As part of our commitment to customers, this year we introduced new products and applications that meet their performance needs. We found significant business opportunities in the growing demand for low-carbon market solutions for transportation and construction, the supply of hardware for renewables, and the use of carbon dioxide as a feedstock.
Enabling a safer, smarter, and more efficient world of transportation
Our materials solutions for cars, trucks, trains, and aircraft help manufacturers reduce weight, making their mobility products more fuel-efficient without compromising safety.
This year, we developed a thermoforming tool for an aircraft interior panel printed on a Thermwood LSAM® (large-scale additive manufacturing) machine using a grade of LNP™ THERMOCOMP™ AM compound, a SABIC material based on ULTEM™ resin with 20 percent carbon-fiber reinforcement. Printed tools like these can help reduce cost, construction time, inventory, and weight.
In 2018, an ongoing collaboration with a global automaker and tier-one supplier culminated in the creation of the industry’s first plastic-metal hybrid B-pillar. In addition to weighing 20 percent less than the older, three-piece metal pillar, this innovative one-piece design provides significant cost savings.
Improving food security
In our work with food producers, SABIC has developed agri-nutrient solutions that improve food security by increasing crop production.
This year, we completed the development of three novel fertilizer products that lower ammonia volatilization, reducing runoff from fields and protecting water supplies, while offering farmers higher yields. We developed a technology that non-reactively coats urea using biodegradable plastic materials; this new process offers a coated urea with similar nitrogen content as standard urea but lasts for 70 days in the field, which is 50 percent longer than standard urea. In addition, SABIC and its manufacturing affiliates SAFCO and Sabtank earned the “Protect and Sustain” certification from the International Fertilizer Association.
In the past, SABIC launched technical-grade ureas to reduce nitrogen-oxide emissions from vehicles and combustion processes. As we continue to boost our production of these materials, we opened a new hub storage facility in Singapore, reducing our shipping lead times by as much as 50 percent.
SABIC helped customers enter the agriculture and aquaculture sectors with our new LLDPE P438J for thin-wall components used in drip irrigation.
Driving sustainable, cutting-edge building designs
SABIC has developed a number of innovative materials to help the construction industry build energy- and resource-efficient homes.
Our SUPEER™ HDPE (high-density polyethylene) P4200RT resin is a new solution for domestic under-floor-heating pipe applications. Compared to traditional materials used for this application our grades result in lower cradle-to-grave greenhouse-gas emissions and primary energy demand¹.
SABIC’s new STADECK™ heavy-duty panel offers significant weight-saving advantages. The panels are up to 60 percent lighter and potentially recyclable at the end of life.
Innovating new materials to enable affordable healthcare
SABIC has extensive experience in providing solutions for a range of healthcare segments, including single-use devices, portable medical equipment, surgical instruments and trays, and materials used in drug delivery.
Our SAPEG 400 PH is developed under Good Manufacturing Practice standards, ensuring consistency and excellent quality. Our SAPEG series is suitable for use in pharmaceuticals and personal care products, including toothpastes, lotions, and skin care.
Our new ultra-high melt flow PP 514m12 resin brings phthalate-free, odor-free technology to breathable non-woven fabrics suitable for use in personal hygiene products.
Preserving product value while minimizing environmental impacts
In partnership with our industry partners, SABIC has developed plastic packaging solutions that use minimal resources and lightweight designs to protect product value, help manufacturers serve their customers, and safeguard the environment.
We continue to improve the performance of and market for our Certified Renewable™ polyethylene and polypropylene products such as bi-axially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film concepts for use in a number of packaging applications. These products, created with renewable feedstock from waste streams, deliver the same performance as conventional, fossil-based products. We conducted an internal cradle-to-gate life-cycle analysis of our renewable polyolefins, and found that each ton of these products removes about 2 tons of carbon dioxide. Overall, the products use 80 percent fewer fossil fuels compared to fossil-based polyolefins.
In the Chinese market, we were able to incorporate our mono-material based 95MK40T resin for food-container products, which gave our customers lower total raw-material costs, a more stable final product quality, and easier end-of-life recyclability.
SABIC also developed a new mono-material for use in agricultural silage film to protect crops and increase yields.
Advancing energy efficiency and renewables
SABIC is dedicated to using our materials expertise to advance the clean-energy shift, and our innovation mindset continues to improve our customers’ efficiency as well as our own.
Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are currently limited in their construction applications due to their heavy glass top-sheets. SABIC is working to replace this glass with the lighter LEXAN™ polycarbonate resin.
This year, SABIC acquired a majority stake in Texas-based nanotechnology company Black Diamond Structures™, which produces modified carbon nanotubes for energy storage applications. MOLECULAR REBAR® surpasses the ability of conventional carbon nanotubes to deliver clean, uniform, and discrete carbon nanotubes that offer better charge rates, battery cycle-life, and energy density.
ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS
Enabling slimmer and smarter consumer electronics designs
Differentiation in design, style, and performance – in addition to sustainability features – are key needs of the rapidly growing consumer electronics industry.
This year, we introduced THERMOCOMP™ HMD compounds that offered, for the first time, both better ductility and better dimensional stability than conventional materials. We developed all grades of THERMOCOMP to be halogen-free and flame retardant to support sustainability efforts.
Using SABIC’s ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) elastomer resin as a mold cleaner, ANT from South Korea reduced the need for a separate cleaning process after each cycle, reducing cycle time, improving resource efficiency and increasing productivity.
¹ Internal analysis was based on ISO14040 principles, but did not undergo critical peer review.