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Bitrez sells 5,000th ton of low free formaldehyde CURAPHEN phenolic polymers

Bitrez, the UK manufacturer of specialist polymers and chemicals has produced and sold its 5,000th ton of specialist low free formaldehyde phenolic resins and added new formaldehyde free polymers to its portfolio.

Phenolic polymers offer inherent fire, smoke and toxicity values that surpass the performance of alternate matrix systems.


However, their monomer feedstocks are hazardous and resultant free monomers still present in the systems can pose a problem for organisations wishing to reap the performance attributes whilst complying with increasing regulatory restrictions and difficult exposure controls and abatement.

Curaphen phenolic polymers have been designed for application of specialist coatings and as matrix resins for the design of lightweight composites structures in industries such as aerospace, rail and construction.

Bitrez developed specialist grades within their Curaphen range early in 2015 to satisfy specific concerns raised due to the reclassification of formaldehyde and reduction of threshold limits under REACh (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals).

Having originally developed products to satisfy the demanding needs of the heavily regulated packaging and coatings industry, the organisation utilised the specialist technology to upgrade and enhance the resinous systems employed in the composites sector.

“Bitrez is relentlessly focused on the regulatory initiatives that have an impact on our products and those of our customers. We know how important it is to ensure the products we make meet stringent health and safety requirements both for our staff, our customers and their consumers,” Dominic Hopwood, Bitrez’s Composites Resin Sales Manager.

“Thanks to REACh, knowing what substances are inside your product and understanding and managing the human and environmental risks associated with their use is now on every manufacturer’s radar. So, when formaldehyde was reclassified as both a carcinogen and mutagen, our R&D team were quick to respond and developed Curaphen. It’s got all the characteristics you’d want from a phenolic polymer resin but with none of the associated health and safety risks from the carcinogenic related toxins.”

The Wigan-based company is in the process of removing, replacing and reducing certain chemicals that are to be reclassified or banned by REACh in the future.

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [609149].

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