Specialty chemicals, also known as performance chemicals, are used as ingredients in finished products and to improve manufacturing processes. Specialty chemicals require expertise and experience to manufacture and are produced to exacting specifications, depending on their function. Specialty chemical innovation depends on uniting technical and performance attributes, and it is important to understand chemical composition and properties and how they add value to their designated application.
It is worthwhile to note the differences between specialty chemicals and commodity chemicals.
Aspecialty chemical can be described as something that is unique or of a particular class, while a commodity is a product of standard commerce, with general usage. Hydrogen, oxygen, and natural gas are commodities, while a chemical blend formulated and created for a specific need is a specialty chemical.
Specialty chemicals have a variety of uses in many industries, and are generally designed to satisfy a narrow business need, while commodities generally serve well-defined needs and industries. Commodity chemicals are easy to source and do not usually require any particular proficiency to produce, while specialty chemicals require the processes, knowledge, and capability to be produced to exacting standards as defined by the customer. Commodity chemicals do not vary from one producer to another. Specialty chemicals typically vary in quality depending on the proficiency of the manufacturer.
A specialty chemical can be formulated by the customer, which is given to the chemical supplier to produce in specific quantities, tested, and delivered. In some cases, a specialty chemical producer will be asked to scale-up a small test quantity of a formula to quantities necessary for fulfilling a business need. In other instances a specialty chemical provider may be asked to help solve a particular problem and will work with the customer to create an effective formulation.Specialty chemicals are designed to exacting standards, so it is crucial that your specialty chemical producer has a robust QA/QC department to ensure quality and consistency of product.
Specialty Chemical Market
The specialty chemical business is estimated in the range of $200-225 billion, and is growing. Specialty chemicals are designed for specific needs and functions, and are present in many end-use products the average person encounters daily.
For over 30 years, Hampford Research has been a supplier to the following industries:
- Coatings: Free radical and cationic photoinitiators for both mercury lamp and LED curing applications
- Printing: Fast cure speed with little or no yellowing
- Electronics: Serving the micro-electronics and semiconductor industries
- Dental: Ultra high-purity photoinitiators, coinitiators and adhesion promoters for dental restoration
- Personal Care: Preservatives with broad spectrum efficacy, suitable for both leave-on and rinse-off applications
Our lab technicians and experienced chemical operators provide the expertise needed to deliver the exacting standards required for many of today’s industries.