French specialty chemicals and advanced materials company Arkema announced it has brought online new Kynar fluoropolymer production capacities in China. The company said the 25% capacity increase, which was announced in October 2016, is aimed at better serving its Asian customers, especially in the storage and photovoltaic industries.
Arkema’s PVDF plant in Changshu was set up in 2011, and its capacity was then raised by 50% in 2012. The company said the manufacturing facility is Asia’s largest PVFD factory.
Arkema’s Kynar PVDF film is used by the solar industry for PV panel backsheet protection. The company claims its films provide a very good high temperature and humidity performance, and that their UV resistance as well as the stability of their white color, which contributes to reflecting light toward the silicon, are key elements in the longevity and increased energy yield of solar panels.
Furthermore, Arkema produces the ethylene/vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) Evatane for the encapsulation of silicon cells and the protection of electrical circuits, and the organic peroxides Luperox Solar used for the cross-linking of EVA – served as cell encpasulation – speed up the production rates of solar panels. Moreover, the company provides the polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) Altuglas® HT 121 for photovoltaic applications, and the flexible nanostructured thermoplastic polymer Apolhya Solar, which is designed to encapsulate the components of photovoltaic modules.
The company has also developed a back sheet, branded KPK, comprising two Kynar films over a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) core film, in partnership with German company Krempel.
Arkema has a wide range of facilities in Europe and throughout North, Central and South America.