Exhibitor interview: Clariant Additives North America

Ahead of the upcoming Compounding World Expo in Cleveland, we spoke to Ray Gonzales, Head of Sales at Clariant Additives North America.

Clariant is a Swiss-based specialty chemical company, and is a leading manufacturer of solutions for the Plastics industry with an offering that helps Clariant meet its sustainability goals of energy efficiency, renewable raw materials, and emission-free mobility. In particular, it produces a unique offering of non-halogenated flame retardants under the Exolit Brand.

Clariant is finding these products increasingly specified into electric vehicles due to their ability to stop plastics from burning and they can allow conducting parts to fit closer together allowing weight reduction of the vehicle. 

What do you think sets your company apart from your competitors?

The Additives business of Clariant has secured a unique position in the market, which is linked to the close collaboration we have with our customer base. This establishes how we approach our innovation and technology to develop customizable solutions that meet customer needs whether that might be related to performance, sustainability, and/or to meet regulatory requirements. We take great pride in our high-quality differentiated products and deep knowledge of the applications we serve. Finally, the most important element is our people.  Our Additives Team is highly motivated to solve customer challenges.  Everyone holds themselves to a higher standard when it comes to helping the customer.


Are there any new technology developments that your company is working on at the moment?

Clariant is always working to develop the next solution that will help our customers succeed in their markets. One example is our Exolit OP product line that is being presented at the Compounding World Expo on November 4 @3:40pm EST. We have also recently introduced Licocare RBW Vita, which is a renewable bio additive that functions as highly effective lubricants and dispersion aid for engineering thermoplastics such as polyamides, polyesters or TPU, biopolymers like PLA, and epoxy resins.  These products are produced using the wax from rice bran hulls.  They are both environmentally sustainable and provide performance advantages such as improved melt flow.


 What are the biggest challenges facing the industry today and how can this be overcome? 

Today’s biggest challenges will be the same in the next five to ten years as the industry makes advances in the areas of regulatory, sustainability, environment, and performance. Many brand owners and OEMs are starting to look deeper into value chains to find solutions to address these issues.  Big growth trends are in the areas of electric vehicles (EV), lighter weight vehicles, recyclability, reduce energy use, and biopolymers.  We understand that more bio-based materials will be needed and have been placing significant effort towards their development.  For example, Clariant’s Terra grades of flame retardants and waxes are based on renewable carbon feedstocks that offers like-for-like drop-in solutions for hot melt adhesives, plastics and coatings applications that perform precisely as their fossil-based versions.


How do you see the sector developing in the next five to ten years?

Consumers have become more and more concerned with plastics and the sector needs to respond with solutions, in particular, to recycle and reprocess plastic waste. Clariant believes we can contribute with offerings that facilitate recyclability or enhance recycled content.  Our product AddWorks PKG Circle is a polymer stabilizer that is particularly well suited for BOPP production and is also applicable to cast and blown film processes.  The product allows customers to use increased amounts of recycled resin or film during the film manufacturing process without loss of film quality or production efficiency. 


What are you most looking forward to at this years’ show?

While we have kept in touch with customers virtually through web meetings and by participating in and hosting webinars, we have missed the personal connection.  This show will give us the opportunity to learn about new technologies, listen to customers and engage in a more personal, yet safe manner.  Being new, there are many people to meet and topics to learn, which is always best to do in-person.  Also, we will be sharing our own stories about how we can help the industry especially through our presentation “Sustainable Flame Retardant Solutions for e-Mobility.”  I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to see them and the entire team in action.

Clariant will be exhibiting at the Compounding World Expo North America.