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Lanxess and Saudi Aramco rubber joint venture to be launched on April 1 under the name Arlanxeo  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Cologne, Germany – Specialty chemicals company Lanxess and Saudi Aramco have announced Arlanxeo, the name of their new joint venture for synthetic rubber. The new name and logo combines elements from the names and logos of both partners. The logo is complemented by the descriptor “Performance Elastomers” to highlight the new company’s product range. All relevant antitrust authorities have cleared the transaction. Hence, the joint venture will be launched as Arlanxeo on April 1, 2016. “Arlanxeo will be a strong company of two strong partners. This is also reflected in the new name of the company,” said Matthias Zachert, chairman of the board of management of Lanxess AG and future chairman of the shareholders’ committee of Arlanxeo. “We will establish Arlanxeo as a new and independent player in the global market for synthetic rubber. And we are convinced that, in the world of rubber, Arlanxeo will become a strong brand.” “Under its new name, Arlanxeo will build on the customer focus, recognition and reputation of both Saudi Aramco and Lanxess, which both partners are very proud of,” said Abdulrahman Al-Wuhaib, senior vice president downstream, Saudi Aramco. On September 22, 2015, Lanxess and Saudi Aramco signed an agreement to create a 50:50 joint venture for the development, production, marketing, sale and distribution of synthetic rubber used in the global tire industry, auto-parts manufacturing and a wide range of other applications. Arlanxeo will be headquartered in the Netherlands. The partners will soon appoint the management team that will run the joint venture. Each partner will have equal representation on the boards overseeing the company. The CEO will be appointed by Lanxess and the CFO by Saudi Aramco. “With this joint venture of the world’s largest producer of synthetic rubber and the world’s largest integrated energy company, we have laid the foundations for the sustainable and positive development of Arlanxeo,” said Zachert. “This is a win-win for our customers as well as for the employees of Arlanxeo. We are looking forward to the launch of this promising new partnership.” - * Email

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Industrial gases for rubber industry market is expected to reach 6.31 billion USD by 2020  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Pune, India - MarketsandMarkets report "Industrial Gases for Plastic & Rubber Industry Market - Global Forecast to 2020", The industrial gases for the plastic & rubber industry size is estimated to grow from USD 4.89 Billion in 2015 to USD 6.31 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 5.24% from 2015 to 2020. The global industrial gases for the plastic & rubber industry is driven by factors such as strong growth in the beverage, automobile, packaging, construction, and manufacturing sectors among others. Advancements in terms of product innovations and technologies in the market are expected to create strong investment opportunities. Nitrogen is projected to contribute the largest market share during the forecast period. Gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide have wide applications in the beverage, automobile, packaging, healthcare, and construction sectors. The nitrogen segment is projected to be the fastest-growing market, and is expected to grow at the highest CAGR in the next five years. Nitrogen is widely used in industrial and manufacturing applications for the purposes of purging, inerting, sterilizing, tank blanketing, and flushing. Industrial gases for the plastic and rubber industry, by process, is segmented into four process, namely, injection molding, extrusion, foaming, and blow molding. Injection molding accounted for the largest market share in 2014 and is the most widely used method for processing plastic and rubber into end products. The high versatility and application of injection molding makes it the fastest market during the forecast period. Key Players of the Market: The major players include The Linde Group (Germany), Air Liquide S.A. (France), Praxair Inc. (U.S.), Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (U.S.), and Airgas Inc. (U.S.). Companies have adopted inorganic growth strategies such as acquisitions to cope with the increasing demand in the emerging markets. China is expected to have the largest market share and dominate the Asia- Pacific industrial gases for the plastic & rubber industry from 2015 to 2020. China, the largest manufacturer and supplier of industrial gases for the plastic & rubber industry, exhibits high potential growth opportunities. The key driver for this market is the rapidly growing Chinese industries such as manufacturing, electrical & electronics, automobile, and healthcare industries along with the growing construction market. - * Email

