What is Eastman 168™?

Hank Hayes • Jul 29, 2019 at 8:30 AM

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories about what Eastman makes.

KINGSPORT ‑ If your kid has a rubber ducky in their bath, an Eastman 168™ experience may have happened.

Or if you’ve been in the hospital and gotten medicine through tubing from an IV bag, that’s another Eastman 168™ experience.

Eastman 168™ non-phthalate plasticizer, made here in Kingsport and in Texas City, Texas, offers good performance properties, excellent low temperature flexibility, resistance to extraction by soapy water, and excellent non-migration properties, according to the Kingsport-based specialty products maker.

Robert Emery, Eastman’s product director for Platicizers, explains a plasticizer is generally used in PVC, the white hard pipes that are used in people’s homes to bring water.

Companies making end use products, said Emery, will mix Eastman 168™ with PVC and that makes things flexible and a safer alternative from a health standpoint.

Eastman 168™ is used in making the luxury vinyl tile (LVT) that may be in your bathroom.

“It would be a more inexpensive way of putting high-quality type flooring into people’s homes,” Emery said of LVT. “The cool thing about LVT is that it can have the look and texture of alternative type flooring, like wood flooring and like ceramic tile flooring. It’s a good alternative to carpeting.”

Other Eastman 168™ applications/uses include automotive products, caps and lids, childcare items, garden hoses, graphics, toys and uphostery.

An Eastman 168™ SG (sensitive grade) non-phthalate plasticizer is an enhanced grade Eastman 168™ non-phthalate plasticizer, specifically targeted at more demanding applications such as medical devices, toys, childcare articles and food contact applications.

Emery noted Eastman 168™ product applications should continue to grow.

“Number one, we offer a good alternative to the marketplace as far as being safe,” he pointed out. “It’s good because we see the demand growing at a nice rate. We think the marketplace is asking for this. We continue to innovate within this plasticizer.”