News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

July 26, 2010

Huber to expand silica capacity in India

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 7:00 am

On July 22, Huber Engineered Materials announced plans to expand silica capacity at its manufacturing facility in Jhagadia, India. The expansion will more than double the current capacity to a 33,000 metric tons per year by early 2012. Huber’s Jhagadia plant produces silica and silicate products for a variety of applications, including toothpaste, paints and coatings and paper. The new capacity is designed to meet the growing demand for each of these applications in India and the surrounding region.

Chuck Herak, Vice President and General Manager of Huber’s Silica business unit, said of the expansion, “With the successful start-up of our newest silica plant in Qingdao, China, we can now focus our expansion efforts on this new project in India.”

The press release is here.

July 15, 2010

Kumho prevails in 4-ADPA suit

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 10:57 pm

On Thursday, Korea Kumho Petrochemical announced that it has won a six-year lawsuit with Flexsys America (a subsidiary of Solutia) related to production technology for 4-ADPA, a precursor to a widely-used rubber antidegradant, 6PPD. KKPC produced 6PPD from 4-ADPA imported from China, which Flexsys alleged was produced through a process that infringed on its own patented technology. In a series of suits, Flexsys sought to ban US imports of the chemicals themselves as well as tires produced from the disputed chemicals.

According to a statement from KKPC, “The Ohio Northern District Court ruled on July 6 that Kumho
Petrochemical did not violate the patents of Flexsys. Flexsys has filed three lawsuits against Kumho for the past six years, including two with the US International Trade Commission, to prevent Kumho’s entry to the US market, but we have won all the three cases.” KKPC stated that, in the wake of the ruling, it planned to expand its 6PPD business in the United States.

The US Trade Commission had previously ruled that Kumho and Chinese 4-ADPA producer Sinorgchem did not infringe on the Flexsys patent.

July 12, 2010

Evonik to decide on future of carbon black business by year-end

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 9:13 am

On July 12, Evonik Industries issued a press release with more details of its spin-off of its carbon black activities into a separate entity called Evonik Carbon Black GmbH. The company was founded on July 1, 2010 as a “legally independent management company under the umbrella of Evonik Industries.” Its chairman and CEO is Jack Clem, who comes from the US business, while Rainer Wobbe has taken the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The operational headquarters of the company are currently in Frankfurt but will move to Hanau-Wolfgang on October 1. The product portfolio and the relationship to customers should not be affected by the spin-off. Evonik is the second largest carbon black manufacturer worldwide, with 17 sites in 12 countries on four continents. According to the release, the company’s 1,700 employees generated sales of about €1 billion in the last fiscal year.

The release also included details about the future direction of Evonik Carbon Black. By the end of 2010, Evonik will decide on one of three strategic options for the business: optimization as an independent market unit, the formation of a partnership solution, or the sale of the business.

The release is here.

July 2, 2010

Evonik Degussa to Establish Carbon Black Business as a Separate Entity

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 8:57 am

On June 25, 2010, Evonik Industries issued a release announcing that it was establishing a separate legal entity to conduct its carbon black activities.

Effective July 1, 2010, Evonik Degussa GmbH carved out the Carbon Black Business Line of Evonik’s Inorganic Materials Business Unit into Evonik Carbon Black GmbH. The new company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Evonik Degussa GmbH and be part of Evonik’s Inorganic Materials Business Unit. Mr. Jack Clem, currently Senior VP worldwide carbon black, is the new CEO of Evonik Carbon Black GmbH. Klaus Hagenmueller is the new Vice President Strategic Raw Materials & SCM Business Line Carbon Black. Rainer Wobbe is the new CFO of Evonik Carbon Black GmbH. The operational Headquarters of this new legal entity is unchanged and is located in Frankfurt, Germany.

July 1, 2010

Researchers claim to reduce tire weight through nanosilicates instead of carbon black

Filed under: Carbon Black, Silica — Notch @ 10:32 am

A researcher in Iran has found using nanosilicate as a reinforcement in tire rubber can reduce tire weight, but the process has implications for carbon black usage. “The application of layered nanosilicate results in the reduction of carbon black quantity used in rubber blends thus reduces the density of blend so that it is possible to synthesize products with less weight,” said Azam Jalali Arani, a faculty member of the Polymer Engineering Department of Amirkabir University of Technology. “Tires lightening decreases fuel consumption of vehicles as well as the environmental pollution and consequently saves the energy consumption. Other specifications and final properties of the blend would also be improved and tire lifetime would be increased”, she added.

Jalali Arani first formulated the nanosilicate incorporated rubber blend. Then she analyzed and determined the optimized conditions for preparation of this blend. After that, blending and producing the nanocomposite sample and also analyzing and testing the properties of sample vulcanization were done by rheometric test. Sample vulcanization and cure according to the results obtained from rheometric test and produced nanocomposite properties study were a part of research outcomes.

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