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Fibers from Australian grass are being used to improve latex, make ultra-thin condoms  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Brisbane, Australia - Fibres from the Australian native spinifex grass are being used to improve latex that could be used to make condoms as thin as a human hair without any loss in strength. Working in partnership with Aboriginal traditional owners of the Camooweal region in north-west Queensland, the Indjalandji-Dhidhanu People, researchers from The University of Queensland have developed a method of extracting nanocellulose -- which can be used as an additive in latex production -- from the grass. Professor Darren Martin from UQ's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) said the spinifex nanocellulose significantly improved the physical properties of latex. "The great thing about our nanocellulose is that it's a flexible nano-additive, so we can make a stronger and thinner membrane that is supple and flexible, which is the Holy Grail for natural rubber," Professor Martin said. "We tested our latex formulation on a commercial dipping line in the United States and conducted a burst test that inflates condoms and measures the volume and pressure, and on average got a performance increase of 20 per cent in pressure and 40 per cent in volume compared to the commercial latex control sample," he said. "With a little more refinement, we think we can engineer a latex condom that's about 30 per cent thinner, and will still pass all standards, and with more process optimisation work we will be able to make devices even thinner than this. "Late last year we were able to get down to about 45 microns on our very first commercial dipping run, which is around the width of the hair on your head." Professor Martin said the benefits of the nanocellulose technology would interest latex manufacturers across the multi-billion-dollar global market. "Rather than looking at increasing the strength, companies would be looking to market the thinnest, most satisfying prophylactic possible," he said. "Likewise, it would also be possible to produce latex gloves that are just as strong, but thinner, giving a more sensitive feel and less hand fatigue to users such as surgeons. "Because you would also use less latex, your material cost in production would potentially drop as well, making it even more attractive to manufacturers." Professor Martin said spinifex had long been used as an effective adhesive by indigenous communities in Australia. "Spinifex resins have been used traditionally for attaching spear heads to their wooden shafts," he said. UQ and the Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation have signed an agreement to recognise local Aboriginal traditional owners' knowledge about Spinifex and to ensure that they will have ongoing equity and involvement in the commercialisation of the nanocellulose technology. DAC Managing Director Colin Saltmere said the technology provides an opportunity for the partners to establish themselves as leaders in the area of spinifex harvesting and processing and the supply of a range of nanocellulose and other spinifex-derived products. "There are strong hopes of cultivating and processing spinifex grass on a commercial scale, bringing economic opportunities to the remote areas across Australia where it thrives," Mr Saltmere said. "We're very excited by the prospects of commercialising the technology to provide an entirely new industry to regional Australia." AIBN's Dr Nasim Amiralian said the nanocellulose could be converted from spinifex using an efficient chemistry method. "You would firstly hedge the grass, and then it would be chopped up and pulped with sodium hydroxide -- and at that stage it just looks like paper pulp," Dr Amiralian said. "Then you hit it with mechanical energy to force it through a very small hole under high pressure to peel the nano-fibres apart from the pulp, into nanocellulose happily suspended in water and ready to add to things like water-based rubber latex," she said. UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said innovation delivered its greatest impact when translated into tangible solutions that created positive change, and the spinifex project was a prime example. "Research like this has great potential to make a difference in the fight against HIV and AIDS and other global issues in healthcare," Professor Høj said. "At the heart of our research at UQ, we are aiming to harness research insights to engineer the next-generation of products and solutions, build on global knowledge capital, and generate funding for further innovation." "This completes the laboratory-to-market lifecycle that can deliver benefits to millions, taking excellence to what we call Excellence Plus, and through that we aim to create change." - * Email

