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PPG, Bridgestone receive DOE funds to develop fuel-efficient truck, bus tires  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Pittsburgh, PA - PPG announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is providing funding to support a $1.25 million collaborative project with Bridgestone Americas, Inc., (Bridgestone). This project focuses on improving the fuel efficiency of truck and bus radial tires using PPG’s Agilon performance silica platform. The goal of the project is to deliver prototype tires to DOE that help trucks and buses achieve fuel-efficiency improvements of 4 to 6 percent while maintaining or improving tear strength and tread wear. Research and development work for the project will be completed at PPG’s Monroeville, PA, facility. Anup Jain, PPG vice president, specialty coatings and materials, said PPG’s collaboration with Bridgestone has the potential to significantly change the truck tire industry. “We are excited to partner with Bridgestone on this important project,” he said. “The DOE funding validates what our preliminary research already has shown, that Agilon performance silica has significant potential as a next-generation filler to help increase truck tire fuel efficiency.” Improving the fuel efficiency of trucks and buses would provide significant economic and environmental benefits. According to DOE reports, heavy-duty vehicles comprise only 4 percent of all vehicles on U.S. roads but consume approximately 20 percent of all fuel. PPG estimates that if even 25 percent of all tractor-trailers on the road improved fuel efficiency by 4 percent, they would consume 750 million fewer gallons of diesel fuel annually, saving nearly $2 billion and reducing carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions by nearly 8 million metric tons. According to Kurt Danielson, president, Bridgestone Commercial Group, Bridgestone has a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability. The company’s environmental mission is “to help ensure a healthy environment for current and future generations,” and as the world’s largest tire and rubber company, Danielson said Bridgestone believes it has a corporate responsibility to produce sustainable products in the most sustainable way. Using 2005 data as a baseline, the company’s midterm target is to achieve a 35 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020. “Our partnership with PPG was created for our customers,” Danielson said. “We are constantly working to deliver innovative solutions that not only align with our company’s environmental mission but will also carry cost saving benefits for our truck and bus radial tire customers.” Jain added that Agilon performance silica is part of PPG’s global commitment to helping the transportation industry and its suppliers manufacture more sustainable products. “From coatings that contribute to lighter, more fuel-efficient and more corrosion-resistant vehicles, to paint systems that enable automakers to conserve water, we are dedicated to developing products such as Agilon performance silica that help protect the planet and help customers such as Bridgestone meet the safety, performance and value demands of car and truck owners around the world.” Agilon performance silica is a high-value technology platform of chemically modified precipitated silica that can improve the performance of rubber products in which it is used. Testing indicates that the chemical modifications used to produce Agilon performance silica make the silica more compatible with the natural rubber typically used in truck and bus radial tire applications. This will allow the silica to better mix with the rubber, enabling better tire performance than is possible with conventional silicas. - * Email

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Rubber Technologists Network (RTN) launched  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bangkok, Thailand - TechnoBiz and Rubber World magazine are jointly hosting Rubber Technologists Network (RTN), a specialist professional networking group of rubber technologists around the world. It is a platform for rubber technologists to exchange ideas and information with each other for the benefit of the rubber industry. RTN is simply a "rubber technologists family." Any individual with a minimum of three years of technical experience in rubber processing from any part of the world may join as a member. Membership benefits include the following: Members will receive the digital edition of the monthly Rubber World magazine and bi-monthly GRTE Digest; members will receive a daily e-newsletter from Rubber World magazine, and a weekly e-newsletter from GRTE Digest; members may submit their queries/technical questions to receive free help from Dr. GRTE experts; members may post free job opportunities, and will receive job opportunities information regularly; members may join networking events organized by RTN in different cities at their convenience; and members may share rubber processing improvement tips with other members. Interested rubber technologists are invited to register as a member by simply sending their short curriculum vitae/resume with education and work experience by email to peram@technobiz-asia.com with the subject line, "I am a rubber technologist." For more information, contact Peram Prasada Rao at the above email. - * Email

