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Smithers Rapra will bring together tire industry leaders May 19-21 in Nashville  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Akron, OH – Polaris Industries, Bridgestone, J.D. Power, CSX, Michelin, FedEx Fleet, Discount Tire, Consumers Union, Pirelli and Ford Motor Company are just a few of the tire industry drivers who will be presenting at Smithers Rapra’s Traction 2015, taking place May 19-21 at the Omni Nashville Hotel in Nashville, TN. This conference and exhibition will bring together tire OEMs, Tier 1-4 system and component suppliers, and materials producers to discuss supplier and consumer needs, material technology advancements, policy and regulations and tire industry business dynamics. "The industry needed a forum where the entire supply chain could come together to explore how to balance innovation, regulatory requirements and cost concerns with consumer perception and actions. Traction will deliver that while focusing on real world applications, challenges and solutions,” said Conference Chair Jim Popio, vice president and general manager, Smithers Rapra. “We are proud of the exceptionally high caliber of expert content on business dynamics, engineering advancements, regulations and industry challenges that we have secured for this program. But more importantly, we are excited that all of the key stakeholders will be in Nashville to focus on building the relationships that will keep us strong and foster the open exchange of ideas and solutions needed for the future.” Tire manufacturers, including Goodyear, Pirelli, Michelin and Bridgestone, will be in the room to share the latest advances and innovations in the industry. CSX Intermodal Terminals, FedEx Fleet and Polaris Industries will give insights into the business dynamics of developing, selecting and operating tires in agricultural, off-road, intermodal and fleet vehicles applications. The NTSB, Gillespie Automotive Safety Services and the Rubber Manufacturers Association will share perspectives on passenger vehicle tire safety; the impact of global regulations on the tire industry and more. Rounding out the rest of the Traction 2015 agenda are presentations from American Pacific Industries; Arizona Chemical; Cabot Corporation; Consumers Union; Discount Tire; DuPont; J.D. Power; Notch Consulting; Penton | WardsAuto and Sumitomo Rubber Industries. “The mission of Traction 2015 is ‘innovate regardless of the obstacles.’ By offering direct access to industry leadership and insights from the most-connected individuals throughout the supply chain, the stage is set for honest and impactful discussions of our current and future realities,” said conference director Andrew T. Smaha. “The final ingredient is you – the attendee. I promise that you will leave Nashville with a deep understanding of all of the issues facing the global industry, as well as the relationships needed to affect real change in your organization and beyond. You simply cannot afford to miss Traction 2015 this May!” Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are available. For more information about Traction 2015: Driving the Industry Forward, visit www.tractionsummit.com. - * Email

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RheinChemie

Dow Chemical reports first quarter results  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Midland, MI - The Dow Chemical Company reported earnings per share of $1.18 or operating earnings of $0.84 per share. This compares with earnings of $0.79 per share on both a reported and an operating basis in the year-ago period. EBITDA for the quarter was $3.1 billion. Operating EBITDA was $2.4 billion, with gains reported in Consumer Solutions, Infrastructure Solutions, Performance Materials & Chemicals, as well as Performance Plastics. Operating EBITDA increases were led by Consumer Solutions and Infrastructure Solutions (both up 10 percent). Operating EBITDA margin expanded to the highest levels since 2005, up 284 basis points versus the year-ago period, with increases across most operating segments. Margin expansion was driven by high-value, differentiated products in Performance Plastics (up 558 basis points), Infrastructure Solutions (up 297 basis points) and Consumer Solutions (up 269 basis points). Sales were $12.4 billion. Demand for Dow products grew across all geographic regions (excluding Hydrocarbons & Energy businesses and divestitures). Volume increased in Performance Plastics (up 6 percent), and Performance Materials & Chemicals and Consumer Solutions (both up 5 percent). Overall, growth was led by emerging geographies (up 5 percent), with particular strength in Greater China (up 10 percent). Price declined 12 percent on the same basis, driven by changes in crude oil values and currency devaluations versus the dollar. Research and Development (R&D) expenses and Selling, General and Administrative (SG&A) expenses together decreased $35 million versus the year-ago period due primarily to targeted cost-savings initiatives, coupled with impacts related to currency. Operating cash flow was $1.2 billion, a first quarter record and an increase of more than $660 million versus the same quarter last year. Certain Items in the quarter included gains related to the divestitures of the Angus Chemical Company and Sodium Borohydride businesses, as well as pre-tax charges associated with the planned separation of a significant portion of the company’s chlorine value chain. (See Supplemental Information at the end of the release for a description of Certain Items affecting results.) Dow announced the signing of a definitive agreement to divest a significant portion of its chlorine value chain through a transaction with Olin Corporation for a tax-efficient consideration of $5 billion, and taxable equivalent value of $8 billion, equivalent to a 12.5x EBITDA multiple. Additional, ongoing portfolio management in the quarter included the sale of the Angus Chemical Company and Sodium Borohydride businesses, for a total pre-tax gain of $688 million. Dow continued to drive shareholder remuneration actions, returning $977 million to shareholders in the quarter through declared dividends and repurchases. - * Email

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McLube

Trinseo announces pricing of senior notes to refinance existing indebtedness  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Berwyn, PA - Trinseo announced the pricing of an offering of $700 million equivalent in gross proceeds of senior notes consisting of $300 million senior notes due 2022 and €375 million senior notes due 2022 by its subsidiaries Trinseo Materials Operating S.C.A. and Trinseo Materials Finance, Inc. The net proceeds from the notes offering, together with approximately $500 million of term loan borrowings expected to be available under the issuers’ new senior secured credit facility and available cash, will be used to repay all outstanding indebtedness under the issuers’ 8.750 percent senior secured notes due 2019. The dollar notes will bear interest at a rate of 6.750 percent and the Euro notes will bear interest at a rate of 6.375 percent. The issuer will pay interest semi-annually in arrears on the notes on May 1 and November 1 of each year beginning on November 1, 2015. The notes will mature on May 1, 2022. - * Email

