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Kraton Performance Polymers and the National Center for Asphalt Technology Announce Exceptional Performance Results of Kraton(TM) HiMA Technology

February 29, 2012

HOUSTON, Feb. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc. (NYSE: “KRA”), a leading global producer of styrenic block copolymers or “SBCs,” in partnership with the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) is pleased to announce the findings of The NCAT Pavement Test Track project that tested and compared the performance of Kraton HiMA technology against competing asphalt pavement technologies.

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The NCAT Pavement Test Track, a road and bridge industry-renowned, accelerated pavement-testing facility has been operating for eleven years. It is a cooperative project with individual test sections sponsored by highway transportation agencies and commercial interest groups to validate and develop new technologies for improving roadways to make them smoother, quieter, safer, last longer, and more economical. It is NCAT’s proving ground to help validate those technologies in an accelerated fashion. To view an edited video about the NCAT Test Track, please click here.

Kraton Polymers sponsored test section North 7 (N7) to determine if a highly modified binder using its HiMA technology could reduce the total pavement thickness and still achieve adequate and even superior performance. Kraton kept the same gradation and mix design and simply replaced the binder, which gave the Kraton section a total thickness of 5 3/4 inches versus seven inches (18% reduction in thickness) from the control section. “Even though there is no cracking to date, NCAT has conducted an analysis based on actual pavement strain and back calculated modulus data along with laboratory fatigue tests,” said Bob Kluttz, Sr. Scientist, Research and Development at Kraton Polymers. “The analysis shows many times the fatigue life of the control indicating that our thinner section may significantly outperform the control in bottom up fatigue cracking as well. At the end of the 2009-2011 trafficking cycle the average rut depth of section N7 was 2.2 mm versus 7.1 mm for the control section S9,” he concluded.

“Partnerships between the NCAT Pavement Test Track and private industries such as Kraton Polymers are key to the continued success of both organizations,” says Test Track Manager Buzz Powell. “Funding for projects on public roads is scarce, and the test track gives Kraton a solid proving ground for their new technologies,” he concluded.

Polymer modification of asphalt binder is the government transportation agency solution of choice to enhance the durability of roads exposed to heavy traffic or harsh climates. The added performance that an asphalt binder achieves through polymer modification is required to meet the evolving expectations of drivers, road agencies and authorities, and the wider community. As pioneers in asphalt modification, Kraton Polymers leads the paving industry by offering new and innovative polymers that deliver greater performance and processability.

The current NCAT test track sponsors include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), numerous state departments of transportation and four private industry groups. NCAT’s annual budget is about $5 million.

For additional information about Kraton HiMA technology, please contact Marcie Coronado at Marcie.coronado@kraton.com or 281-504-4975. For information regarding the test track and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Karen Hunley at the National Center for Asphalt Technology at Karen.hunley@auburn.edu or (334) 844-7328.

About Kraton Polymers

Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc., through its operating subsidiary Kraton Polymers LLC and its subsidiaries, is a leading global producer of engineered polymers and styrenic block copolymers (“SBCs”), a family of products whose chemistry was pioneered by us almost fifty years ago. SBCs are highly-engineered thermoplastic elastomers, which enhance the performance of numerous products by delivering a variety of attributes, including greater flexibility, resilience, strength, durability and processability. Our polymers are used in a wide range of applications, including adhesives, coatings, consumer and personal care products, sealants and lubricants, and medical, packaging, automotive, paving, roofing and footwear products. We currently offer approximately 800 products to more than 700 customers in over 60 countries worldwide, and are the only SBC producer with manufacturing and service capabilities on four continents. We manufacture products at five plants globally, including our flagship plant in Belpre, Ohio, as well as plants in Germany, France and Brazil, and a joint venture plant operated in Japan.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release may contain “forward-looking statements,” which are statements other than statements of historical fact and are often characterized by the use of words such as “believes,” “expects,” “estimates,” “projects,” “may,” “will,” “intends,” “plans” or “anticipates,” or by discussions of strategy, anticipated performance, plans or intentions. All forward-looking statements in this press release are made based on management’s current expectations and estimates, which involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are more fully described in “Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors” contained in our Annual Report on 10-K, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and as subsequently updated in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. We hereby make reference to all such filings for all purposes. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. We assume no obligation to update such information.

Kraton, the Kraton logo and design, Cariflex, Nexar and the “Giving Innovators their Edge” tagline are all trademarks of Kraton Polymers LLC.

© Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc. 2012. All rights reserved.

For Further Information:
Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc.
Media: Marcie Coronado +1-281-504-4975
Investors: H. Gene Shiels +1-281-504-4886

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SOURCE Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc.


Source: PR Newswire