FOCUS ON: Changing the Game

Cytec Launches UV-Curable PSA at Hands-On Seminar.

GELVA® GMR 8020-02 cured in a three-bank system of UV lamps.

The coating line at Chemsultants International.

Cytec’s hands-on seminar, “New Ultraviolet Curable Pressure Sensitive Adhesives for Industrial Applications,” was held Dec. 3, 2008, at Chemsultants International Inc., in Mentor, OH. Attendees from across the country gathered to review the fundamentals of UV and PSA technologies, and to learn how a combination of the two could impact industry in the future.

Presentations included product testing and environmental, health, and safety overviews of Cytec’s new GELVA® GMR 8020-02 UV Curable PSA, but the theme of the day was innovation, particularly in this time of economic uncertainty. In his keynote address, Steve Stone, vice president of Cytec Performance Chemicals, stressed the need for progress in a slumping economy. “Now is the time to adopt new technology - when you have the time,” he said. Martin Court, vice president of R&D at Cytec Specialty Chemicals, echoed this sentiment later with a simple statement: “Innovation is critical to our being.”

Cytec Research and Development Chemist Dr. Ming Zhao and Research and Development Manager Dr. Jong Guo discussed the advantages of UV adhesive technology over traditional PSAs in the day’s technical workshop, citing the overall lower applied cost and environmental friendliness of UV PSAs. In the case of GELVA GMR 8020-02, Zhao and Guo presented data that suggested significant performance advantages over emulsion and solventborne technologies.

Attendees had the opportunity to see GELVA GMR 8020-02 in action in laboratory peel and shear tests before moving to the Coatings Hall of Chemsultants’ Product and Process Development Center for a live coating demonstration, which featured a 5 mil (125 g/m2) transfer tape coated between two differential release liners at 100 ft/min using a three-bank system of Fusion F-600 UV lamps.

Jerry Serra, vice president of Research and Development for Tyco (Berry Plastics) (ret.), offered a final word on innovation in his afternoon session, “Unmet Needs of PSAs for Industrial Applications,” noting that while stability is the most significant unmet need in industry, it is instability that affords a company the opportunity to innovate and grow its business.  According to Serra, the goal of this innovation is to select “game changers” - products with the potential to change the very landscape of an industry - and bring them to market.

Only time will tell if Cytec has found a game changer in GELVA GMR 8020-02, but if the day's proceedings were any indication, the product appears to embody that spirit of innovation so vital to success.

For more information on Cytec, visit


ASI spoke with Cytec’s Alex Konya, global marketing director of Pressure Sensitive Adhesives, and Michael Radossich, vice president of Specialty Additives and Pressure Sensitive Adhesives, about the state of the adhesives business - and Cytec’s place in it - at the seminar at Chemsultants on Dec. 3. Here’s what they had to say.

ASI: How is the PSA market faring in the current economic climate?

Cytec: The chemical industry overall is seeing a downturn in demand. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) recently estimated that global chemical output will increase by 2.2% for 2008, compared with 5.4% growth in the peak year of 2004. The ACC also stated that output growth is estimated at only 1.5% in 2009.*

ASI: What products are doing well? What products are not?

Cytec: As a diversified provider of PSA products, we see an overall softness in many of the markets and segments that we serve as a result of the economic environment, including labels, tapes, and graphics.

ASI: Which end-use markets are seeing steady or increased growth, and which are suffering?

Cytec: For the overall chemical market, the products that support the new and stricter environmental regulations will continue to see demand. For the PSA marketplace, UV PSAs are the best way to accommodate these new regulations, through lower VOC emissions.

ASI: What benefits does your new product, GELVA GMR 8020-02, offer manufacturers?

Cytec: GELVA GMR 8020-02 offers a low-VOC formulation that enables tape manufacturers to be competitive in markets where solvent-based PSA products are not practical. This is the first in a long line of low-VOC products that will offer 100%-solids, UV-curable PSA appropriate for high-performance thick deposition tapes.

ASI: What challenges do formulators currently face?

Cytec: Increased environmental regulations require formulators to seek low-VOC alternatives.  As global regulatory issues keep changing, formulators are required to constantly re-work products, which has become more difficult since newer raw materials may not be globally available or registered in every region.  Cytec's 100%-solid, ultra-high-performance, UV-curable PSAs can help formulators meet these new regulations.



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