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New market report on styrene butadiene rubber by application  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dublin, Ireland - Research and Markets announced the addition of the "Global Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) Market by Application (Tires, Footwear, Construction, Polymer Modification, Adhesives, Others), by Geography - Analysis and Forecast to 2019" report to its offering. The market value of styrene butadiene rubber was estimated to be $13,245 million in 2013 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of about 3.3 percent from 2014 to 2019. The data mentioned in the report is based on the global demand for styrene butadiene rubber. The total market for global styrene butadiene rubber has been analyzed, which provides an idea of the current proceedings in the industry at the commercial level. The study provides the value chain analysis with respect to styrene butadiene rubber raw materials, manufacturers, and end-users. The value chain describes the key contributors to the materials market at different stages from product development to end-use. It represents the top players that contribute to the global styrene butadiene rubber industry. The impact of different market factors, such as drivers, inhibitors, and opportunities has also been illustrated in the report. This offers an idea of key drivers such as the growing demand for tires, increasing growth in the automotive industry, high footwear demand, EU-regulations in Europe, rising demand from end-use applications, and strict labelling regulations formulated by governments for the tire manufacturing industry; the inhibitors include volatility in butadiene pricing and the environmental impact of using SBR. The economic slowdown in Asia-Pacific and Europe has also affected the economy of other developed regions that are of key importance for the commercial success of new materials and its end-user market. The global styrene butadiene rubber market is also classified based on different applications. The important applications include tires, footwear, construction, polymer modification, adhesives, and others. The tires and footwear industries are expected to display rapid growth in future. - * Email

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Mitsui Chemicals begins construction on new polyurethane plant  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Omuta, Japan - Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new plant (2,000 tons/year) within the Omuta Works (Omuta City, Kyushu) to manufacture its new and advanced polyurethane elastomer, Fortimo, and the polyisocyanate, Stabio. The new plant is scheduled for commercial operation in August 2016. The company’s special isocyanates Fortimo and Stabio are both one-of-a-kind, world firsts. Launched in October 2013, the markets for these two unique materials have seen successful expansion after receiving high marks in customer evaluations. Mitsui Chemicals will continue to bolster sales and expand applications of these and its other special isocyanates, XDI (meta-xylylene diisocyanate) and NBDI (norbornane diisocyanate), of which Mitsui Chemicals is the world’s sole provider, along with its derivative products to create new customer value and strengthen and grow its coating and functional material business. - * Email

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Michelin announces first quarter profit and stock buyback program  

Friday, April 24, 2015

New York, NY - Bloomberg reports, "Michelin & Cie. rose the most in 19 months in Paris trading after reporting better-than-expected quarterly sales and announcing a EUR 750 million ($801 million) stock-buyback program. Michelin jumped as much as 6 percent in the steepest intraday gain since September 19, 2013, and was up 5.4 percent at EUR 100.95 as of 9:53 a.m. The stock, which is trading at the highest price since mid-2007, has gained 34 percent this year, valuing the tiremaker at EUR 18.8 billion. First-quarter revenue rose 5.6 percent from a year earlier to EUR 5.02 billion, exceeding the EUR 4.94 billion average analyst estimate, as an improving European economy fueled automotive-industry demand and the weaker euro boosted the value of sales overseas. Michelin reiterated full-year targets late Wednesday and said that lower raw-material prices will boost earnings this year by about EUR 600 million. “They’re gaining market share and there was nothing wrong with their figures,” Philippe Houchois, a London-based analyst at UBS Ltd., said. “This shows that they’re back in the car business. The share buyback might help pushing shares on the short term, but not on the medium term as their price is already high.” Michelin, Europe’s biggest tiremaker, has been shifting strategy to reduce dependence on the region’s car market by developing tires for mining vehicles and expanding in China, India and Brazil. The moves have made the company more exposed to weakness in emerging markets as well as to currency shifts. This year, the euro’s drop against the dollar is due to be a boon. The company predicted that foreign-exchange effects will boost 2015 operating profit by more than EUR 350 million, more than double a previous forecast. In the first quarter, currency moves lifted sales by EUR 443 million. At the same time, Clermont-Ferrand, France-based Michelin is seeking to adjust to softer demand in emerging markets by cutting costs by EUR 1.2 billion through 2016. The buyback will be carried out over 18 to 24 months starting April 27, Michelin also said Wednesday. Repurchased stock will be canceled at the end of the year, the company said." - * Email

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Book of the day - Rubber Molding Principles  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Akron, OH - Rubber Molding Principles, written by Van Walworth, Date Release: August 2013. ISBN: 978-616-90836-8-9, Hardbound, 150 Pages, Publisher: TechnoBiz Communications Co., Ltd., Book Cost: $89 plus S&H. Book Contents: Chapter 1: Introduction to Rubber Molding; Chapter 2: Rubber Behavior in the Molds; Chapter 3: Rubber Molding Presses; Chapter 4: Compression Molding; Chapter 5: Transfer Molding; Chapter 6: Injection Molding; Chapter 7: Vacuum Molding; Chapter 8: Wasteless/Flashless Molding; Chapter 9: Basic Rubber Mold Design; Chapter 10: Process Troubleshooting; and Chapter 11: Molding Process Selection Guide. Visit RubberWorld's Bookstore to purchase at www.rubberworld.com - * Email

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