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Balkrishna Industries to build carbon black plant in India  

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Seregno, Italy – Balkrishna Industries Limited (BKT) will build a new plant for the production of carbon black. This facility will stretch over approximately 8 hectares within the BKT production site at Bhuj, in the Indian state of Gujarat. The new facility will be integrated within the BKT site at Bhuj. The production forecast is about 60,000 tons/year. A $23 million investment has been earmarked for BKT’s backward integration project within their supply chain. As a matter of fact, the new plant will continuously provide raw material for the increasing tire production. - * Email

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Lubrizol to expand its Wisconsin silicone facility  

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Cleveland, OH - The Lubrizol Corporation's LifeSciences business is investing $10 million for a significant capacity expansion at its silicone contract manufacturing site in Franklin, WI. This investment strengthens the company's silicone business by adding 71,000 square feet of space that complements the existing 126,000 square foot operation. Previously, in 2010, Vesta more than doubled its footprint at this location; the current expansion supports LifeSciences' long-term growth strategy to provide high-quality manufacturing for silicone implants and finished medical devices. "When customers partner with Lubrizol LifeSciences, they benefit from working with us at every stage in their development process," states Uwe Winzen, general manager, Lubrizol LifeSciences. "With a long history of polymer expertise combined with recent investments, Lubrizol LifeSciences is positioned to offer full-service development for the next generation of medical devices, as well as long-term implantable and drug-eluting device innovations." This expansion adds 71,000 square feet of new space featuring product development, cellular manufacturing and high-efficiency production lines, as well as separate Class 7 and 8 clean room space for the production of implants and drug-eluting devices. The expansion allows LifeSciences to capitalize on the strong local labor pool and technical expertise offered in the Wisconsin area. "This new space covers immediate short-term needs, but also provides room for growth in the future. Customers can feel comfortable that we are able to handle both their current projects, as well as a significant increase in their future business efforts," states Mark Stuart, general manager, Vesta. "Companies looking for a world-class, efficient contract manufacturing partner can choose us knowing that we are a sustainable partner for their long term growth." - * Email

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McLube

Global polyols market forecast to reach $29.5 billion by 2020  

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Deerfield Beach, FL - Zion Market Research has published a new report titled, "Polyols (Polyester and Polyether) Market for Rigid Foam, Flexible Foam, Coating, Adhesives, Sealants and Elastomers Applications – Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2014 – 2020." According to the report, the global polyols market was valued at approximately $18.0 billion in 2014, and is expected to reach approximately $29.5 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of slightly above 8.5 percent between 2015 and 2020. Polyols can be classified into two types such as polyether polyols and polyester polyols. Polyether polyols can be manufactured by ethoxylation or propoxylation of a polyhydric alcohol in the presence of a catalyst. Polyether polyols are derived through anionic ring opening addition polymerization of ethylene oxide or propylene oxide. Polyurethane foams (PU) such as rigid PU foam, flexible PU foam, semi rigid foam, molded foam, etc. are some of the major application markets for polyols. Coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers (CASE), etc., are some of the other application markets for polyol. Construction, automotive, footwear, electrical and electronics are among the major end user industries of polyol. Polyester and polyether are the key product types of polyols market. Polyether polyols accounted for the largest share of global polyols market in 2014, in terms of volume. This product segment is expected to maintain its leading position during the forecast period. Polyester polyols are expected to exhibit significant growth rate over the forecast period. Based on application, the polyols market has been segmented into rigid foam, flexible foam and CASE. Flexible foam (polyurethane) was the largest application segment of the polyols market in 2014. Polyols are extensively used in a number of industries such as textiles and fibers, automotive industry, construction industry and furniture, carpet cushion, bedding and packaging, due to which the demand of polyols increases continuously. This helps to grow the polyols market. The polyurethane (rigid foam) is one of the fastest growing segments of polyols market. This is the second-largest application segment of the polyols market. This growth can be attributed to rising demand for elastomers, adhesives and sealants. Asia Pacific was a dominant regional market for polyols in 2014. Growth in the region is ascribed to rising demand from developing countries like India. Demand for polyols in the Asia Pacific is estimated to be primarily driven by growth in economies in Asia Pacific. China is the leading consumer of polyols in this region. Europe, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa are also expected to experience significant growth of polyols market in the years to come. Some of the key players include BASF SE, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., Bayer AG, Chemtura Corporation, COIM S.P.A., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Cargill Incorporated, Dow Chemicals, Emery Oleochemicals and Invista B.V. - * Email

