Dow Corning, of Midland, MI, USA, will implement a platinum index-based pricing system for its global pressure sensitive product line starting July 1, according to Shelley J. Bausch, global industry director for Dow Corning Pressure Sensitive Industry. The company is implementing this practice to better manage the impact of commodity platinum metal pricing, he says, which has more than tripled since 1999 and increased more than 50 percent over the past year.
“Dow Corning has aggressively implemented continuous productivity improvement programs and has introduced innovative low-platinum systems over the last four years,” Bausch says. “However, these advances do not offset the significant escalation of platinum metal prices.” Platinum traditionally is a key ingredient in the manufacture of silicone release liners.
Initially, Dow Corning attempted to outlast the upward spiral in platinum prices by offering both high- and low-platinum systems and attempting to absorb the increased costs. “Unfortunately, with platinum prices now reaching record levels, Dow Corning cannot continue that practice, and external indicators do not forecast any immediate drop to the current level,” Bausch adds.
In early 2004, the company responded to sharply rising platinum prices by investing heavily in the development of its Syl-Off Advantage Series Solventless Silicone Release Coatings, which contain significantly less platinum than conventional platinum-catalyzed coatings. Advantage Series Coatings are designed to help reduce vulnerability to swings in platinum metal prices. The Advantage Series has been widely accepted by customers globally,” says Bauch, adding that Dow Corning continues to offer full support for its implementation to help customers minimize the impact of platinum cost on their prices and profitability.
For information about Dow Corning’s pressure sensitive products, visit www.dowcorning.com/psi. For information about the platinum commodities market, go to www.platinum.matthey.com.