Continental celebrates important milestones in its three U.S. tire plants

2024 marks a significant milestone for Continental’s tire manufacturing operations in the United States. Three key plants celebrate their anniversaries: 5 years in Clinton, Mississippi, 10 years in Sumter, South Carolina, and 50 years in Mount Vernon, Illinois. With an annual production capacity of more than 16 million tires and a team of more than 6,700 local manufacturing employees, Continental is amongst the top tire manufacturers in the U.S.. In the last decade alone, the company has invested more than $1.5 billion USD in its American tire manufacturing operations. Continental is committed to premium product quality, innovation, and growth in the U.S. market. Thus, the premium tire manufacturer is continuously investing in the expansion of its tire plants.

Christopher Kowitz to lead Wacker Chemical Corporation in the U.S.

Christoph Kowitz, currently head of WACKER’s Corporate Research Department, takes charge of the Group’s U.S. subsidiary Wacker Chemical Corporation (WCC) at the beginning of May. He succeeds David Wilhoit who has been responsible for WACKER’s North and Central American business since 2015 and is now retiring.

Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 to be original equipment on Toyota Crown Crossover

The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., announced that it is supplying its GEOLANDAR A/T G015 tires as original equipment (OE) to Toyota Motor Corporation for use on the automaker’s new CROWN CROSSOVER RS “LANDSCAPE”, a special edition of CROWN CROSSOVER. The new vehicle was launched in April 2024 in Japan.

General Silicones to showcase innovative silicone solutions at Hannover Messe 2024

General Silicones Co., Ltd. (GS), to participate in Hannover Messe 2024, showcasing a spectrum of innovative silicone products. From April 22-26, visitors can explore GS’s cutting-edge solutions at Hall 3, Stand A64-12, including their hallmark Compo-SiL® silicone decorative film

Global release liners market forecast with a CAGR of 6 percent through 2032

Thin, flat sheets of paper covered in silicone or another release agent are called paper release liners. They are employed in the protection and separation of adhesive materials, such as labels and tapes, to prevent adhesion during application, storage, and transit. The growing need for pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs) and other adhesive technologies across a range of industries, including automotive, electronics, healthcare, and food and beverage, is the main driver of the paper release liners market. Furthermore, the market is expanding because to the rising need for environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and sustainable release liners.

Synthomer sells its latex compounding operations to Matco NV for €27.5m

Synthomer plc announced an agreement to divest its latex compounding operations to Belgian company Matco NV, a leader in compounds, water-based adhesives, and solutions for various industrial applications, for consideration of c.€27.5m.

Week in Review

Technobiz Rubber Week starts next Monday in Bangkok

TechnoBiz is accepting delegate registrations for the upcoming “RUBBER WEEK 2024” during 22-26 April 2024 in Bangkok, Thailand at Century Park Hotel. It has 3 specialized conferences and 9 short training courses aimed for rubber industry professionals across the world. This is a Hybrid Program. Participants can choose either in-person participation or online participation.

Century Mold acquires Integrity Injection Molding

Century Mold Company, Inc., a North American injection molder serving Automotive, Military, Industrial, and Consumer markets, announced the acquisition of Integrity Injection Molding (IIM), the molding division of Integrity Tool & Mold. The acquisition strengthens CM’s capabilities in precision, high tonnage presses, in response to rising North America demand for these capabilities.

Yokohama Rubber named new sponsor of the ATP tour

The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., announced that it has entered into a partnership agreement with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the global governing body of men’s professional tennis, that makes it the ATP Tour’s first Official Tire Partner (a Gold Partner).

