News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

October 7, 2019

Hankook postpones truck tire plant in Hungary

Filed under: Carbon Black, Rubber Chemicals, Silica, Tires — Notch @ 2:06 pm

Tire Business (via European Rubber Journal) reports that Hankook Tire & Technology Co. Ltd. has postponed plans to establish a $318 million truck and bus tire plant at its existing car tire factory in Rácalmás, Hungary. The project was announced in March 2018 and involved the construction of a separate plant to produce 550,000 medium and heavy truck/bus tires per year. The postponement does “not mean the cancellation of that plan,” Hankook said in a written statement to ERJ on Oct. 2.

The current economic downturn, especially in the automotive industry, was a factor behind the decision, said Felix Kinzer, head of communications at Hankook Tire Europe. The tire maker, he added, is undergoing “mediations” with various stakeholders for future execution of the plan, which would mark the site’s fourth round of expansion.

“Our company has a mid- to long-term plan for truck tire sales growth on the European continent and is reviewing various options,” Mr. Kinzer said.

October 6, 2019

Nokian’s US plant begins production

Filed under: Carbon Black, Rubber Chemicals, Silica, Tires — Notch @ 7:22 pm

On October 2, Nokian Tyres celebrated the official opening of its North American production factory in Dayton, Tennessee. The 830,000-square foot complex will produce approximately four million tires per year once it reaches full capacity. At that stage, the company will employ as many as 400 workers. The factory is currently in the trial production stage and will be ready to make tires for commercial use in early 2020. Nokian Tyres broke ground on the factory in September 2017, and the company has set a goal to double its North American sales in five years. Founded and headquartered in Finland, Nokian Tyres operates factories in Finland, Russia, and now the United States. At the Dayton factory, the company aims to fill expanding North American demand and seize on opportunities in the all-season and all-weather markets.

 

July 11, 2019

Omnova sold to Synthomer in $455 million deal

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 11:16 am

Synthomer will buy specialty chemical company Omnova Solutions Inc. in a deal worth about $455 million.

Synthomer will pay $10.15 a share in an all-cash transaction for Omnova, according to a news release. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year or in early 2020, pending regulatory and shareholder approval.

“The offer price represents a premium of 52 percent over Omnova’s three-month weighted average share price of $6.67,” Omnova Chief Executive Officer Anne Noonan said in the release. “The transaction has been approved unanimously by the Omnova and Synthomer boards of directors. We are pleased that Synthomer recognizes the hard work of our employees in executing our multi-year transformation into a leading global specialty solutions provider.

“Omnova complements Synthomer culturally, geographically and by market, while Synthomer’s financial position provides for a very strong combined company that will be well positioned to accelerate growth. This transaction presents increased opportunities for the business and its employees to leverage the combined scale, grow more quickly and profitably, and enhance product innovation in ways that will benefit customers and employees.”

Read the full press release here.

June 6, 2019

Lion Elastomers acquires SBR site from Firestone Polymers

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 3:42 pm

Lion Elastomers has acquired a styrene-butadiene copolymers production site owned and operated by Firestone Polymers in Orange, Texas.

The plant manufactures SBR compounds under the Stereon, Diene and Duradene trade names. According to the company, these products are complementary to Lion’s current portfolio and will further strengthen Lion’s ability to support the synthetic rubber industry once the deal has closed.

This purchase marks Lion’s second strategic acquisition in less than five years and is in line with Lion’s initiative to expand its business and provide greater value enhancement to its customers.

Read the full press release here.

February 28, 2019

Linglong touts promising results of graphene tire development

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 11:02 am

Chinese authorities have audited and approved research by Linglong Tire into the “large-scale application” of graphene rubber composites in tires, according to Shandong Linglong Tire Co. Ltd.

The research was conducted jointly by Beijing Tiancheng Linglong Tire Co. Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Linglong Tire, and Beijing University of Chemical Technology. An audit was conducted by Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission along with other Chinese technology institutes.

Led by South China University of Technology professor Guo Baochun, the team completed trial production of graphene-enhanced tires at Linglong’s Zhaoyuan factory. This involved a graphene ‘pre-treatment’ technology that enables tires to be made without changing existing manufacturing processes or equipment. Linglong did note, however, that the technology required some adjustments to the process to help ensure the feasibility of production.

The graphene tires, Linglong said, showed promising results in several areas including fuel-efficiency, safety and anti-static, and energy-saving. More specifically, Linglong said a fuel-efficient grade of its graphene tire was close to a grade A rating under EU tire labeling regulations.

Read the full press release here.

October 9, 2018

Synthetic rubber prices likely to remain volatile

Filed under: Rubber, Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 10:04 am

Prices for synthetic rubber and petrochemical feedstocks have been “incredibly volatile” and are likely to remain so for a while, according to Bill Hyde, executive director-olefins and elastomers at IHS Markit, a speaker at the International Tire Exhibition & Conference in Akron Sept. 11-13. “Energy- and economy-related fundamentals in the synthetic rubber market are encouraging, but risks abound,” he said.

