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Dow Elastomers launches next generation technology for footwear

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Midland, MI - Whether you’re pounding the pavement, fast-breaking down the court, or simply getting fit, high performance footwear is essential to maximize your workout, and Dow is ready to help you step up your game. Dow Elastomers is introducing its award-winning Infuse olefin block copolymers (OBCs) for use in the athletic shoe midsole. Infuse OBCs help improve rebound, compression set, comfort and dimensional stability while providing the most lightweight material option available, all essential factors in the performance, safety and comfort of a shoe. Midsoles dictate the life of a shoe, including durability, and the quality of the runner’s ride. They protect the runner’s foot, absorbing shock from jumping and running during a workout, lessening the impact and stress on the body. The midsole also serves as the center of stability for an athlete, preventing the foot from rolling inward or outward, which can lead to pain and injury. “More and more people are investing in their personal fitness, and with that, we’re seeing growing demand for athletic shoes with higher performance midsoles,” said Michael Shoemaker, global strategic marketing manager for Dow Elastomers. “New technology applications, like blending Infuse OBCs with ethylene vinyl acetate for the shoe midsole, are helping meet increased consumer demands for improved performance, comfort and durability in a market where midsole foams have traditionally provided a minimum level of benefits in midsole comfort.” Formulators using Infuse OBCs are seeing midsoles with enhanced flexibility, adhesion and foaming compared to conventional EVA-based midsole foams. Infuse provides improved resilience with similar hardness, more stable performance over a broader temperature range, and reduced shrinkage and compression set at elevated temperatures. The technology can also drop into existing foam processes with minor adjustments by the manufacturer, eliminating the need to retool or alter the production process. Competitor magazine recently reported that shoe brand owners are seeing a growth in popularity for maximum cushion athletic shoes, replacing a recent trend in barely-there minimalist shoes, which require higher strength and fitness from the athlete, not suitable for those needing to build up their strength. “We are excited to help our customers revolutionize footwear performance and comfort through cutting-edge science and technology,” said Shoemaker. “This is just one market where we are collaborating with customers to develop next-generation products with Infuse OBCs.” Infuse OBCs were awarded the 2012 ICIS Product Innovation Award due to the technology’s unique blend of flexible polymer blocks with hard blocks of high-melting-point polymer, an innovation never before achieved or thought possible, in the plastics marketplace. - * Email

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RheinChemie

TIA announces 2014-2015 board of directors election results

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bowie, MD - The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has announced the winners of the 2014-2015 board of directors election. Six seats were available this year, each with a three-year term. TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield said, "We continue to be fortunate that so many qualified candidates have a desire to serve TIA and the industry." Those elected to the TIA board for 2014-2015 include: Steve Burhenn, Becker Tire & Treading, Inc., Great Bend, KS; Daniel Childers, TCi Tire Centers, Duncan, SC; John Evankovich, Sam's Club, Bentonville, AR; Robert Hendry, 31 Incorporated, Newcomerstown, OH (returning); Chris Monroe, Monroe Tire & Services, Shelby, NC; and Jason Williams, Jack Williams Tire Company, Scranton, PA. Additionally, Alpio Barbara of Redwood General Tire Pros in Redwood City, CA, was placed into the one-year vacancy that was created by the election of Mike Wolfe, Southeastern Wholesale Tire, to the position of treasurer. TIA would like to acknowledge the tremendous work of departing board members Gary Albright, John Derringer, Robert Frick, Randy Groh, Brett Matschke and Steve Zimmerman. The new board will be take office on Monday, November 3, at TIA's Annual Meeting at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. - * Email

