Honeywell Resins and Chemicals has broken ground on its new nylon resins production line at its Chesterfield, Virginia, manufacturing facility.
The new production line can produce multiple grades of Honeywell Aegis nylon 6 resins, as well as copolymer nylon 6/6.6 resins, both of which are used in food packaging films and other applications. When the line starts up in the fourth quarter of 2015, Honeywell’s Chesterfield facility will become the first and only North American supplier of both resins.
Honeywell announced in April 2014 its plans to build the new line, which will expand the manufacturing capacity of the Chesterfield facility by 40,000 metric tons to 200,000 metric tons per year.
“Honeywell has been committed to the nylon market for more than 60 years, and we are investing in expanding our capabilities and developing new technologies,” said Erin Kane, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Resins and Chemicals.
“Our position as the only fully-integrated North American manufacturer of both nylon 6 and copolymer nylon 6/6.6 will provide film manufacturers with a more secure resin supply than they have today.”
Approximately 10 billion pounds of food packaging film is produced in North America annually, and the use of nylon films on the continent is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 4.5%, according to Freedonia Group, a business research company.
The expansion will also showcase technologies developed by other Honeywell businesses, including Experion PKS distributed process control systems from Honeywell Process Solutions.
According to Honeywell, nylon packaging films made with Aegis resins provide excellent barrier properties to oxygen, helping to retain flavor and maintain product freshness.
In addition to food packaging films, Aegis resins are used in automotive, consumer and industrial applications spanning from carpeting and fishnet to plastic parts. Honeywell Resins and Chemicals also manufactures nylon films under the Aegis and Capran brands for use in food packaging, as well as industrial applications ranging from wind turbine blades to aerospace components.
In addition to manufacturing, the business also conducts nylon-related research and development at technology centers in New Jersey and Virginia, where it operates laboratory-scale polymer reactors and blown film equipment, as well as in Shanghai, China, where the business has extensive analytical capabilities for resin development.