Nexam and Victrex – A very interesting CESI finding…

Posted: 27 July, 2015 in Nexam, Published Investment Calls
Tags: , , , , ,

CESI is proud to present the following observation: Nexam has delivered two (speciality) compounds to Victrex (4-fluorophenylethynylbenzophenone (4-FPEB) and 3-fluorophenylethynylbenzophenone (3-FPEB) and Victrex has subsequently filed a patent application WO 2015087059 A1 (published June 18, 2015). Due to additional information presented below in this blog post, CESI believes Victrex end cappers might indicate substantial (near) future business. Why? In this blog post the author aims to answer this question.

VICTREX – The World Leader in High Performance Aromatic Polyketone Solutions (PAEK) Victrex source link 

“For more than three decades, Victrex has collaborated with customers to help turn their toughest challenges into tangible benefits. As a product leadership company, our proactive approach in monitoring the trends of the industries we serve and engaging in open dialogue with industry leaders enables us to deliver what is required to maximise performance today and tomorrow.

Victrex is largely integrated into its key raw material supplies, alongside complementary supply from non-Victrex sources. This is a unique position as a PAEK manufacturer and allows us to ensure security of supply for our customers, as well as consistent and technically advantageous products, meaning high-quality products that will be delivered on time and in-full. 

A company with cutting-edge polymeric solutions, streamlined production facilities, application development expertise and unmatched technical support – that’s a future performance partner.”

What is PAEK (and PEEK)?  Source link (wikipedia)

“Polyaryletherketones (PAEK) has a continuous operating temperature of 250 °C (482 °F) and under short-term loads can function up to 350 °C (662 °F). When burned it has the least toxic and corrosive fumes. It also has a low heat output when burned, so it qualifies for use in interior aviation applications. It also has good overall chemical resistance.  

Plastics that fall within this family include:[3]

  • PEK
  • PEEK
  • PEKK
  • PEEKK
  • PEKEKK (polyetherketoneetherketoneketone)”           

WO2015087059 – POLYMERIC MATERIALS. VICTREX MANUFACTURING LIMITED

Publication Date: 18.06.2015 International Filing Date: 08.12.2014

“Polyaryletherketones (PAEKs) are produced which are end-capped with a phenylethynyl- containing moiety. The end-capped material, having a relatively low molecular weight, may be subjected to a thermal cycle to produce a higher molecular weight material having excellent mechanical properties, a relatively high level of crystallinity and acceptable Tm and Tg […]

The following materials are referred to hereinafter:

4-fluorophenylethynylbenzophenone (4-FPEB) – obtained from Nexam Chemicals […]

3-fluorophenylethynylbenzophenone (3-FPEB) – obtained from Nexam Chemicals

[…] Source link: http://google.com/patents/WO2015087059A1?cl=en&hl=sv

“Mechanical properties of moulded samples were assessed and compared to commercially available PEEK 90, PEEK 150 and PEEK 450 materials. Results are provided in Table 6.

[…] Source link: http://google.com/patents/WO2015087059A1?cl=en&hl=sv

Table 6 It will be appreciated from Table 6, that moulding the example 9 polymer having the same starting RV as PEEK 90, yields a polymer with properties more like PEEK 150. Similarly, Example 1 1 , having the same starting RV as PEEK 150, has properties after moulding which are more like PEEK 450.

Advantageously, it is found that the shear heating and injection moulding process promotes the majority of the curing of the polymers and thus an increase in RV and improved properties. A post-cure step (e.g. heating at 400°C for 2 hours) is not found to lead to a significant further increase in fracture toughness over “as moulded” samples.

Alternative phenylethynyl compounds which may be used as described above for 4- FPEB include the following:”

CESI decided to graphically visualize the content of the patent… 

Nexam slide 1 PAEK fixed

CLICK PICTURE TO ENLARGE CESI SCHEME 1!

Nexam slide 2 PAEK fixed fixed

CLICK PICTURE TO ENLARGE CESI SCHEME 2!

Now, why is CESI thrilled to stumble across a new patent from Victrex containing Nexam endcappers? Well, the timing seems appropriate…

“Thornton Cleveleys (UK) – Victrex has successfully commissioned the first production stream of its £90 million third Polyaryletherketone (PAEK) manufacturing plant as it focuses on offering even greater security of supply to customers, as well as delivering complete solutions. The capacity increase is also a further foundation to progress Victrex’s pipeline of future opportunities, including seven mega programmes, which will help grow the company over the coming years.” Source link, Victrex.com

“The new PAEK plant serves as the backbone to develop core growth and future opportunities. With long term megatrends being supportive across Victrex’s markets of automotive, aerospace, energy, electronics and medical, the company has focused its pipeline on a smaller number of larger opportunities. These include for example aerospace brackets, applications for mobile devices, orthopaedic knees and oil & gas pipes through its partnership with Magma. Victrex recently identified the overall market potential for the high-performing thermoplastic PAEK as being over 80,000 tonnes.” Source link, Victrex.com

Additionally, on page 5 in the Nexam interim report Q2 2014 we find a full one-pager covering PAEK (PolyArylEtherKetone) and related Nexam Chemical projects. Nexam stated:  “Victrex is now synonymous with PEEK material around the world and accounts for around 80 percent of the total market for PAEK plastics”

Even more interestingly, Nexam has in fact rigorously protected PAEK in respect to intellectual property (IP)!