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AMAP announces three scholarship winners for 2016  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Avon, OH - The Association of Modified Asphalt Producers announced the recipients of its annual scholarships for academic excellence in the field of asphalt technology. The scholarship was established in 2010 in memory of David R. Jones IV, a friend, colleague, Asphalt Hall of Fame recipient and a true legend of the asphalt industry. "As a true academic, we know Dave would be pleased we are helping students interested in pursuing careers in the asphalt industry in his memory," said Hal Panabaker, president of AMAP. Born in the city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Antonio Angel Barragan, along with his family, migrated to the U.S. at the age of five, and eventually settled in Wyoming at the age of sixteen. He completed high school and attended community college in Casper, WY. With the coal business booming in Wyoming and having family working in the industrial construction sector, Antonio started working full time in power plant and major civil construction projects. This took him to several states and cities before he decided to finish his higher education at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). There he is pursuing a degree in construction and engineering management. Besides being a college student, Antonio is a project controls engineer intern at Marathon Petroleum Corporation where he assists in the scheduling and cost control supervision of the company's multimillion-dollar construction projects at its Detroit refinery. This facility, incidentally, has the largest domestic asphalt production capacity in the United States. Laura E. Dalton is currently a graduate research assistant and engineer-in-training (EIT) at West Virginia University (WVU) pursuing a master's in civil engineering with a focus in asphalt technology. She has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from WVU and a B.A. in Graphic Design from West Virginia Wesleyan College. Her current research includes material characterization of production asphalt mixes from throughout West Virginia. This research is being completed under the guidance of her advisor, Dr. John Zaniewski, in conjunction with the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH). She is currently preparing samples for testing in the Asphalt Mixture Performance Tester for her thesis. After she graduates, Laura plans to pursue a position in the asphalt industry and aspires to continue research within the field. Her ideal career combines her background experience in image processing using computed tomography (CT) scanning. Padmini Gudipudi is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in Transportation Engineering, specializing in pavement materials at Arizona State University (ASU). She received her master's degree in Transportation Systems Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, India. Her dissertation research focuses on the "Investigation and Improvement in Reliability of Asphalt Concrete Fatigue Modeling using Fine Aggregate Matrix Phase". Along with her dissertation work, Padmini is also currently working on several other research projects that involve the investigation of fatigue cracking behavior of modified asphalt concrete mixtures. She has been disseminating the results of her research work through several peer reviewed journals. Apart from her research work, Padmini is also actively involved in several leadership roles and service activities within and outside of the ASU community. In the past, she served as the President and Treasurer for the ITE student chapter and as a committee member for pavement/material conference at ASU. She is currently serving as a reviewer for the travel grant program at ASU, and a board member in the Association of Transportation Professionals of Indian Origin (ATPIO). After her graduation, Padmini would like to pursue a career in the pavement industry for a few years to gain practical experience and then move to academia to incorporate the knowledge gained into her teaching and research. - * Email

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Cooper Tire Asia introduces the new Mastercraft Courser Sport 100 ultra-high-performance SUV tire  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Shanghai, China - Cooper Tire Asia has introduced the new Mastercraft Courser Sport 100, an ultra-high-performance sport utility vehicle (SUV) tire designed and developed by the Cooper Asia Technical Center (ATC) for China’s booming luxury SUV market. Mastercraft Courser Sport 100 adopts an asymmetric tread design, providing precise handling in high speed driving. Its grooves and new silica-infused tread compound enable exceptional wet traction. The tire also offers comfortable, quiet performance as well as an attractive appearance. Mastercraft Courser Sport 100 is now available in five sizes: 235/50R19W, 255/45R19W, 275/40R20Y, 275/45R19W and 275/45R20W. Additional Y and W speed rated sizes are scheduled for later in the year. - * Email

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Trinseo announces expanded custom medical compounding during MD&M West  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Berwyn, PA - Trinseo will introduce its model for global production and fulfillment of its Calibre polycarbonate resins at MD&M West, Anaheim, California from February 9 to 11, 2016, at Booth 818, Hall E. This new production and fulfillment model features custom medical compounding in Asia Pacific to expand existing medical compounding in North America and Europe. These facilities are sourced with polycarbonate base resins from Trinseo’s highest quality, medically-equivalent resins produced in Germany and also by its joint venture partner, Sumika Styron Polycarbonate Limited, in Japan. “Trinseo can now produce and offer global OEMs medically-equivalent compounds with its Calibre polycarbonate resins in Asia Pacific,” said Martin Lindway, global medical business manager. “Companies and sourcing managers need exceptional quality in a cost effective solution, and regional regulatory and technical support services for compliance, speed to market and security of supply. Trinseo’s new global production and fulfillment model is Emerge advanced resins for single- and multiple-use devices and equipment housings. These materials address some of the industry’s critical challenges, including the need for home health care, point of care devices, drug delivery, and wearable devices. During MD&M West, Trinseo will also announce results from its recent collaboration with Henkel Corporation, the world market leader in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings. Henkel and Trinseo tested the compatibility of various Trinseo plastics and Henkel adhesives and found that when used together the materials optimize application assembly. - * Email

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Book of the day - Fatigue, Stress and Strain of Rubber Components, by Judson Bauman  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Akron, OH - This book covers the fatigue testing of specimens, curve fitting of equations to the test data, and the use of such equations in life prediction. Topics include the nature of rubber, history of its usage, types of rubber in brief, manufacturing methods, and stress-strain testing and behavior. Also, the text covers the application of finite element analysis to components to determine high stress points that are vulnerable to fatigue failure. By Judson T. Bauman, hardcover, 214 pages, 140 figures, $130.00 plus shipping and handling. Click here to order. - * Email

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