Suppliers Expect Polysulphide
Sealant Restrictions through the Summer
Suppliers of polysulphide polymers of IG sealants are
experiencing supply problems as a result of shortages coming from the
Toray Thiokol production facility in Chiba, Japan, following a March 11
earthquake (see April 2011 USGlass, page 17).
Italy-based Fenzi issued a news release on June 7 cautioning customers
to expect future cost increases on polysulphide sealants as a result of
shortages coming from its supplier. Fenzi reports that Toray has told
customers that production of the polymer is not likely to resume until
According to the Fenzi release: “To make matters worse, there are problems
in getting the infrastructures and electricity throughout Japan up and
running again and this is deeply affecting the production chain … Over
the coming weeks therefore, problems are likely to emerge with the sourcing
of IG sealants and for this very reason the costs of the products will
Fenzi is hardly alone in feeling the shortage.
“ADCO does not produce polysulphide in the United States but Kömmerling,
our sister company in Germany, does and they indeed are affected by availability,”
says Michael Speicher, national accounts manager for ADCO Products Inc.
According to a news release issued by Kömmerling, “With other suppliers
operating close to capacity, polysulphide sealant supplies could be restricted
during the busy mid-summer period and there are indications of significant
price rises in the pipeline from the other polymer suppliers. Kömmerling
estimates that it will be able to maintain normal supplies to existing
customers during this period, but will not be able to take on additional
volumes for the foreseeable future.”
Fenzi says the Toray Thiokol production facility in Chiba produces and
caters to approximately 35 percent of the worldwide demand for polysulphide
polymer. The supplier also notes that the shortages of this particular
material are leading to strengthened demand for alternative sealant materials,
including polyurethane, butyl, silicone and hot-melt.
ADCO further notes, “The primary PIB-based sealants used in IG production
are also in a tight supply position following disruption of Japanese production.
Raw material for PIB is short and escalating in price. Kömmerling
predicts that it has sufficient supplies at present to meet normal high
summer demand from existing customers, but prices are likely to increase.
Insulating glass producers should be cautious about fixing long-term prices
in this unstable situation.”
“This definitely affects customers in North America that buy from Kömmerling,”
Speicher says. He adds, “We have informed each customer personally.”
Glasswerks LA Inc. in Los Angeles is among the many IG fabricators feeling
the pinch. Ed Rosengrant, vice president of sales and marketing, notes,
“The increase in the sealant happens to coincide with the primary glass
suppliers’ 10-percent increase. This has given us the opportunity to go
with one price increase to our customer base. That being said, the run-up
in polysulphide costs has put it on more of an even par with silicone
sealants, which has caused us to look at that as an option.”
Tubelite Expands Distribution
Tubelite Inc. in Walker, Mich., has several new distributors for its architectural
• Wholesale Glass Distributors will distribute its products to clients
in Tennessee and parts of Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi;
• Butler, Pa.-based United Plate Glass Co. will deliver to clients in
western Pennsylvania, southwestern New York, eastern Ohio, northern West
Virginia, northeastern Maryland, the northern D.C. suburbs and specific
destinations for large projects;
• Glaz-Tech Industries Inc. in Tucson, Ariz., will distribute Tubelite’s
products in Idaho and Utah; and
• Complete Line Glass Wholesalers Inc. will distribute the products to
clients in Texas.
GlasWeld Adds Australian Distributor
GlasWeld in Bend, Ore., has appointed GlasWeld Australia Pty. Ltd. as
its exclusive distributor for Australia. The distributor is a wholly owned
subsidiary of Cleveland Tungsten Pty. Ltd. and is located in Revesby,
Australia. Sales and marketing for the distributorship will be managed
by Garry Sylvester, who previously managed a national call center sales
force for Belron and worked for NGS Glass as a national accounts representative.
National Glass Teams Up with TGP in Western Canada
National Glass, a wholesale distributor and fabricator based in Langley,
British Columbia, is partnering with Technical Glass Products (TGP) to
distribute the FireLite® family of fire-rated ceramic glass products
throughout Western Canada. According to the announcement, the new alliance
will help National Glass provide architects, glaziers and other building
and design professionals with a broad range of fire-rated glazing solutions.
© Copyright 2011 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.