News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

October 19, 2012

Sid Richardson Introduces New “Energy Saver” Carbon Black for Tires

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 6:33 am

Last week, Sid Richardson Carbon & Energy Co. announced the introduction of a new modified carbon black called ES200 that that imparts lower hysteresis in rubber compounds without adversely affecting other properties such as treadwear. Lowering hysteresis is key to improving the rolling resistance of tires, thus improving fuel economy. Sid Richardson calls this new class of filler “Energy Saver Blacks” (patent and trademark pending).

According to the company, other advantages of ES200 include its compatibility with various rubber formulations (including natural rubber), higher rebound, especially at elevated temperatures, increased modulus, improved angle abrasion, and the further potential to improve properties through compounding.

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October 16, 2012

Tomorrow: Smithers Rapra to Present Free Webinar on Carbon Black & Tire Rolling Resistance

Filed under: Carbon Black, Silica — Notch @ 10:23 am

Tomorrow, Smithers Rapra will present a free webinar with Dr. Charles R. Herd, Director Rubber Carbon Black Technology, Birla Carbon on the topic of “Carbon Black Technology and Approaches Toward Ultimate Tire Rolling Resistance.” The webinar will be 30-45 minutes long, allowing for a 10 minute Q&A session. The webinar will take place Wednesday, October 17th at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

This webinar is designed to be an industry-wide review on carbon black technology and its ability to provide low rolling resistance, treadwear and traction to passenger tire tread compounds with an eye toward labeling regulations. As such, the fundamental properties of carbon black will be reviewed and briefly compared to silica. Secondly, the structure-property relationships important in rubber to achieve the desired goals will be summarized and the various technological approaches utilized by carbon black manufacturers, as found in the literature, for manipulation of theses structure-property relationships, will be categorized. Lastly, an indication of potential approaches in carbon black technology in the future to truly extend its performance to new levels that can rival competitive fillers will be presented.

October 15, 2012

Huber Raises Prices for Precipitated Silica

Filed under: Uncategorized — Notch @ 8:06 pm

On October 1, Huber announced a global price increase for its precipitated silicas and silicates. The increase is effective beginning Oct. 30, 2012, or as current contracts allow. The price adjustment of up to seven percent is dependent on geographic region. Huber said that the increased was driven by increased costs for raw materials, energy, freight, labor and manufacturing.

October 3, 2012

Asia Carbon Industries upgrading three carbon black production lines to specialty grades

Filed under: Uncategorized — Notch @ 12:57 am

On September 27, Asia Carbon Industries announced plans to convert its three dry production lines located in Shanxi, China to specialty carbon black production lines. The project, which will be funded by cash from operations, is expected to begin on October 1, 2012 and finish in about three months at a total cost of approximately $4 million. Production will cease at the lines during the project.

The company expects that the specialty materials to be produced at the new facilities will generate significantly more revenues as a result of the higher sales prices. Specialty carbon black also has a broader range of uses as compared to the more traditional products; these include use as a pigmenting agent, UV stabilizer or conductive agent in a variety of products, such as plastics, toners and printing inks and coating, battery and electrical parts.

Each of the company’s dry production lines has an annual production capacity of 12,000 tons, operating at approximately 80% capacity, together the three dry production lines generate approximately $27 million revenue per year at the current price levels. Once the renovation has been completed, the production lines will each have an annual capacity of 6,000 tons, for a total of 18,000 tons of specialty carbon black per year. Projected revenue from specialty carbon black production at similar operating capacity is anticipated to be approximate $35 million annually.

Bridgestone moving forward with big US expansions

Filed under: Carbon Black, insoluble sulfur, Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 12:44 am

Rubber News (subscription required) reports that Bridgestone Americas is progressing steadily on two expansion projects in South Carolina that entail more than $1.2 billion in investments. The projects involves an expansion of an existing PC/LT tire plant in Aiken County and the construction of a new OTR radial tire plant at a site about four miles away.

When its expansion is completed, the passenger and light truck tire plant will have a capacity of 37,750 tires per day. The two-phase project will cost nearly $350 million and is scheduled for completion in April 2015, according to Plant Manager John Stewart.

The OTR tire plant will cost about $900 million, and the facility will be the company’s first outside of Japan to use its radial tire technology for giant tires, said Norvel Smith, the factory’s general manager. Bridgestone expects to produce the first tire at the new plant in the first quarter of 2014, and the plant will reach full production in 2020, when it will have capacity to process 130 metric tons of rubber daily, producing tires from 49 to 63 inches in diameter.

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