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ExxonMobil celebrates the 40th anniversary of Santoprene thermoplastic vulcanizate  

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Houston, TX - Celebrating 40 years since Santoprene thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) was invented, ExxonMobil remains as dedicated to the business and its customers as it has ever been. Shaping the future on the three pillars of commitment, growth and innovation, investments in new grades, additional production capacity and extensions to technical support capability for customer collaboration will come to fruition in the coming months. A lot has changed since the early days when, in developing a new polymer for use as a tire material, Santoprene TPV was born. While unsuitable for tires, it has become a solution for so many applications that it is now part of daily life in a multitude of ways. Through commitment and a strong belief in the value of the product, the business strategy has barely changed, making Santoprene TPV the most recognized brand in the elastomers market today. “It’s true to say that the early business strategy of replacing thermoset rubber with TPV hasn’t changed,” said Kurt Aerts, vice president, Specialty Elastomers & Butyl Polymers, ExxonMobil Chemical. “When it was invented, Santoprene TPV was considered to be revolutionary because it had the attributes of a rubber but could be processed like a thermoplastic. Since then, it’s definitely been a case of evolution that has led to its ongoing success and market leadership.” Forty years young, Santoprene TPV continues to grow, but this should come as no surprise because as a replacement for thermoset rubber it delivers: better part performance; faster production cycle times; lower weight; ease of production at lower costs; design flexibility; and opportunities for companies to meet their sustainability commitments. And, there is still plenty of scope for new opportunities using this trusted strategy. “When customers decide to invest in processing equipment and tooling to replace thermoset rubber with Santoprene TPV, they can be assured that we are fully committed to helping them succeed,” said Maxime Katgely, global market development manager, Specialty Elastomers & Butyl Polymers, ExxonMobil Chemical. Processing a TPV comes at a lower cost than thermoset rubber, while delivering genuine business opportunities and real value. For example, a plant that manufactures TPV weatherseals requires only about one-third of the space required for comparable EPDM rubber lines, potentially lowering facility and overhead costs. Also, TPV does not need to be cured like rubber which can save on energy costs. “Santoprene TPV allows customers to innovate by enabling new designs, integrated parts and more cost-effective processing,” said Katgely. “Through close collaboration, we help them develop smarter solutions designed to meet the specific needs of the application.” - * Email

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Kraton closes Euro loan; uses savings to prepay U.S. based debt  

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Houston, TX - Kraton Corporation and certain of its wholly owned subsidiaries announced the closing of a €260 million term loan priced at Euribor plus 2.50 percent with a 0.75 percent floor (the "Euro Tranche"). Proceeds from the Euro Tranche were used to prepay a portion of the $886 million balance outstanding under the company's USD-denominated term loan facility (the "USD Tranche"). Concurrent with the closing of the Euro Tranche, the company re-priced the remaining balance of the USD Tranche. The new interest rate for the USD Tranche is Libor plus 3.00 percent with a 1 percent floor, a 1 percent reduction from the previous interest rate of Libor plus 4.00 percent. "Since the closing of the Arizona Chemical acquisition in January of 2016, we have worked diligently to improve our overall capital structure. This transaction represents expected annual cash interest savings of approximately $13 million, and in light of the company's financial performance and improved capital structure, we were able to eliminate the financial maintenance covenant that existed under the Term Loan facility," said Stephen E. Tremblay, Kraton's executive vice president and chief financial officer. J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Bank of America Merrill Lynch were joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners for the transaction. - * Email

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