New Vistamaxx Grades for Spunbond Processing Deliver Enhanced Elasticity

HOUSTON -- April 12, 2005--ExxonMobil Chemical today announced the addition of two new grades to its family of Vistamaxx(TM) specialty elastomers, both specifically designed to bring greater elasticity to the spunbond processing of nonwoven fabrics.

Today's announcement demonstrates the breadth and depth of the revolutionary Vistamaxx product platform, which is derived from the company's Exxpol® metallocene catalyst technology and proprietary process. The new products also expand the company's portfolio of nonwoven grades, including grades introduced late last year tailored for the specific needs of meltblown processing.

Built-in Elasticity

"Typically, elasticity in nonwovens can be provided by combining existing materials in a composite structure or by mechanical means," said George Racine, product manager Vistamaxx specialty elastomers, ExxonMobil Chemical. "A breakthrough attribute of Vistamaxx is that the polymer itself has elastic properties, enabling the resulting nonwoven fabric to be elastic right out of the spunbond processing machine. Its elongation and tension set characteristics offer elasticity that's unlike other polyolefin polymers."

The new Vistamaxx grades, VM-2125 and VM-2120, are being introduced at INDEX 05 in Geneva, Switzerland, the world's largest nonwovens exhibition. Vistamaxx VM-2125 (80 MFR, 0.865 density) exhibits high elasticity and low permanent set, while Vistamaxx VM-2120 (80 MFR, 0.868 density) offers medium-high elasticity and good recovery. Both grades offer excellent processability.

For nonwovens converters using spunbond technology, the latest Vistamaxx products offer an innovative way to provide cost-effective elasticity in nonwovens fabrics. They can be spun in most spunbond lines to produce fabrics at typical polypropylene conditions and rates. Web properties can be tailored by the selection of resin spinning condition and downstream treatment, resulting in fabrics over a wide range of elasticity that are soft, drapeable and tear-resistant.

Successful Start

Since the introduction of Vistamaxx specialty elastomers and the successful startup of a new metallocene elastomer plant, ExxonMobil Chemical has produced and sold commercial quantities of Vistamaxx in North America, Europe and Asia. Customers continue to assess Vistamaxx across a wide range of applications.

"Vistamaxx is unlike any other polymer or combination of polymers," Racine said. "We've encouraged developers to explore its potential to help them produce next-generation solutions. In addition to being compatible with a wide variety of polymers, Vistamaxx can improve the elasticity, flexibility, adhesion, softness and toughness of customers' products."

Metallocene Elastomer Production

Vistamaxx products are produced at ExxonMobil Chemical's new facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The plant allows the company to manufacture products ranging from amorphous elastomers to plastic-like polymers with varying molecular weights and composition.

"The multiple commercial runs of Vistamaxx products we have completed to date demonstrate our full production capability," said Hans VanBrackle, global technology manager, ExxonMobil Chemical Ethylene Elastomers. "We've also been able to show the excellent product quality control that customers have come to expect from ExxonMobil."

About ExxonMobil Chemical

ExxonMobil Chemical is a global leader in technology, product quality and customer service, with petrochemical manufacturing and/or marketing operations in more than 150 countries.

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ExxonMobil Chemical
Elaine White
Margaret RossUSA

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