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Goodyear concept tires offer a glimpse of the future  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Geneva, Switzerland - Two groundbreaking concept tires unveiled by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company at this week’s 85th Geneva International Motor Show could radically change the role of car tires in the future. Though the two tires are concept products, the futuristic technologies stretch the imagination and provide a glimpse of what practical innovations may be on the horizon. The first concept – named “BHO3” – offers the possibility of charging the batteries of electric cars by transforming the heat generated by the rolling tire into electrical energy. The second concept – named “Triple Tube” – contains three tubes that adjust tire inflation pressure in response to changing road conditions, delivering new levels of performance and versatility. “These concept tires reimagine the role that tires may play in the future,” said Joe Zekoski, Goodyear’s senior vice president and chief technical officer. “We envision a future in which our products become more integrated with the vehicle and the consumer, more environmentally friendly and more versatile.” Additional details on the two concept tires: BHO3 - This tire generates electricity through the action of materials in the tire that capture and transform the energy created by heat when it flexes as it rolls during normal driving conditions. The materials used would optimize the tire’s electricity generation capabilities as well as its rolling resistance. As demand for electric cars grows, this technology has the potential to significantly contribute to the solution of future mobility challenges. This visionary tire technology could eliminate the vehicle-range anxiety motorists may have with electric cars. TRIPLE TUBE - This tire features three internal tubes within the tire. Tubes are located beneath the tread and near the inboard and outboard shoulders of the tire as well as the center. The tire relies on an internal pump that moves air from the main air chamber to the three individual air chambers, or tubes. The tire automatically adjusts – on its own – to three different positions based on road conditions; The Eco/Safety position – with maximum inflation in all three tubes – offers reduced rolling resistance; The Sporty position – with reduced inflation within the inboard shoulder tube – gives drivers dry handling through an optimized contact patch; The Wet Traction position – with maximized inflation in the center tube – provides high aquaplaning resistance through a raised tread in the center of the tire. Although these tires are future concepts, Zekoski says they represent an essential aspect of Goodyear’s innovation strategy, instilling a forward-looking, market-back mindset in the company’s research and development teams. “It is more important than ever for us to stay firmly rooted in our market-back innovation process, which calls on us to focus on, and anticipate, the rapidly evolving needs of our customers,” said Zekoski. - * Email

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RheinChemie

MESNAC and Bosch Rexroth begin strategic partnership  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Qingdao, China - MESNAC signed a strategic cooperation partnership protocol with Bosch Rexroth. Reaching a consensus on the development of a drive and control system of rubber and tire industry. MESNAC president Zheng Jiangjia and Ren Yixing, CSO of Rexroth (China) signed the protocol on behalf of each party. Bosch Rexroth enjoys the reputation in the field for drives and controls, with high-quality products and rich experience to provide modern, efficient and flexible complete solutions. In the cooperation, Bosch Rexroth will fully support the development of MESNAC’s drives and controls business in the rubber and tire industry, and will make a special plan of action towards the partnership and the promotion of MESNAC’s products. It will support MESNAC’s modular and standardization work, advancing expansion activities of both parties in their respective fields and markets. The partnership will reinforce each other’s advantages within the drives and controls field of the rubber and tire industry. The two parties will work together to promote the intellectual and digital development towards the rubber and tire industry, providing better products and service for global rubber and tire customers. - * Email

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McLube

Accella Performance Materials announces acquisition of IPS Polymer Systems, Inc.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

