ASK Chemicals LLC cited a “substantial shortage of several key raw materials” for its recent increase in prices for its cold-box and no-bake binder systems. The announcement was made May 29 and the price increases took effect June 1.

The company called the price increases “inevitable to allow ASK Chemicals and its affiliates to continue offering high-performance products and services.”

ASK Chemicals is one of the world’s largest suppliers of foundry chemicals, specifically sand binders, mold coatings, feeders, filters and release agents. It also supplies metallurgical products including inoculants, Mg-treatment and inoculation wires, and master alloys for iron casting.

The particular shortage prompting the price increases concerns furfuryl alcohol (FA), an organic compound that is used as a base for forming resins used by foundries as sand binders, for forming molds. According to ASK, stricter environmental regulations imposed on Chinese FA manufacturers have limited the global availability of the chemical.

Price increases also will affect ASK’s supply of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), a basic incredient in mold curing agents. ASK indicated its “key suppliers for MDI” blame that shortage on technical issues in the production of the chemical.

In its announcement ASK did not indicate the specific range or duration for the increase in its prices. It stated it is undertaking “ongoing and strong efforts to optimize costs in order to offset these rapidly escalating raw material prices.”