Huntsman celebrates surface solutions investments in Ringwood, Illinois

Global specialty chemical manufacturer Huntsman hosted a formal event at its polyurethane elastomers production facility in Ringwood, Illinois, last week to mark the completion of a series of strategic investments in its thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) manufacturing capabilities for end applications in paint protection film and security glazing.

Huntsman is one of the longest-standing producers of TPUs for protective film applications. For more than 45 years, the business has been making high performance TPUs that form the basis of paint protection films, surface protection systems and security glazing technologies.

Over the last two years Huntsman has constructed a purpose-built TPU manufacturing facility for protective film technologies at its Ringwood site – fitting it out with cutting edge automation equipment. This investment has helped increase the output of products within Huntsman’s Krystalgran and Krystalflex TPU portfolios.

During the event, which was attended by associates and federal, state, and local political leaders, Steen Weien Hansen, vice president of global automotive and Elastomers for Huntsman Polyurethanes and Alexis Bortoluzzi, senior director, global elastomers for Huntsman Polyurethanes began with welcoming speeches to guests. They emphasised Huntsman’s strategic position as a flagship supplier in the TPU market in addition to the upgrade of the Ringwood site poising Huntsman Polyurethanes for growth with the industry. Steen Weien Hansen then formally commissioned the facility by cutting a ribbon.

Special guests in attendance included Village of Ringwood president, Rick Mack; McHenry County Board chairman, Mike Buehler; State Senator Craig Wilcox; and Greg Claus, deputy chief of staff for US Congressman Brad Schneider. Guests were given a tour of the Ringwood facility and were able to see Huntsman’s paint protection film technology in action. The business arranged for a 2022 McLaren 765LT Spider to be on display at the plant. The vehicle was lent on behalf of Hamilton Collection, a charity-based organization with a fleet of super cars available for showing. The surface of the show vehicle was preserved with paint protection film – demonstrating the protective properties of the technology, which can stop vehicle paint work from getting chipped and damaged by road debris.

Commenting, Trent Shidaker, global director of marketing at Huntsman for Elastomers, said: “Demand for surface protection solutions, and specifically for paint protection films, has accelerated in the last few years. Once solely employed in the luxury vehicle market, films are now used to protect mainstream vehicle makes and models from chips, scuffs, scrapes and UV weathering. It’s an exciting time to be in this sector and our recent investments reflect our commitment to the market and our customers. This event was a chance to thank the team involved in the construction, installation, and commissioning of our new surface solutions assets at Ringwood.”