St. Louis, MO – Accella Performance Materials, Inc., (“Accella”, rebranded from Dash Multi-Corp, Inc.) a leading manufacturer of polyurethane systems and recycled rubber products, today announced the acquisition of IPS Polymer Systems, Inc. (“IPS”) in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Accella is backed by Arsenal Capital Partners (“Arsenal Capital”). The acquisition further supports Accella’s strategy to build the leading polyurethane systems house in North America, with an even stronger presence on the West Coast. The combination brings together an expansive polyurethane technology portfolio, convenient regional manufacturing, and leading technical application expertise, supported by an expanding national sales channel when combined with MarChem Polyurethane Systems, Arnco, and Pathway Polymers. Accella’s CEO, Andy Harris, said, “IPS and Accella have over 40 years of experience with polyurethane technology and proprietary formulations. IPS is an excellent fit with Accella’s current polyurethanes business and will bring expanded technology and capabilities to both companies. The acquisition of IPS is strategic in our objective to build the leading independent polyurethane systems house in North America to bring the greatest value and offerings to our customers.” Andy Harris added “We do not expect any disruption to current customers in either company and will continue to focus on high value technology, exceptional customer service, and product quality to provide our customers even greater value.” John Televantos, Partner at Arsenal Capital and long-time polyurethanes industry veteran, said, “We are very pleased to bring IPS Polymer Systems into the Accella group, and with the progress of Accella overall. IPS strengthens the Accella polyurethanes platform and will enhance the value Accella brings to market. We are committed to support the ongoing growth of Accella and will continue to invest in strategic opportunities that will further transform the business.” Roy Seroussi, a Principal at Arsenal Capital said, “IPS has a long history of proven products, innovation, and a positive reputation that fit very well with Accella’s history and culture. This will help support our customers’ growth and competitiveness, as we further expand the Accella polyurethane systems business.” Ezzat Seif, the founder and former CEO of IPS Polymer Systems, will stay with the business and continue on the leadership team, and said, “We are delighted to be a part of the Accella team and are excited to expand the value we provide to a broader customer base. We selected Accella as a good cultural fit and to bring greater opportunities to our valued employees and customers.” - * Email

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WACKER builds new production plant for specialty monomers in Burghausen  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Munich, Germany - Wacker Chemie AG is currently building a new plant for specialty monomers with an annual capacity of 3,800 metric tons at its Burghausen site. The Group has budgeted around €8 million for this. The specialty monomers vinyl neodecanoate and vinyl laurate are key raw materials for the manufacture of specific dispersible polymer powders. The plant is scheduled for start-up in the second quarter of 2015. This new development allows WACKER to meet increasing demand for high-quality polymeric binders and strengthens its position as the world’s leading manufacturer of dispersible polymer powders. New plant for specialty monomers at WACKER’s Burghausen site: Specialty monomers are key raw materials for the manufacture of specific dispersible polymer powders. With the construction of the new plant, WACKER is strengthening its position as a market and technology leader in this field. WACKER aims to meet the globally rising demand for its dispersible polymer powders, which is driven by worldwide trends such as urbanization, renovation and energy efficiency. With the construction of the new plant for specialty monomers, the Munich-based chemical Group is creating the necessary capacity to independently secure the supply of key raw materials for the manufacture of the powders at its Burghausen site over the long term. The specialty monomers vinyl neodecanoate and vinyl laurate confer special properties on WACKER’s dispersible polymer powders, such as hydrophobicity. “The construction of the new plant for specialty monomers is an important strategic step,” explains Christoph Riemer, head of dispersible polymer powder business at WACKER POLYMERS. “It makes us more independent of raw-material price fluctuations and boosts supply security during peak-demand periods. In addition, it strengthens the position of specialty products in our dispersible polymer powder portfolio.” “The new plant uses a process that was specifically developed and patented by WACKER. It is state of the art and allows us to strengthen our market and cost position over the long term,” says Bors C. Abele, head of acetyls business at WACKER POLYMERS. - * Email

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TIA accepting nominations for the 2015 Tire Industry Hall of Fame  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bowie, MD - The Tire Industry Association (TIA) announced that they are accepting nominations for the 2015 Tire Industry Hall of Fame. The deadline for nominations for the Tire Industry Hall of Fame is Monday, July 6, 2015. A nomination form is available on www.tireindustry.org/hall-fame. The Hall of Fame is open to individuals in the tire industry, including manufacturers, inventors, publishers, equipment suppliers, tire association executives, tire dealers, tire and rubber recyclers and retreaders. The Hall of Fame may be awarded posthumously. Inductees are chosen based on the following criteria: their contributions of new ideas, practices and/or innovations that promote the health and well-being of the tire industry; their exemplary and distinguished service in the tire industry; and the respect of their peers. Contributions in civic, cultural, educational or charitable endeavors will be considered, but are not a primary consideration as attributes for selection. "The Tire Industry Honors Awards Ceremony is one of the highlights of the year for TIA and the industry. The committee is forward to selecting another group of honorees to induct into the Hall of Fame this year," said TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield. The Hall of Fame Inductions will take place on Monday, November 2, 2015 as part of TIA's Tire Industry Honors Awards Ceremony, which takes place prior to the Global Tire Expo - Powered by TIA, November 3-6, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Questions regarding the Hall of Fame may be directed to TIA Director of Marketing Donna Sage at dsage@tireindustry.org - * Email