“Nexam Chemical’s products to PAEK plastics Since it was started in 2009, the Company has collaborated with the majority of the PAEK plastic producers on the market. This has resulted in a PAEK plastic patent and several products. A couple of the products developed can be used to improve the process properties of PAEK plastics, which enables more complicated components to be manufactured. The plastic becomes less viscous during forming and the improved properties are recreated in the final phase of the process. In the continuing service life of the component, Nexam Chemical’s products give the material self-reinforcing properties. Another of Nexam Chemical’s development projects also makes it possible to improve properties by adding our crosslinker as an additive to the finished PAEK plastic. The improvement is strong enough to allow the plastic to successfully compete with polyimide plastics, which are more expensive and cost more to manufacture. This creates opportunities for increased sales growth of PAEK plastics, mainly for new applications, but also enables Nexam Chemical to provide users of PAEK plastics with additives for manufacturing special solutions. In this way, Nexam Chemical gets access to an expanded potential market in addition to the companies that produce PAEK plastics. Nexam Chemical products for the PAEK market are marketed under the NEXAMITE name.”

Now, the Nexam share holder has learned not to trust all single statements from the former CEO Per Morin. Therefore, CESI decided to personally control the quality of the Nexam patents (CESI has ~15 years of industrial organic synthesis experience , patent searches included). The CESI patent search resulted in two relevant hits:

Already after a quick glance, CESI is satisfied. In the first section of the patents, the relevant core (compound) structures are claimed and the relevant schemes are attached. Furthermore, the linker subunit and “all” free positions of the phenyls/aryls are claimed. An impressing array of R groups are specified. To the authors delight, applications are also depicted. These statements may be difficult to digest for a non chemist. A simplified conclusion is that “most relevant structural variations that one can imagine of the molecules also are claimed”. In total the patent(s) contain roughly 150 specific claims within this specific PEEK/PAEK IP space. CESI decided to quote a few  (claims 19-23):

“[0019] It has now unexpectedly been found that cross-linkable aromatic polyetherketones may be obtained by incorporation of acetylenic residues comprising carbon-carbon triple bonds, for instance as endcapping residue(s) [CESI: the Victrex application…], as pendant residue(s) along the molecular backbone and/or as residue(s), wherein the carbon-carbon triple bond(s) is part of the polymer chain, in aromatic polyetherketones.

[0020] The carbon-carbon triple bond allows for cross-linking, such as acetylenic cross-linking, of the cross-linkable aromatic polyetherketone, as alternative and/or additional cross-linking mechanism, thus implying that improved and/or changed properties, such as changed E-module value, changed impact strength and improved resistance towards thermo-oxidative, thermal, oxidative and/or mechanical degradation may be achieved. Also the Tg may be affected by such cross-linking.

[0021] The acetylenic residues were found to be compatible with normal thermoplastic processing methods. Thus, cross-linkable aromatic polyetherketones may be processed using normal thermoplastic processing methods, before cross-linking is initiated. Further, a by-product free (contamination free) material may be obtained. In addition, the Tg (glass transition temperature) may be increased to such a level that the cross-linked polymer may be used in high temperature applications without traditional thermoplastic drawbacks jeopardizing the application performance. Furthermore, the cross-linking enhances the already good wear resistance of PAEK. Thus, for cross-linkable aromatic polyetherketone may be used in primary structures in aerospace applications were extraordinary level of thermal resistance is required.

[0022] Further, cross-linked aromatic polyetherketone may replace polyimides in high temperature applications, such as in airplanes, aerospace and other structural applications were good temperature and creep properties are required.

[0023] Also, metal-replacement in applications where light weight and big volume production are required would become possible. Applications where wear and low friction is necessary would be another target where polyimides may be replaced, especially if it comes to applications that are subjected to low cost high volume requirement because exchange will be done periodically. Applications with demands on being exposed to a high heat in a humid environment and where low creep is a demand would be typically applications for this cross-linked PAEK material, especially if there is a demand on high volume production availability for the material used in order to minimize tolerance deviations high production costs.”

Conclusion: CESI is thrilled and currently experiencing Déjà vu. Why? Below is a quote from my first ever Nexam post:

“C.E.S.I. can not understand that a high quality process company with a vibrant creative environment should, per default, fail to copy the Nexam cross-linkers with roughly the same production cost (or even at lower production). Therefore, securing the intellectual Property (IP) must at all times be on top of Nexam´s highest priority agenda. From the massive IP press release news flow from Nexam, C.E.S.I. concludes that the Nexam CEO and the Nexam board has understood this key issue. Thus, C.E.S.I. is thrilled of excitement. Now, it seems that analysts and the market “demand” a big order from a key industry process company. Today, C.E.S.I. does not share the analyst’s and the market´s demand. C.E.S.I. would like to see even a few more “new patent press releases” prior to the announcement of the first big order. However, the recent small order announcement is a key milestone (see below). This order is a another “proof of concept” i. e. it is a solid proof that the nexam technology is not solely of academic interest… C.E.S.I. predicts that Nexam will be a key player in the next industry revolution (New superior bulk- and advanced materials).”

Source link: https://cuttingedgescienceinvest.com/2014/09/28/nexam-chemical-nexam-genius-applications-of-the-148-year-old-berthelot-reaction/

In CESI´s opinion, the Nexam case has never been stronger.

Comments
  1. Eddie Ladd says:

    Are you ready for Market? We are looking for new polymers to work with and want to convert a Fiber plant to a polymer plant.

  2. Staffan says:

    Impressive analysis C.E.S.I! I think it’s time to spend some additional money in this company……

    • Excellent info Christer! Thousands of thank you. Yes, I believe 😉 CESI is currently in Cambridge (UK) and very bizzy until Friday. After Friday, I will look into this more (if additional information is available). Thanks again!

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