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Melvin (Mel) W. Ettenson of TMX-Ain Plastics, B.S., Engineering, Lowell Technological Institute; M.B.A., NYU.; Lt. Commander, U.S. Navy; Owens Corning Fiberglas Corp., Mktg. Research Director; Uniglass Industries, Regional Sales Manager ; Dayco Corp., Sr. V.P. Cadillac Plastics Division; Member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, and The Society of the Plastics Industry. 248-356-4000, Ext. 320, FAX 248-356-4745. As the year 1999 opens, after a deflationary 1998, the outlook is unchanged. Despite an influx of resin orders from China in 4Q 98, prices remain soft, especially for polyolefins which are expected to stay at current levels for several years! Robust growth however is seen for high heat products (heat deflection temperatures exceeding 200C) which are forecast to grow 10% per year over the next 10 years. Reasons are growth in applications in the electrical/electronic market with new successes in computer applications. Additionally, automotive requirements for reducing pollution, especially for underhood parts, will drive flouropolymer and PPS growth. Thus $9.00/lg resins will command their price for value received. On the nylon side of the business, Dow and Solutia (formerly Monsanto) have created an alliance for nylon 6/6, which as grown 10% per year. The lineup of nylon (polyamide) resin suppliers is as follows: Producer Global Capacity (1000 tons) Dupont 550 BASF 285 Rhodia 210 Allied Signal 150 Solutia/Dow 130 UBE 80 DSM 75 Bayer 65 Total 1545 On the PVC Resin front, Shell has sold its PVC business to Shin-Etsu in Japan and Solvay and BASF have merged their business in Europe. The new lineup in PVC supply looks like this: Producer Global Capacity (Tons) Shin-Etsu (asia) 2,960,000 Formosa (asia) 2,050,000 Geon/Oxychem (u.s.) 1,960,000 Norsk Hydro (e.u.) 1,820,000 Solvay/BASF (e.u.) 1,800,000 Speaking of entering 1999, the prelude to the new millenium, herewith some additional Millenium Monomers: Phillips Electronics has made an experimental, all polymeric integrated circuit (chip) from a Polyimide wafer. The semiconducting material is Polythienylene; the isolating component is polyvinylphenol;polyaniline, a conductive polymer is the electrode. Intended application is in electronic bar coding. Ormecon Chemie in Germany, in conjunction with Dupont are the developers. New types of photo-addressable polymers whose orientation changes when polarized laser light is shone on them would multiply data disc storage to 1000 gigabytes of information at a molecular level. Called Holo-CDs, development is taking place at BayerAG in Germany.

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