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Borealis delivers a record result in 2014  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Vienna, Austria - Borealis, a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins and base chemicals, announces a net profit of EUR 141 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to EUR 148 million in the same quarter of 2013. For the full year 2014, the company recorded a net profit of EUR 571 million, compared to EUR 423 million in 2013. The improved result over 2013 was driven by overall stronger margins in the olefins and polyolefins business and an improved contribution from Borouge following the startup of the Borouge 3 project. Within Base Chemicals, the fertilizer business did not deliver as well as expected due to operational challenges at the newly acquired plants in France. In the fourth quarter, net debt reduced by EUR 255 million largely due to lower working capital needs driven by a lower price environment for polyolefins and by an inventory reduction following the completion of the site turnaround in Burghausen, Germany. In 2014, net debt increased by EUR 28 million. Borealis' financial position remains strong with a gearing of 40 percent. Borealis reports a Total Recordable Injuries (TRI) frequency of 1.3 per million hours worked in 2014, as compared to a TRI frequency of 1.5 in 2013. Although a TRI frequency below two is world-class in the industry, Borealis continues to maintain even more ambitious targets and will continue to work harder towards the ultimate goal of zero injuries. A clear highlight in 2014 for Borouge, Borealis' joint venture with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in Abu Dhabi, UAE, is the successful start-up of the mega project Borouge 3. After the successful start-up of the cracker in June, three out of five polyolefin plants started up in the period until year end. Borouge 3 will deliver an additional 2.5 million tonnes of capacity when fully ramped up, bringing the total Borouge capacity to 4.5 million tonnes, thus making Borouge the biggest integrated polyolefins complex in the world. Borealis and Borouge will then have approximately 8 million tonnes of polyolefin capacity. In 2014, Borealis has successfully increased its long-term feedstock flexibility for its petrochemical plant in Stenungsund, Sweden. In February, the company signed a new long-term agreement to source ethane from Norwegian Statoil for Borealis' steam cracker, one of the most feedstock flexible crackers in Europe. Apart from ethane it can also crack naphtha, propane and butane. Stenungsund has significant liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage capacity, allowing the company to source LPG from various sources with vessel sizes up to very large gas carriers. In August, Borealis signed in addition a 10-year agreement with Antero Resources to supply ethane from the United States. The project also includes a shipping agreement with Navigator Holdings and a related multi-million investment in an upgrade of the cracker and the construction of an ethane storage tank. The ethane supplied from the U.S. complements the ethane supply contract with Statoil, providing Borealis with attractive alternative sources of feedstock. A series of rebranding initiatives, including the launch of a new corporate design and the introduction of the new Borealis tagline were timed to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the company in March. Borealis has been shaping the future with plastics for twenty years. At the core of the new Borealis positioning is the tagline "Keep Discovering", which draws on the spirit of continual innovation that has always been integral to Borealis and which was celebrated internally throughout 2014. In August, the company's strategy to grow its polyolefin business in specific market areas was underlined with the acquisition of all the outstanding shares in DuPont Holding Netherland B.V.'s shares of Speciality Polymers Antwerp N.V., located in Zwijndrecht (Antwerp, Belgium). Borealis continued to expand its footprint in South America, most specifically in Brazil, where the company has made a substantial investment in its Itatiba complex near Sao Paulo in order to better exploit growth opportunities in pioneering applications in the automotive and appliance industries. For Borealis, 2014 has been a period of active consolidation following a period of real transformation. The company continued work on earlier acquisitions like Borealis Plastomers, formerly DEXPlastomers and Borealis' fertilizer production in France, formerly GPN S.A. - * Email

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