Rising Cost of Raw Materials Impacts Price of Brominated Epoxy Resins
Jun 09, 2004
The Dow Chemical Company says that rising raw material and energy costs coupled with increasing demand have led the company to implement recent price increases for its brominated epoxy resins.
“The price increases are driven by persistently high hydrocarbon feedstock and energy costs, as well as a continual tightening of supply due to strong demand,” says Patrick Ho, business vice president of Epoxy Products and Intermediates (EP&I) at Dow.
Chlorine and propylene, made from petroleum oil (refined crude oil), or petroleum gases, are some of the main raw materials used to manufacture epichlorohydrin, which combines with industrial chemical bisphenol-A to make epoxy resins. Each of these raw materials are also used to make many other products such as polypropylene plastic, water treatment polymers, polycarbonate and PVC. Demand for these and other downstream products affects the availability and prices of intermediates for epoxy resins.
“Despite the challenging economic situation created by high raw material costs, Dow remains committed to the printed circuit board industry and to providing high-quality products for our customers,” says Hideyuki Ohnishi, Dow global marketing manager, Electrical Laminates. “Dow will continue to serve its customers through investments in research and development and world-class production capabilities. In the printed circuit board industry, in particular, we are focused on supporting our customer’s increasing performance requirements for resins having higher thermal capabilities and improved dielectric properties.”
Ohnishi added, “Dow has invested considerably in new technologies, such as the Low Dk resin arena, reflecting the strategic importance of this business and our long-term commitment to laminators and end-users.”
Brominated epoxy resins are widely used to make the reinforced plastic material in the production of printed circuit boards. The prepeg, the first step in making an electrical laminate, is a reinforcing web impregnated with a catalyzed epoxy resin solution that has been reacted. Sandwiching the prepeg between layers of copper and foil under heat and pressure results in the laminate used for the circuit boards.