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Rubber Division, ACS offers technical training and scholarship opportunities  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Akron, OH - The Rubber Division, ACS offers a Rubber Technology Training Award for an individual already in the rubber industry seeking additional education and opportunities for advancement. The organization also has scholarships available for students who wish to pursue a degree in rubber technology, polymer science or the chemical profession. In addition, local rubber groups and industry companies recognize and support the need for financial assistance in obtaining a college degree. The Rubber Technology Training Award provides a $1,250 stipend to rubber industry employees to allow them to attend the events at a spring or fall Rubber Division, ACS meeting in the year they are selected. Events include seminars/workshops, technical presentations, banquets, networking opportunities and expositions. A nomination letter from a rubber group is required for this award. Rubber Division, ACS offers two $5,000 Undergraduate Scholarships to students entering their junior or senior year for the fall-spring academic year. In addition, the Connecticut Rubber Group offers a $5,000 Russell Mazzeo Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship. This award serves to honor the dedication to education and Rubber Division, ACS that Russ showed during his nearly 50 years in the rubber industry. Russ was a research scientist at Uniroyal, until retiring in 2002. His research brought him the distinction of two original patents and allowed him to travel the world educating customers on rubber techniques. He was an integral member of the Connecticut Rubber Group, helping to create the Rubber Mixing Course and CRG Scholarship Fund, while twice serving as chairman. He also served as Financial Committee Chair and Area Director. In 2002, Rubber Division, ACS awarded him the Distinguished Service Award for his many years of service. Applicants for these three scholarships may have a major area study in chemistry, physics, chemical or mechanical engineering, polymer science or any other technical discipline relevant to the rubber industry. Each winner receives up to $5,000 to put towards educational expenses and is named a Rubber Division, ACS Scholar. These rubber groups also offer scholarships: Blue Ridge (via Virginia Tech), Chicago, Detroit, Energy, Fort Wayne, Los Angeles, Mid-Atlantic, New England, Ohio and Southern. Application deadline for scholarships is March 1, 2016. Visit www.rubber.org for more information. - * Email

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VMI continues to enforce against IP infringement  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Epe, The Netherlands - The VMI Group states in a press release: "As a leading innovator in tire manufacturing technology, VMI invests heavily in innovation and know how. VMI has built up a unique reputation globally as the producer of the most advanced and the most cost effective tire building machines in the world. Many of the VMI innovations are protected by patents worldwide and when these are infringed upon, VMI’s strategy is to bring offenders to court to have them face legal consequences. Over the past years, VMI has successfully started several IP infringement cases in China. Recently, new incidents of blatant infringement against VMI’s model protection and patents came to our attention. VMI has commenced further enforcement actions and will take all steps necessary to make these offenders face the legal consequences of their illegal acts. VMI believes that intellectual property theft not only damages VMI’s commercial interests, but it also has a strong impact on the industry. Inferior products that are sold may result in manufacturing downtime or otherwise damage the interest of customers. Harm Voortman commented, “That is why we see defense of our IP rights not just as a simple commercial necessity, but we consider it as a clear duty to the market."" - * Email

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Safic-Alcan extends collaboration with Evonik for functional silanes  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Paris, France - Safic-Alcan announces an extended exclusive agreement with Evonik for functional silanes in Italy, effective January 2016. Marketed under the trade name Dynasylan, functional silanes of Evonik are used in a wide range of applications such as sealants, coatings, fillers and metal treatment, foundry resins, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, plastics, rubber and composites. This new deal builds on existing agreements between Safic-Alcan and Evonik. As Safic-Alcan is already the exclusive partner of Evonik for the Dynasylan range in France, U.K., Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and the Middle East. “Safic-Alcan is well placed to expand the market of functional silanes in Italy with the state-of-the-art product range of Dynaylan while offering technical advice and a high quality service allowing to improve product performance,” stated Philippe Combette, general manager of Safic-Alcan. “Silane department of Evonik Resource Efficiency is very happy to increase and strengthen our cooperation and partnership with Safic-Alcan,” stated Helmut Buesser, sales director, Europe Silanes. - * Email

