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Shin-Estu to invest ¥110 billion to expand silicone capacity  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tokyo, Japan - Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. will implement close to ¥110 billion in facility investments for its silicones business, one of its main businesses. It will expand its production capacity of silicone monomer, the intermediate product of silicones, and various types of silicone fluids, resins and rubber end products at the company’s main bases in Japan and globally. The company is said to be receiving a wide variety of requests for its silicone products from many customers around the world, and in order to meet these customer requests, the firm is implementing a sequential series of new investments. By means of these investments, Shin-Etsu will further strengthen its integrated production system, and at the same time, we will fortify its ability to contribute to issue solutions for its customers. These facility investments will be implemented in stages over about a period of two-and-a-half years, and the expansion of the production capacity of both silicone monomer and silicone end products will proceed in parallel. The breakdown of investment amounts is expected to be about ¥50 billion for the expansion of production capacity of intermediate products such as monomers, about ¥50 billion for the expansion of production capacity of end products, and about ¥10 billion for the expansion of other secondary facilities, such as infrastructure and shipping. The expansion of capacity for silicone monomer will be done at its existing bases in Japan and Thailand, and in addition to Japan, the capacity expansion for its group of end products will be carried out at its existing bases in six overseas countries. In view of the requests coming from customers and the expected demand, the demand for silicone products is expected to increase at a rate surpassing that of the average increase in the world’s GDP. In this way, the company will extensively capture the demand for silicone products for which this kind of steady growth is expected, and at the same time, the firm will flexibly meet it. For Shin-Etsu Chemical, silicones have been a strategically important business from the past up to the present, and going forward as well, the company will work to further enhance the existence value of silicones. With these investments for strengthening its silicones production capacity, Shin-Etsu will grow together with its customers and will strengthen its position as a leading global silicones manufacturer. - * Email

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University of California San Diego researchers develop wearable silicone ultrasound patch for blood pressure monitoring  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

San Diego, CA - A new wearable ultrasound patch that non-invasively monitors blood pressure in arteries deep beneath the skin could help people detect cardiovascular problems earlier on and with greater precision. In tests, the patch performed as well as some clinical methods to measure blood pressure. The patch is a thin sheet of silicone elastomer patterned with what is called an “island-bridge” structure, an array of small electronic parts (islands) that are each connected by spring-shaped wires (bridges). Each island contains electrodes and devices called piezoelectric transducers, which produce ultrasound waves when electricity passes through them. The bridges connecting them are made of thin, spring-like copper wires. The island-bridge structure allows the entire patch to conform to the skin and stretch, bend and twist without compromising electronic function. Applications include real-time, continuous monitoring of blood pressure changes in patients with heart or lung disease, as well as patients who are critically ill or undergoing surgery. The patch uses ultrasound, so it could potentially be used to non-invasively track other vital signs and physiological signals from places deep inside the body. A team of researchers led by the University of California San Diego describe their work in a paper published September 11 in Nature Biomedical Engineering. “Wearable devices have so far been limited to sensing signals either on the surface of the skin or right beneath it. But this is like seeing just the tip of the iceberg,” said Sheng Xu, a professor of nanoengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and the corresponding author of the study. “By integrating ultrasound technology into wearables, we can start to capture a whole lot of other signals, biological events and activities going on way below the surface in a non-invasive manner.” - * Email

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Smithers Rapra showcases CT+ machine and facility expansion during open house event  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Ravenna, OH - Smithers Rapra announced the opening of a recent expansion at the company’s Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna, OH. An open house event for tire industry professionals and partners was held at the facility on September 11 to provide a first look at the new MTS Flat-Trac CT Plus tire test system and guided tours of the expanded facility. Six of the top global tire manufacturers, including Bridgestone Americas, Continental Tire, Cooper Tire & Rubber, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Hankook Tire and Michelin North America, partnered with Smithers to bring this new capability to the Ravenna testing lab. The expansion also created additional space for offices, conference rooms for client and project meetings, storage and space for additional testing capabilities that are currently in development. “This expansion at the Ravenna laboratory allows us to offer enhanced capabilities, increased capacity, and even more comprehensive service for our clients,” said Dr. Jim Popio, vice president, North American Operations. “We thank the partner companies who have collaborated with us to address this need to accommodate larger tires for testing as well as the need for more demanding testing conditions. Thanks to their support, Smithers is strengthening our service portfolio in an automotive market that increasingly favors larger vehicles.” The new CT+ tire testing system at the Ravenna test center allows Smithers to conduct assessments on most passenger car and light truck tires on the market today by simulating real-world driving conditions and collecting tire performance data. The machine provides higher wheel torque as well as increased longitudinal and lateral load limits. It is engineered to deliver accurate and repeatable measurements of tire force and moment properties under steady-state and dynamic conditions in order to provide higher fidelity tire models, which assist in meeting validation and timing requirements. - * Email