The ATP Tour entertains a billion global fans and showcases the world’s greatest players at the most prestigious tournaments. Yokohama Rubber’s partnership with the ATP Tour is aimed at increasing awareness of the YOKOHAMA brand in the European market. The Company will be sponsoring five tournaments in the European countries of Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Monaco, including the Nitto ATP Finals, the ATP Tour’s prestigious season finale featuring only the top eight singles players and doubles teams in the annual rankings.

silicone

Liquid silicone rubber market forecast at $3.92 billion by 2030

Leading the Liquid Silicone Rubber Market are top industry players such as Dow Inc., Wacker Chemie AG, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Momentive Performance Materials Inc., Elkem AS, NuSil Technology LLC, KCC Corporation, Stockwell Elastomerics Inc., Reiss Manufacturing Inc., and SIMTEC Silicone Parts LLC. These key companies play a significant role in advancing liquid silicone rubber products through their impactful contributions and innovative practices.

Dow’s new MobilityScience Studio in Italy will support and advance electric vehicle growth

Dow announced its expanded investment in MobilityScience™ capabilities by opening the doors of its first European MobilityScience™ Studio in Correggio, Italy, marking its long-term commitment to the mobility industry as it continues to transform and grow.
The new studio will allow Dow to further collaborate with Tiers and OEMs on-site and beyond, growing its existing innovative solutions. In expanding its presence in Italy, the studio will support Dow’s Research & Development and Technical Services & Development engineers in focusing on new sustainable solutions within the mobility market and others, paving the way for new ecosystem collaborations in Europe.

LyondellBasel invests in state-of-the-art masterbatch testing at their Technical Center in Akron, Ohio

LyondellBasell installs a state-of-the-art KARO® 5.0 laboratory stretching machine from Brückner Maschinenbau at the LyondellBasell (LYB) Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. The KARO® 5.0 will greatly enhance the company’s ability to develop and test masterbatch solutions for various oriented film applications.

Sumitomo Rubber wins Environmental Achievement of the Year award

Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. was awarded the Environmental Achievement of the Year-Manufacturing at the “Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence” in recognition of its use of hydrogen energy and solar power for tire production. The award ceremony was performed at the “Tire Technology Expo 2024” which was held this past March 18th through 21st in Hanover, Germany.

Yokohama Rubber and YOKOHAMA Magokoro Fund support relief efforts after the earthquake in Eastern Taiwan

The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., and its employee-backed YOKOHAMA Magokoro Fund will donate a combined ¥1 million (¥500,000 each from the company and the Fund) through the Japanese Red Cross Society to support relief efforts in the quake-stricken region.

Milliken to bring its full range of additive and colorants solutions to NPE 2024

Milliken & Company will bring its full range of additive and colorant solutions for polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) plastics to NPE 2024 on May 6-10, 2024 in Orlando, Florida. NPE: The Plastics Show is the largest plastics trade show in the Americas—drawing more than 55,000 leaders from more than 110 countries to explore plastic innovations, applications and collaborations. Milliken joins industry leaders for the five-day expo to explore novel and sustainable pathways for plastics, enabled in part by the company’s comprehensive polymer additive portfolio on display at booth 22071, South Hall.

Braskem is now using bio-attributed feedstock provided by Shell Chemicals

Braskem will utilize such feedstocks for the manufacture of bio-attributed and bio-circular polypropylene enabling more sustainable options for growing consumer demand in the packaging, film, automotive, and consumer goods markets.

RPM announces a dividend of $0.46 per share

RPM’s last cash dividend increase of 10% in October 2023 marked RPM’s 50th consecutive year of increased cash dividends paid to its stockholders, which places RPM in an elite category of less than half of 1 percent of all publicly traded U.S. companies. Only 41 other U.S. companies, besides RPM, have consecutively paid an increasing annual dividend for a longer period of time, according to Dividend Radar. During this timeframe, the company has returned approximately $3.4 billion in cash dividends to its stockholders.

Kenda Tires introduces the Airolution tube

The Airolution tube is constructed with advanced materials that provide unmatched durability. Its unique composition not only reduces the risk of punctures but also ensures that the tube retains air pressure for extended periods. This durability is especially beneficial for riders who frequently encounter rough terrain or debris on their rides.

Double Coin unveils two new tires for airport ground support

Double Coin and CMA has unveiled two new tires for airport ground support equipment (GSE) applications.

