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Automotive sector to debate Nylon 12 shortage after fatal factory blast

By David Vink, European Plastics News
Posted 16 April 2012

German-based Evonik Industries has warned that supplies of some materials, including Nylon 12, could be limited following an explosion at the company's Marl factory in which two employees died.



Nylon 12 supplies were already constrained prior to the incident, and now automotive suppliers are planning a summit to discuss the severe shortage.



Applications for nylon 12 include some athletic shoes, coatings for optical fibres, cable conduit and profiles, low smoke halogen-free flame retardant insulation for copper wire, and natural gas network pipe applications.

A recent strategically important application is use of Vestamid nylon 12 for the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) lines used to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions from diesel engines.

The cause of the explosion at the plant is not yet known, but it is subject of an investigation by North Rhine Westphalia authorities and an independent expert commissioned by Evonik.




A gas tank containing highly flammable 1.3 butadiene exploded within the cyclododecatriene (CDT) plant at the Marl facility.

Local fire services extinguished the fire after about 15 hours. The company said repairs would take until the "end of the summer" to be completed. Damage is estimated in the millions of euros.


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