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McLube

Solvay inaugurates specialty surfactants plant in Genthin, Germany

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Genthin, Germany - Solvay has inaugurated its specialty surfactants plant at the industrial park in Genthin, Germany, placing it in an excellent position to meet customer requirements in the fast-growing Central and Eastern European markets for Home and Personal, Agrochemicals and Oil and Gas markets. The inauguration of the plant, close to Berlin, took place in the presence of key customers, local officials and the minister president of Saxony-Anhalt, Dr. Reiner Haseloff. The inauguration marks the establishment of the first production unit of Solvay’s Global Business Unit Novecare in Germany and further expands Solvay’s regional presence, underscoring its commitment to the German domestic as well as neighboring central and eastern European markets. “This investment illustrates our commitment to bolster our leading positions in specialty surfactants in Europe and to support the development of our customers with innovative specialty solutions,” said Emmanuel Butstraen, Solvay Novecare president. The expanded production capacities will enable Solvay to meet the growing demand for amphoteric surfactants from local customers and enhance its service level. The plant will create some 30 new jobs. Solvay Novecare operates 37 sites worldwide, with six plants based in Europe, along with seven Research and Innovation centers. “Germany is among the most important countries to drive our growth in the Central European region. The coming on stream of this plant adds to Novecare’s European manufacturing footprint and strengthens our competitive advantages,” said Patrice Pinsard, vice president and general manager EMEA, Solvay Novecare. "We are happy that Solvay as an international Chemical Group is investing in Genthin," said Dr. Reiner Haseloff. minister president of Saxony-Anhalt. "Solvay’s decision to open a second site in Saxony-Anhalt, confirm our economical politics to make the state attractive for the international industry." The new plant will produce specialty surfactants that aid in the delivery of functional performance attributes such as cleansing, dispersal, moisturizing and texturizing qualities. The unit has already produced trial batches and with production set to start on the fourth quarter of 2014, Solvay is uniquely positioned to serve the dynamic Central and Eastern European market as well as its many customers around the world. - * Email

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Titan International approves quarterly cash dividend

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Quincy, IL - The board of directors of Titan International, Inc. has approved a quarterly cash dividend of $.005 (one half cent) per common share for the third quarter of 2014. The cash dividend is payable Wednesday, October 15, 2014, to stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 30, 2014. - * Email

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Michelin farm tires demonstrate performance advantages during footprint and traction tests

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Greenville, SC - Testing conducted by Michelin North America at the 2014 Farm Progress Show in Boone, IA, demonstrated the superior performance of Michelin YieldBib VF tires with Michelin Ultraflex technologies, compared to standard technology radial row-crop tires. The results were a larger footprint, which produces reduced soil compaction, better traction and improved fuel economy. An above-ground soil compaction demonstration was originally planned as part of Michelin’s Farm Progress Show exhibit. However, due to heavy rains leading up to the show, Michelin instead conducted a tire footprint demonstration involving two identical, 310 hp front wheel assist tractors, one equipped with YieldBib tires and the other with standard technology tires. Both tractors had dual rear tires and single front tires. Results showed that the YieldBib footprint provided nearly 100 square inches more contact with the ground for increased traction and the most efficient transfer of horsepower to the ground. Tires with Michelin Ultraflex technologies, like YieldBib, can carry the same load at up to 40 percent lower air pressure compared to standard technology tires, or a heavier load at the same pressure as a standard tire, resulting in a larger footprint and reduced soil compaction. Muddy fields forced cancellation of Michelin’s Traction Challenge in the Ride and Drive area each day of the Farm Progress Show. However, preliminary traction testing prior to the start of the show demonstrated the clear advantage of YieldBib tires with Michelin Ultraflex technologies, more traction and less slippage, producing a fuel savings of up to 20 percent compared to standard technology radial tires. In this traction test, a 180 hp front wheel assist tractor equipped with YieldBib tires operating at their lower air pressure pulled a 280 hp front wheel assist tractor a distance of 100 meters across the field. The same test was conducted with the YieldBib air pressure raised to simulate standard technology tires. In both tests, the pulling force was identical and cylinders mounted on the tractors indicated the difference in fuel consumption. “Results of both the footprint demonstration and preliminary Traction Challenge were similar to previous tests performed by Michelin,” says James Crouch, farm segment marketing manager for Michelin North America. “These tests illustrated how farmers who use standard technology radial tires can protect their soil and crops, improve tire and machine performance, and reduce fuel costs by upgrading to Michelin YieldBib VF tires.” It was hoped that conditions might improve enough by day three of the show to conduct a Traction Challenge for show attendees, but lightning and heavy rains forced cancellation of the entire final show day. Proven agriculture tire designs combine soil protection, fuel savings and long service life in one tire: three key elements of performance that make Michelin tires the choices of Professional Farmers on a daily basis. - * Email

