Technological watch

Russia’s Sibur, 3M ink agreement to cooperate in product development and polymer recycling

Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev cut the ribbon of the first domestic R&D centre for the development and testing of polymer products – Sibut PolyLab located at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre, on May 29. PolyLab currently employs 40 experts with unique qualifications in different industrial areas. Its more than 5,000-square meter area houses over 100 of the most advanced equipment units to conduct R&D projects, including lines for films and pipes, injection molding, compounding and modelling other ways of processing polymers into end products. All in all, project investments exceeded RUB2.2 billion ($33.6 million).

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev inspecting PolyLab.Vasiliy Nomokonov,  Executive Director at Sibur and Mats Friberg, Managing Director at 3M Russia/CIS ink the research deal.The main mission of Sibur’s PolyLab is to promote the use of polymers such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) both to manufacture existing products, and to design novel solutions to drive technological advancement in healthcare, consumer goods, automotive, and construction industries. PolyLab will also foster the use of recycled materials and the application of polymers in circular economy.

To this end, samples of new PE and PP grades will be transformed at the center's pilot manufacturing lines into pipes, medical goods, films, food packaging, canisters and other products. This will provide a deeper insight into polymer properties and their impact on the end product quality to further improve the materials and boost production efficiency.

Sibur now plans to cooperate with 3M in the development of new PE and PP grades, including those to be produced at ZapSibNeftekhim. In particular, the parties agreed to develop new solutions to boost the processability of polymer grades and make Sibur's products more eco-friendly and fit for recycling.

The companies are also planning to jointly hold events educating Sibur's clients in efficient polymer processing technologies using PolyLab’s demo equipment. They are planning to cooperate in health and safety, share experience in the application of cutting-edge digital technologies in production and R&D, including big data.

“Partnering with global innovation and technology leaders, such as 3M, contributes to the advances of Russia’s petrochemical industry. Joint efforts in designing new polymer production solutions will enable Sibur to market new products that will meet the highest requirements and improve quality of life,” said Vasiliy Nomokonov, Management Board member and Executive Director at Sibur.

“We have been cooperating with Sibur for many years. We are convinced that PolyLab will bring it to a new level and enable us to contribute to Sibur's addressing the issues of its customers even more by leveraging on 3M’s global resources, too,” said Mats Friberg, Managing Director at 3M Russia and CIS.

Publication date: 03/06/2019

Plastics Today

This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2019-09-18