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Engineering Solutions with PA66: Interview with Ascend Performance Materials at K 2016

Sreeparna Das & Sreeparna Das – Nov 8, 2016

Phil McDivitt 
Phil McDivitt
At the K show, we saw a strong focus on automotive solutions. There is a big demand for high end engineering materials for under-the-hood automotive applications.

We took the opportunity to catch up with Phil McDivitt, President and COO of Ascend Performance Materials to discuss about their expanding PA 66 Portfolio, offering a range of solutions in automotive and more...


How important was it for Ascend Performance Materials to be at K 2016?


It was important for our brand awareness as there was a wide range of audiences at K 2016. We have been in the PA66 business for over 60 years. Our business used to be focused on carpet fibers but in recent years we have been steadily growing in a number of applications.

One of the main focal points at the show was on Vydyne® PA66 solutions for under-the-hood automotive solutions. Our products meet the rising demand of high heat engineering plastics solutions enabling metal replacement in automotive applications.

Other applications include:

  • E&E
  • Industrial fibers (for airbags, tire cords, etc.)
  • Packaging films, and more
PA 66 Applications

Ascend’s Vydyne® PA66 portfolio on display at the K included:

  • For automotive: The HR and HT product families of Vydyne® PA66 for best-in-class temperature and hydrolysis resistance for demanding under-the-hood applications.

  • For electrical and electronic equipment: The ECO and J grades of Vydyne® PA66 for electrically-neutral, halogen-free and flame resistant solutions for our customers.

  • For consumer and industrial goods: An expanding line of Vydyne® PA66, including high viscosity grades, for several uses. These include applications that require strength, toughness, stiffness, heat resistance, precise color and durability.

  • For cable ties and fasteners: Two dozen grades of Vydyne® PA66 to the global cable tie and fastener industries. These include grades that are impact-modified, UV resistant, outdoor weatherable and heat stabilized.


What as per you are the key trends in the automotive industry? Can bio-based solutions deliver?


The automotive industry is a dynamic one and currently we are witnessing the most significant rate of change in several decades. OEMs and Tier 1 companies are driving changes in technology, where electrification and digitalization are some of the interesting trends.

Light weighting and fuel efficiency are the need of the hour to be able to comply with the strict regulations and the upcoming CAFE 2025 standards. Proven solutions such as Vydyne Nylon 66 can deliver and help meet the requirements.

Sustainable solutions are important but compounds with PCR content seem more plausible than bio-based products.



How do you view your positioning versus competition?


There are several advantages we offer:

  • At Ascend, there is singular focus on PA66 and we are involved in the complete production cycle starting from the feedstock to the polymer product.

  • A lot of emphasis is put on ‘customer intimacy model’, which makes it easy for them to do business with Ascend Performance Materials. This includes primarily direct sales, while sales via distributors also exist to manage global customers.

  • Technical support is another important aspect, where the R&D team is in touch with the customers (process engineers). This includes dynamic response to customers looking to find solutions.

It is of high importance to develop sustainable and long lasting relationships with customers. At the K, one of the key aspects was the development of such new relationships.



About Phil McDivitt

Phil McDivitt serves as the president and chief operating officer of Ascend Performance Materials. McDivitt has a 30 year background in the chemicals and materials industries, including working at Celanese Corp. There he oversaw three businesses to record results and was responsible for the development of a manufacturing site in China. He later served as the company’s vice president and general manager of engineered materials.

McDivitt joined Ascend in April 2015 and is responsible for day-to-day leadership of the company. He reports directly to CEO Fred Poses.

McDivitt has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University. He also has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas.



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