These GSE tires advance Double Coin’s commitment to delivering high-performance solutions for the aviation industry. Each tire’s key features allow maximum endurance in the GSE environment.

Indian Rubber Board reports growing demand for imported rubber

According to the study, India consumes more rubber than it produces. The country consumed 1,238,000 tons of natural rubber in 2021/22, an increase from 1,096,410 tons consumed in 2020/21, and 1,350,000 tons in 2022/23.

India has been importing natural rubber from various countries to meet the market demand. India imported 528,677 tons of natural rubber in 2023 alone. Statistics show that 546,369 tons in 2022, 410,478 tons in 2021 and 457,223 tons of natural rubber were imported in 2020.

ACE Laboratories completes installation of its new wiper blade testing system

ACE Laboratories has announced another new testing capability. This latest addition provides the ability to test and analyze windshield wiper blades and wipe systems.
The custom engineered testing system allows ACE to include energy consumption analysis as part of the testing protocol in addition to traditional durability analysis. ACE’s testing system also allows for customization to nearly all windshield types with angle and pressure controls to ensure testing is completed according to OEM specifications.

Liaoning Black Cat breaks ground on rubber masterbatch production plant

Liaoning Black Cat Composite New Material Technology Co., Ltd., held a groundbreaking ceremony on March 28 for its 160,000 metric tons per year rubber masterbatch production project. Local government leaders, Black Cat Group leaders and academician Liqun Zhang and her team from the Beijing University of Chemical Technology (BUCT) attended the ceremony.

Orion S.A. breaks ground on battery materials plant in Texas

Orion S.A. on Tuesday broke ground on a plant in Texas that will be the only facility in the U.S. producing acetylene-based conductive additives for lithium-ion batteries and other applications vital for the global shift to electrification.
The site in the city of La Porte, southeast of Houston, will create many high-skilled jobs – both in construction and technical fields – and bring innovative technology to the American economy. The battery additives produced by Orion’s plant will be super clean, with only one-tenth of the carbon footprint of other commonly used materials.

RDAbbott will supply Dow LSRs to four injection molding cells at NPE 2024

RDAbbott will supply Dow liquid silicone rubber (LSR) to four liquid injection molding (LIM) cells at NPE 2024, the plastics industry’s largest event. Two of these cells will also use pigments from NovationSi, RDAbbott’s manufacturing subsidiary. RDAbbott, an authorized distributor of Dow silicones in Mexico and the United States, provides top-notch technical service and support to supplier partners like Dow and collaborates with manufacturers of injection molding machines (IMMs), molds, and dosing systems.

Continental and Brabus bring long-time partnership to Asia-Pacific region

Continental and Brabus have successfully subjected the new MaxContact MC7 sports tire to an exceptional endurance test. On the legendary supercar Brabus 750 Bodo Buschmann Edition “1 of 25”, the tire, which was specially developed for the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), showed what it is capable of in terms of maximum control and steering precision with a torque of up to 900 Nm. The test took place on the Contidrom circuit, the tire manufacturer’s legendary test track near Hanover. The tires fitted were size 275/35R21 on the front axle and 315/30R21 on the rear axle. The Brabus 750 special edition runs on SportContact 7 tires as original equipment. The premium tire manufacturer and the high-end tuner Brabus have been in a close partnership for more than a decade.

Lianda hires Karin Kingstad as its business development manager

Karin Kingstad has joined Lianda as its Business Development Manager. The Lianda team is very excited to have Karin as a key player in its corporate growth strategy. Karin is a rubber industry veteran with successful careers as Business Development Manager at Hexpol Compounding and Key Account Manager at Bayer/LANXESS.

J.D. Power ranks Falken Tires number one in customer satisfaction for truck/utility vehicles

Falken Tires, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. of Japan, has been named the #1 Original Equipment tire brand for Truck/Utility vehicle owners according to the J.D. Power 2024 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study.