Meanwhile, natural rubber pricing is largely to remain soft because of oversupply and the need for small farmers to keep on earning a living, according to Hyde.

Spokespersons for various industry sectors generally agreed with Hyde, especially in his assertion that ethylene is the main driver of pricing in the petrochemical and SR world.

“Ethylene is the center of the petrochemical universe,” he said. “It has a lot of co-products, most importantly butadiene. Ninety percent of all the butadiene produced in the world is a co-product of ethylene.”

Read more here.

July 4, 2018

Bridgestone announces hybrid-polymer breakthrough

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 12:04 pm

Bridgestone Corp. has announced it has developed a way to bond rubber and resins at the molecular level into a hybrid polymer, a development that shows promise for reducing the amount of polymeric materials needed in tires.

The new polymer, “high strength rubber” (HSR), is described as a hybrid material: bonding synthetic-rubber components such as butadiene and isoprene with resin components such as ethylene at the molecular level. Bridgestone claims it offers “unprecedented durability” with crack-resistance of over five times greater, abrasion resistance over 2.5 times greater, and tensile strength more than 1.5 times greater than natural rubber.

The production process uses Bridgestone’s proprietary gadolinium (Gd) catalyst via copolymerization. The company said it developed the polymer by “further evolving” Gd catalyst technologies used to synthesize polyisoprene rubber.

Target applications, noted Bridgestone, include tires with higher performance and less material than current-generation tires.

The company also anticipates that HSR will help it meet its goal of converting to 100-percent sustainable materials set for 2050.

Read the full press release here.

June 5, 2018

SK Capital Partners to acquire SI International, merge with Addivant

Filed under: General, Rubber Chemicals, Tackifiers — Notch @ 9:28 am

On June 1, New York-based private equity firm SK Capital Partners announced the acquisition of SI Group (Schenectady, NY), a leading supplier of plastic additives and rubber chemicals. The business will be merged with SK’s own Addivant business. The Addivant business is the former antioxidant and light stabilizer business of Chemtura, which SK acquired in 2013. No purchase price for the SI Group deal was announced; the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2018.

SI Group, which was founded in 1906 as Schenectady Varnish Co., has more than $1 billion in sales and employs more than 2,800 at 20 locations worldwide. Its product lines include plasticizers, flame retardants and antioxidants. It is also the world’s leading supplier of rubber tackifiers.

Barry Siadat, SK co-founder and managing partner, said in a news release that “by combining the complementary strengths of SI Group and Addivant, we will be creating a global technology and industry leader in plastic, lubricant, oilfield and rubber additives.”

February 16, 2018

Tire Technology Expo is coming next week to Hannover

Filed under: Carbon Black, Rubber Chemicals, Silica — Notch @ 4:11 pm

Next week is the annual Tire Technology Expo in Hannover. This is one of the best tire conferences in the world, with a huge trade show and a full 3 day conference of papers. Notch will present a paper during Stream 2, “Business Strategy” on Wednesday, February 21 at 11:00 am. The paper is entitled, “Outlook for Reinforcing Fillers and Rubber Chemicals,” and it covers carbon black, precipitated silica, and rubber chemicals (antidegradants, antioxidants, accelerators). See you there!

January 30, 2018

Eastman adds insoluble sulfur to aid tire makers

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 12:22 pm

Eastman Chemical Co. has unveiled a new insoluble sulfur that it said will help tire manufacturers improve the productivity of their compounding operations.

Crystex Cure Pro was introduced during the ACS Rubber Division International Elastomer Conference in Cleveland. Compared to traditional insoluble sulfur materials, Eastman said the Crystex Cure Pro line offers superior dispersion, improved thermal stability, enhanced flow, less oil and more sulfur.

“It’s a unique insoluble sulfur vulcanization aide that has been demonstrated to have the potential to enhance the productivity of tire plants in reducing the number of mixing steps,” said Lucrece Foufopoulos, vice president and general manager for Eastman’s rubber additives. “In shortening the time on the calender unit, it generates productivity improvements and cost savings as a result of that.”

Besides product differentiation, Eastman also wants to ensure a reliability of supply around the globe. To that end, the firm is on track to open a new factory in Kuantan, Malaysia, that it claims will be the world’s largest producer of insoluble sulfur. Eastman didn’t disclose details on the Malaysian project, but expects to open in during 2018’s first quarter. The plant is on the site of an existing Eastman facility, and rubber additives is one of three company businesses that are expanding there.

Eastman has four rubber chemicals factories in the U.S., two in Europe, two main locations in Asia and one plant in Latin America.

Referenced article found here.

Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.