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Malaysia's July 2018 natural rubber output up 36 percent  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Malaysia's natural rubber (NR) production rose by 36.3 percent to 56,397 metric tons in July 2018 from 41,364 metric otns in June, said the Department of Statistics (DoS). The production also increased by 2.1 percent year-on-year, it said in a statement on “Monthly Rubber Statistics Malaysia, July 2018.” The average price of latex concentrate and Standard Malaysian Rubber 20 (SMR 20) were recorded at 415.39 sen per kg and 527.80 sen per kg, respectively, but both declined 5.6 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively, as compared to the average price in June 2018. NR exports showed an increase of 7.8 percent to 56,490 metric tons, with China remaining the main destination, accounting for 52.4 percent of total exports in July, followed by Germany (11.6 percent), Iran (7.6 percent), Finland (4.3 percent) and the United States (2.5 percent). Domestic consumption of NR in July 2018 also increased by 8.3 percent to 44,192 metric tons against 40,820 metric tons in the previous month. The rubber glove industry, the main consumer of NR, used 33,518 metric tons, or 75.8 percent of the total NR domestic consumption, said the department. It said NR stocks stood at 185,491 metric tons, down 5.4 percent month-on-month from 196,084 metric tons previously. - * Email

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Hercules Tires announces Avalanche RT winter tire  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Findlay, OH - Hercules Tires announces the Avalanche RT winter tire. The Avalanche RT is a studdable winter tire that features Snow Grip Technology, a collection of advanced integrated features that equip the tire with improved cold-weather capabilities. These features include a dynamic cold weather compound for maneuverability and responsive handling, a multi-pitched directional tread pattern with 60 percent more sipes, saw-tooth grooves that hold snow in the tread to provide critical snow-on-snow traction, and small ribs in the buttress that bite into deep snow and slush for confident winter driving. "When we initially previewed the Avalanche RT at our product evaluation event earlier this year at the ICAR tire test facility in Mirabel, Canada, it received rave reviews from our dealers in attendance," said Steven Liu, senior director, proprietary brands. "Even our own internal testing showed the Avalanche RT stopped 10 feet shorter in snow and 7 feet shorter on ice compared to its predecessor, so we're extremely confident in its performance." The Avalanche RT has earned the three peak mountain snowflake marking and will be available in 41 sizes, 14-18 inches, covering most of the popular passenger and CUV fitments. Backed by the Hercules Performance Promise, the Avalanche RT comes with Road Hazard Protection, a 30 day "Trust our Ride" satisfaction trial, and Workmanship and Materials coverage. - * Email

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Global latex disposables market forecast to reach $6.4 billion by 2024  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Albany, NY - The latex medical disposables market is largely fragmented, with the top five companies accounting for just over 60.0 percent in 2015. Transparency Market Research has found that these companies, namely Top Glove Corporation, Ansell, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, C.R. Bard, and B. Braun Melsungen, have been capturing market share through technological advancements and offering a wide product range. Investing in research and development activities has also proven to be beneficial for companies competing in this market. "While dominant players are competing by launching innovative products, regional vendors are striving to gain market share from existing players," the lead analyst states. Companies are also offering price discounts on bulk purchases, further boosting their position in the latex medical disposables market. Although the threat of new entrants is moderate, the threat of substitutes is considerably high. The opportunity in the global latex medical disposables market is expected to be worth $6.4 billion by 2024, rising from $4.1 billion in 2015 at a modest CAGR of 4.9 percent therein. Latex gloves have been the major product segment of the latex medical disposables market, accounting for 60.4 percent in terms of revenue in 2015. The latex foley catheters segment is projected to expand at a CAGR of 5.1 percent from 2016 to 2024, emerging as the most lucrative segment thus far. By end use, the hospitals segment is expected to account for the dominant share by 2024, followed by diagnostic centers. Hospitals are also anticipated to exhibit a high CAGR throughout the forecast period. The global latex medical disposables market is well developed in regions such as North America and Europe. However, regions such as Latin America and Asia Pacific exhibit immense potential for high growth. North America leads the global latex medical disposables market, with 33.0 percent share in 2016. The Asia Pacific market, on the other hand, is projected to expand at the fastest CAGR of 5.8 percent during the forecast period. - * Email

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