It’s used in everything from sports shoes and underwater oil lines to medical appliances, ski surfaces and toothbrush bristles—everyone has some contact with Vestamid, the “multitalented” high-performance plastic.
What do tiny gear wheels, petroleum pipelines, and modern carving skis have in common? All of these products consist at least in part of VESTAMID from Evonik Industries AG. VESTAMID is a plastic that belongs to the class of polyamides—which also includes the well-known fibers nylon and Perlon, which wrote fashion history during Germany’s “economic miracle” era. Today Evonik is the world’s largest manufacturer of polyamide 12, which is also designated by the chemical abbreviation “PA 12”. The “12” stands for the number of carbon atoms in the initial building block, which is called a “monomer.” In the case of PA 12, this monomer is a compound with the difficult name laurinlactam, which Evonik manufactures itself using a multi-stage process at the Marl Chemistry Park. “We’re profiting from our back-integrated production here,” says Michael Beyer, Vice President Market Development High Performance Polymers (HP) at Evonik.
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