelt, Vestosint and Vestenamer, which are used in the automotive, photovoltaic and offshore pipeline industries and require CDT.  Evonik claims to be the world’s leading producer of PA12 as well as CDT.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the executives that attended yesterday's meeting were divided into teams with each being assigned a task to help resolve the impending shortage that will likely last for months.  Evonik has said it will take months to perform repairs to the damaged plant and production would not likely begin until winter of this year.

The situation is compounded further because Evonik was a major supplier of CDT to France's Arkema, also a producer of PA12 , and Arkema has already said that its ability to produce PA12 is severely compromised. 

 


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