AkzoNobel increases capacity for expandable microspheres

AkzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals business is investing more than EUR20 million to increase production capacity in Sweden for its "Expancel" product line for expandable microspheres.

Akzo Nobel's Sundsvall site in Sweden. Source: Akzo Nobel -

Increasing demand for the product – an essential ingredient in many consumer goods, industrial applications and the construction industry – means the company will expand its Stockvik facility near Sundsvall. Completion is expected by the end of 2018.

Strong increase in demand

“Expancel microspheres are used in a number of important growth markets, such as paints and the automotive industry,” says Sylvia Winkel, Director of Expancel at AkzoNobel. “We are seeing a strong increase in demand for the product and the expansion will ensure our ability to serve our customers globally.” The product consists of expandable, microscopic spheres comprising a thermoplastic shell encapsulating a gas. When heated, they expand dramatically – up to 60 times in volume – making them ideal for a variety of uses, such as filling material.

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