News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

November 27, 2012

Cabot introduces new specialty blacks for premium coatings

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 9:17 pm

Cabot today announced the launch of two new carbon black grades designed for use in premium coatings. EMPEROR® 1600 and EMPEROR® 1200 are intended for applications where exceptional color and superior processability are primary objectives. The products are specifically designed for solvent-based coatings applications and, according to the company, feature enhanced dispersability and best-in-class color performance.

EMPEROR 1600 is Cabot’s highest color black pigment for solvent-based applications, delivering deep black color with a blue undertone (i.e., jetness) without sacrificing processability, according to the company. EMPEROR 1200 provides excellent color performance and best-in-class dispersability and hiding power. Both products feature Cabot’s proprietary Softbead™ technology, which enables products to disperse as easily as powder-form carbon blacks while also improving industrial hygiene by reducing dust levels associated with the transport and processing of traditional powder-form carbon black. These new pigments also wet-out more quickly and are easier to convey than standard powders. According to Cabot, in a typical solvent-based coating with 60 percent loading of dispersant on carbon black, the use of EMPEROR 1600 or 1200 products reduces dispersant loading to 30 percent. The products disperse quickly and can be used at higher loadings than other high color carbon blacks.

Here is the press release.

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Cancarb completes thermal black expansion

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 6:00 am

On November 26, Cancarb Limited announced the completion of its biannual maintenance program, which included an upgrade of its waste heat recovery power plant, increasing capacity by over 15%. In addition, Cancarb is studying further power production enhancements including combustion control and burner upgrades. Cancarb is the world’s leading producer of medium thermal black, which is marketed under the Thermax brandname.

Here is the press release.

November 15, 2012

Notch updates reports on precipitated silica and rubber chemicals

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals, Silica — Notch @ 4:17 pm

Recent reports from Notch Consulting include bi-annual updates of the Precipitated Silica Market Update and the Rubber Chemicals Market Update.

The Silica Market Update reports on current conditions and future prospects for the global precipitated silica industry. The October 2012 issue is 31 pages with 11 tables detailing silica demand by region, market, and application, current pricing by application and region (US, EU, China), nameplate production capacity by company and country, and recent and proposed capacity expansion projects. As always, the report includes a separate Excel spreadsheet providing extensive supplemental data, including demand by market, demand by country, and production capacity by company. NOTE: This update includes a fully updated and comprehensive list of Chinese producers, plant locations, and annual capacity. The report provides annual demand for all years 2007 through 2011, as well as forecasts for 2012 and 2015. Market segments covered in the report include tires, non-tire rubber, dentifrice, nutrition/health (food, ag feed, pharma, and cosmetics), and industrial (paper, battery separators, paints/coatings, other applications). Applications are reinforcing fillers, abrasives, thickeners, anticaking agents, carriers, extending fillers, battery separators, matting/flatting agents, antiblocking agents, and defoamers. Average pricing is provided for various grades for the US, the European Union and China.

The Rubber Chemicals Market Update covers current conditions and future prospects for the global rubber chemicals industry. The report provides detailed coverage of antidegradants (6PPD/IPPD, TMQ, and other antioxidants), accelerators, and other chemicals (including adhesion promoters, retarders, anti-scorch agents, tackifiers, homogenizing agents, stabilizers, and peptizers). The August 2012 issue is 34 pages with 14 tables. As always, the report includes a separate Excel spreadsheet that provides regional demand data, current and past production capacity for leading suppliers, and a list of recent and proposed capacity expansions. Quarterly demand provided for the years 2008 through 2011. Annual demand data provided for all years 2000 through 2011, with forecasts for 2012, 2015, and 2025. Data are provided at the global and regional levels, as well as for the 20 largest national markets. The report also provides global production capacity by company for 6PPD/IPPD, TMQ, and accelerators, as well as details on recent and pending capacity projects in the industry, including both expansions and closures. Capacity data are provided for all years 2005-2011 for PPDs and TMQ, and for 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011 for accelerators. Accelerator capacity is also broken out by sulfenamides, thiazoles, and ultra/secondary.

Below please find overviews of the two reports:
Precipitated Silica Market Update

Rubber Chemicals Market Update

Reflections on San Diego

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 2:58 pm

The Carbon Black World 2012 conference, which was held last week at the Omni hotel in San Diego, was lively and well attended. Andrew Smaha and his crew at Smithers Rapra, along with a stellar advisory committee, put together a great conference that was chaired by the indefatigable Rikki Lamba (VP, Smithers Rapra NA) and Jim Popio (GM, Director of Enginnering, Smithers Rapra NA). The agenda was broader than it has been in previous years, with presentations from representatives of the auto industry (Cynthia Flanagan at Ford Motor), the tire industry (Brad Rump at Cooper Tire & Rubber), private equity (Kevin Hocevar at Northcoast Research), and tire recycling (Alan Barton at Lehigh Technologies), all of which expanded upon a solid base of presentations from within the carbon black industry on supply and demand, feedstocks, technology, and sustainability. The attendee list also was quite diverse, which is good to see and indicative of the increased attention the industry is attracting.

As we have at four previous Carbon Black World conferences, Notch Consulting presented a paper on supply/demand dynamics in the carbon black industry. After a solid first quarter, 2012 is proving to be a challenging year for the carbon black industry, especially in Europe, where the debt crisis put the brakes on what had been a sturdy recovery coming out of the 2009 recession. The North American market also is expected to see volume declines in 2012 as a robust OEM passenger tire market cannot fully offset a weaker replacement tire market. Still, global volumes are forecast to rise nearly 2% in 2012, driven by gains in Asia, especially China. Long-term forecasts (2011-2015) are for solid volume growth of 4%-5%/year at the global level, though, again, most of this gain is attributable to China, where volumes are expected to rise 7% per year. Gains in North America and Europe are pegged at 1%-2%/year through 2015, driven by substantial new investment in tire production capacity.

The next fully updated issue of the Carbon Black Quarterly Newsletter will be released next week. This issue focuses on regional supply/demand, with detailed country-by-country data.

Below: Willet on shore at La Jolla; harbor seal at La Jolla cove

November 9, 2012

Solvay expands highly dispersible silica capacity in France

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 12:01 pm

On Thursday, November 8, Solvay inaugurated its new production unit for highly dispersible silica and a modernized R&D facility at its Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or site in France. This investment follows a similar volume expansion last year in the US and the start-up in 2010 of a new plant in China. These three investments totaled EUR 74 million. The latest expansion takes the company’s total capacity for highly dispersible silica to more than 400,000 tons.

“Demand for highly dispersible silica is pulled by a growing need for safer and more energy-efficient tires and the new European Tire labeling legislation applicable from November 1st,” said Tom Benner, President of Solvay’s Silica Global Business Unit. Solvay markets its highly dispersible silica under the Zeosil® and Zeosil® Premium brandnames.

Here is the press release.

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