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Omnova sells off its India rubber manufacturing business to Apcotex Industries  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Beachwood, OH - Omnova Solutions announced the sale of its India rubber manufacturing business to India-based Apcotex Industries Limited. The transaction includes the Valia, India manufacturing plant and its associated product lines, including acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) in bale form, high styrene rubber masterbatches and NBR-PVC polyblends. Importantly, Omnova Solutions will maintain its sales office in Mumbai to manage the continued growth of the company's specialty polymers in the Indian market through imports from other Omnova facilities in Asia, Europe and North America. "This plant and the three small rubber product lines were part of our acquisition of the Eliokem global specialty polymers business. They had few synergies with the rest of the Omnova product portfolio," explained Kevin McMullen, Omnova Solutions' chairman and chief executive officer. "This divestiture allows us to place greater focus on our previously stated strategic priorities, including the acceleration of growth in our specialty businesses, such as specialty coatings, nonwovens, oil and gas additives, elastomeric modifiers, construction materials, laminates/films, and coated fabrics. "While the Valia plant business was not core to Omnova, the Indian market remains important to us," emphasized McMullen. "India presents exciting opportunities to grow the more strategic specialty chemicals and additives that we are currently selling into that market, including specialty coatings, reinforcing resins, tire cord latex, elastomeric modifiers, antioxidants, and products for oil and gas drilling. We will maintain a sales and market development office in Mumbai, and we plan to leverage our manufacturing and technology capabilities on three continents to remain a strong supplier of differentiated solutions to India and the surrounding region." The India rubber manufacturing business was sold to Apcotex under a share purchase agreement for cash proceeds of approximately $5 million. For fiscal 2015, the business generated approximately $28.2 million in sales and reported a net loss of $0.4 million. The sale is not expected to have any material impact on Omnova's operating income for 2016. - * Email

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Bridgestone Americas renews sponsorship agreement with NFL for five more years  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Americas, Inc. and the National Football League announced that they have entered into a new five-year sponsorship agreement, reaffirming the world’s leading tire and rubber company as the Official Tire of the NFL. Notably the deal extends an eight-year relationship and advances the popular “Bridgestone Performance Moments” campaign platform, which includes the award for top performance play of the year at NFL Honors during Super Bowl week. “We love the game, but connecting fans and drivers who recognize performance, innovation and endurance is vital to why Bridgestone chooses to sponsor the National Football League,” said Philip Dobbs, chief marketing officer, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “The NFL relationship provides an ideal platform for millions of women and men of all ages to engage with and learn about world-class products and services from Bridgestone.” Bridgestone’s year-long campaign, which begins at NFL Combine and culminates with the Super Bowl, illustrates the extraordinary performance of the world’s best football players on the field and embodies the performance attributes of the broad range of Bridgestone tires. It also includes national advertising, consumer marketing programs and promotions, and broadcast and digital elements. “We are pleased to work with Bridgestone to reach fans year-round in authentic and innovative ways,” said Renie Anderson, the NFL’s senior vice president of sponsorship and partnership management. “Bridgestone provides unique experiences that have resonated with football fans across the country. We are very proud of the relationship to date and excited about the future.” The new sponsorship agreement also includes trademark rights, activation and player funds, and broadcast and online media elements. Bridgestone also will maintain sponsorship rights at all major NFL events, including NFL Kickoff, NFL Draft, NFL Experience and NFL Media Fan Gallery at the Super Bowl. In addition to its sponsorship of the NFL, Bridgestone also has local and regional sponsorships with a number of NFL clubs, including the Nashville-based Tennessee Titans. - * Email

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