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Customised performance polymers and ion exchange resins

With its roots in developing and manufacturing ion exchange resins for the sugar industry, Finex has steadily extended its product range, applying its core technology know-how to other areas and moved into completely new applications.

Finex has over 30 years of experience in producing chromatographic resins for industrial use. Its tailor-made ion exchange resins are particularly well-known among sugar and sweetener producers, where the business originated, and are used to process hundreds of tonnes of molasses daily around the world. Particle size and particle size distribution, cross-linkage, and ionic form can all be adjusted to suit different processes, whether molasses desugarisation, glucosefructose separation, or polyol separation.

Growing product range

The company’s product range has grown steadily over the years, and the first area to be addressed outside foodstuff and sweetener applications was condensate polishing.

Finex condensate polishing resins are now available in both powdered and bead form – for condensate polishing in the nuclear industry to remove trace impurities that can lead to harmful corrosion or deposition; and for condensate polishing and other water treatment applications in conventional applications, such as deionisation, softening, and mechanical cleaning.

Finex can tailor resin properties very precisely to meet different customers’ needs, in areas such as bead size, moisture content, and ionic form.

The very low impurity levels of Finex’ resins and their ability to form a porous floc with excellent coating properties when used with precoat filter units makes them very useful in the nuclear industry. Acting as a combined filter and ion exchanger, they can collect cationic and anionic impurities and insoluble corrosion products into a small volume of waste. These resins are supplied to a number of nuclear plants in Europe today.

Condensate polishing resins were followed by speciality polymers for use in fillers, coatings, lacquers, and glues. Castings making use of these products are used by companies manufacturing aerospace products, gas turbines, and other highperformance products worldwide.

The latest area to benefit from Finex’ expertise is pharmaceuticals. Resins for use in preparative and analytical processes in pharmaceutical and other fine chemical process applications were launched in 2006; and the company is a GMP-approved producer of API products.

Finex’ R&D team works closely with the company’s marketing and production operations, and laboratory and pilot-scale equipment is used to test new recipes and produce smaller quantities of products for evaluation in the field and for ensuring a smooth ramp-up to full-scale production.

Finex’ current product range consists of four product families:

  • Industrial chromatographic separation resins for the food, dairy, and nutrients industries
  • Specialty polymers for manufacturing industries
  • Powdered resins for power plants and food manufacturers
  • Pharma resins.
> Jaana Vanhala
(Published in HighTech Finland 2009)