Session Details

This session is offered twice, please join us either:

Tuesday, May 7, 2024, 3:00 PM or Wednesday, May 8, 2024, 1:00 PM


Transitioning away from PFAS in plastics presents challenges but also opportunities for innovation and sustainability. By aligning with regulations, maintaining performance, and responding to market demands, the industry can navigate the complexities of PFAS replacement. Avient supports this journey with a range of non-PFAS solutions and technical expertise, helping customers develop more sustainable products for the future.

Who should attend:

Product Stewards, Sustainability Officers, Design and Process Engineers, Product Designers, and Brand Marketers.

What you will learn:

The seminar will explore per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) alternatives in polymer additives and internally lubricated formulations. This includes discussing strategies for navigating the complexities of PFAS regulations and market demands for more sustainable materials. Attendees will gain insights into Avient’s approach to PFAS replacement, key properties of PFAS in plastics, and the industries most impacted by PFAS.

  1. Understanding PFAS Utilization:
    • Explaining why and where PFAS are used such as hydrohobicity, oil repellents, non-stick applications, ultraviolet (UV) stabilization, and lubricants.
  2. Exploring PFAS Alternatives:
    • Maintaining product quality and balancing the need for water and oil repellency, non-stick properties, lubricating, and chemical inertness.
    • Understanding the functionality of polymer processing aids, low retention additives (hydrophobic), and internally lubricated formulations.
    • Choosing the right solutions on an application-by-application basis.
  3. Non-PFAS Solution Development:
    • Ensuring that non-PFAS solutions provide the desired functionality, such as surface energy modification, die build-up/melt fracture reduction, moisture management, barrier enhancement, low coefficient of friction (CoF), and process enhancement.
  4. Marketplace Expectations:
    • Communicating the benefits and limitations of PFAS alternatives to stakeholders.
    • Addressing consumer and industry demands for non-PFAS products.
    • Aligning product development with market trends and consumer preferences for sustainability.

How Avient can help:

Below are strategies manufacturers can use to address challenges to replacing PFAS in plastics, along with the relevant Avient solutions that can help.  

  1. Performance Maintenance: Employ PFAS alternatives to meet critical performance characteristics of traditional PFAS additives, such as water repellency, non-stick properties, lubricity, and chemical resistance.
    • Avient offers a range of non-PFAS solutions, including polymer processing aids, hydrophobic additives, and internally lubricated formulations that maintain desired performance attributes without using PFAS​​.
  2. Market Responsiveness: Respond to market demands for non-PFAS products by implementing non-PFAS solutions tailored to specific applications.
    • Avient offers a portfolio of non-PFAS solutions that meet consumer and industry demands.
  3. Innovation and Collaboration: Work with those involved in research and development to explore new chemistries and technologies for non-PFAS solutions. Reach out to suppliers, academia, and customers.
    • Avient fosters innovation and collaboration through its commitment to developing sustainable materials and working with partners to advance non-PFAS technologies.
  4. Sustainability Integration: Incorporate sustainability principles into product development, focusing on alternatives to PFAS.
    • Avient helps customers integrate sustainability by offering non-PFAS solutions that contribute to environmental goals.

Session Details

Sean Bernhardt
Full Name
Sean Bernhardt
Job Title
Senior Research and Development Manager, Color, Additives, & Inks, Americas
Speaker Bio
Sean Bernhardt is the Senior Research and Development Manager for Avient Corporation’s Color, Additives & Inks division in the Americas region. Avient is a leading provider of sustainable solutions and services. With more than 20 years of experience in the functional additive and polymer industry, Sean started his career as a Development Chemist at Milliken Chemical.

Over his 10 years with Milliken, Sean progressed through various roles, eventually becoming the Regional Product Manager for Polymeric Colorants. In 2011, he joined Avient and has since held several roles, including Application Development, where he supported various end markets such as packaging, medical, and automotive. He has also explored commercial roles before transitioning into management of the Application Development and Technical Service team. In 2020, Sean took on the opportunity of creating a regional Research & Development team within Avient's Color and Additives business. This globally aligned team is focused on developing and delivering innovative solutions to customers and addressing the industry's most challenging needs.

Sean earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, and a Master of Business Administration from Pamplin College of Business.