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Lanxess expands pigment plant in Ningbo, China

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cologne, Germany - Specialty chemicals group Lanxess is strengthening its production network in China to meet the high level of demand for iron oxide pigments and is adding a mixing and milling plant to the pigment plant already under construction in Ningbo. Lanxess is creating a total of roughly 200 new jobs with these two plants. Potential customers for the iron oxide pigments are the coatings, plastics, construction and paper industries. This brings the total investment at the Ningbo site from around EUR 55 million to around EUR 60 million. The new plant for iron oxide red pigments in Ningbo, which has been built to the latest environmental standards, is being designed for an initial annual synthesis capacity of 25,000 metric tons. On the same site, Lanxess is building the mixing and milling plant for pigments with an annual capacity of 70,000 metric tons. This plant will also process raw pigments from other Lanxess sites for the Asian market. The plants are scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015 and to start production in the first quarter of 2016. At the same time, Lanxess will also close its existing mixing and milling operations in Taopu, Shanghai, with an annual capacity of 35,000 metric tons by the end of 2016. Shanghai City Council will be integrating the vacated plant grounds into a high-tech park in Shanghai’s Putuo District. “The trend towards urbanization is continuing unabated. Our decision to significantly expand our plant in Ningbo is based on the fact that the global demand for iron oxide pigments is growing at an annual rate of around three percent,” says Jörg Hellwig, head of the Inorganic Pigments business unit (IPG) at Lanxess. “In addition to our Jinshan/Shanghai site in China, we will then have another very strong base for our global production network. By doubling our milling capacities in China, we are strengthening our position as a world-leading manufacturer of iron oxide pigments with a wide-ranging product portfolio for customers.” The new Lanxess plants in Ningbo on the East coast of China are located in the Ningbo Petrochemical Economic & Technological Development Zone (NPEDZ). This industrial area features an outstanding infrastructure and good logistical links and is one of the three largest and most modern in China. Lanxess will be manufacturing high-quality, yellowish iron oxide red pigments there using an improved and highly sustainable Penniman process. Enhanced water and waste gas treatment will ensure good environmental compatibility. Thanks to a particularly energy-efficient process, the plant will meet the highest international environmental standards. “Lanxess will be the first manufacturer of iron oxide pigments to ensure eco-friendly production of these yellowish red pigments while also ensuring consistently high quality,” says Rafael Suchan, who heads the Lanxess pigment business in the Asia/Pacific region. “Thanks to the new mixing and milling plant, we will be offering an expanded portfolio of pigments that features the new red pigments alongside our proven iron oxide color pigments,” he adds. Lanxess already operates a synthesis plant in Jinshan, Shanghai, considered to be one of the largest, most modern facilities for iron oxide pigments in China. The plant has an annual production capacity of 38,000 metric tons of high-quality iron oxide yellow and iron oxide black pigments. With an annual capacity of over 350,000 metric tons, Lanxess’ Inorganic Pigments business unit (IPG) is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of inorganic iron oxide and chrome oxide pigments. The center of global production operations is Krefeld-Uerdingen in Germany. This business unit has some 1,250 employees and is part of the Performance Chemicals segment. - * Email

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Cabot elects new member to its board of directors

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Boston, MA - Cabot Corporation announced that Matthias L. Wolfgruber has been elected a member of the board of directors, effective September 12, 2014. He was also appointed a member of the Compensation Committee and the Safety, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee of the board of directors. Dr. Wolfgruber is chief executive officer of Altana AG, a position he has held since 2007. He joined Altana in 2002, as president and CEO of Altana Chemie AG and a member of the management board of Altana AG. Prior to joining Altana, he held a number of management positions at Wacker-Chemie in the U.S. and Europe from 1985 through 2002. John F. O'Brien, non-executive chairman of Cabot's board of directors, said, "We are very pleased to welcome Matthias to the board of directors. Matthias has significant experience managing specialty chemicals businesses with global operations and innovative technologies. He has spent the last few years at Altana AG leading a diverse and growing company through strategic investments and acquisitions. Matthias will bring a fresh perspective to the Board and be a valuable resource to the Cabot management team.” Dr. Wolfgruber received his doctorate in chemistry from Technical University of Munich, and completed his research fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. - * Email

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