Falken also ranked highest in Traction/Handling, further demonstrating its commitment to improving the driving experience for each and every customer.

The Rubber Division’s Spring Meeting is only three weeks away

The Rubber Division ACS would like to remind you that the Spring Technical Meeting being held in Columbus, OH begins on April 30th and runs through May 2nd. You can book your hotel room by April 15th and still receive the discount rate. Visit www.rubber.org for more information.

Fictiv launches nearshoring solution for production injection molding

Fictiv announced a new hybrid injection molding solution for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who need the best possible tooling craftsmanship for reliable nearshore production. Through Fictiv’s global manufacturing network, OEMs can seamlessly order high-quality, production-grade tools manufactured in China in as fast as 4 weeks and then transferred to Mexico. This service provides the best total cost of ownership for molding in Mexico, including expert tool packaging and transfer to Mexico from China, bringing together the best of all worlds.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency issues new rules for chloroprene emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule that will significantly reduce toxic air pollution from chemical plants, including ethylene oxide and chloroprene. Once implemented, the rule will reduce both EtO and chloroprene emissions from covered processes and equipment by nearly 80%. A requirement for these facilities to conduct fence line monitoring for key toxic chemicals is included, and EPA will make the data publicly available to better inform and safeguard nearby communities.

Continental acquires mold manufacturing specialist EMT

Continental has acquired the mold manufacturing specialist EMT s.r.o., based in Puchov, Slovakia. All shares of Continental’s long-standing supplier were transferred to Continental effective April 2, 2024

Mitsui Chemicals to close phenol plant Ichihara, Japan

The Mitsui Chemicals Group’s Basic & Green Materials Business Sector, which includes phenol business, is aiming to redefine itself as a sustainable green chemicals business centered around competitive derivatives. As the Group works toward an optimized production setup at the company’s crackers line with demand, it will need to ensure that its derivatives are competitive – a need which prompted the Group to begin restructuring its Basic & Green Materials Business Sector shortly after the 2008 global financial crisis. The Group is now further accelerating its efforts toward this end as part of a second phase of restructuring, which will include the newly announced plant closure.

GRI expands product portfolio with 23 new SKUs in agriculture and construction tire categories

GRI announced an expansion of its product portfolio with the addition of 23 new SKUs across its agriculture and construction tire segments.
This strategic move underscores GRI’s commitment to meeting the evolving needs of its customers worldwide, as well as its dedication to innovation and excellence in tire manufacturing. The newly introduced SKUs encompass better load and speed indexes in the existing sizes to carry more weight with safety. These SKUs offer better options to the customers to choose the best fit for their machines.

Sumitomo Rubber North America promotes Wayne Horne to strategic account manager

Wayne Horne has been a part of SRNA for nearly eight years and held various roles throughout his tenure. Starting in Customer Service, Horne handled calls and orders and then transitioned to be a part of the Fanatic Field Sales Team. From there, he worked his way up to Account Manager, where he oversaw all direct Passenger Car and Light Truck business in the western region. Horne then embraced the role of Sales Strategist, collaborating with the team for 16 months before being promoted to Strategic Account Manager.

LyondellBasell contracts 208 megawatts of renewable energy for German facility

LyondellBasell and Encavis Asset Management AG (Encavis AM) announced they signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to secure 208 megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity generation capacity from the solar park in Bartow, Germany. This solar park will rank among the largest of its kind in Germany.

Under this 12-year PPA, Encavis AM will deliver approximately 210 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of solar power to LyondellBasell annually. This is comparable to the annual electricity consumption of approximately 56,500 European homes, starting in 2025. With this latest PPA, the company will reach more than 90% of its total renewable electricity goal.

Harvard researchers increase fatigue threshold of reinforced rubber

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have increased the fatigue threshold of particle-reinforced rubber, developing a new, multiscale approach that allows the material to bear high loads and resist crack growth over repeated use. This approach could not only increase the longevity of rubber products such as tires but also reduce the amount of pollution from rubber particles shed during use.