Life imitates art? In 2010, Tyrepress.com reported the Cannes Film Festival screening of Rubber, a French dark comedy horror about Robert, a tyre that acquires a taste for killing. Fast forward seven years, and we’ve come across fresh footage – but this time the tyre terror is for real.
Just three days after buying Trelleborg’s Czech compounding operation, on 3 April Hexpol announced it has signed an agreement to acquire the business of Valley Processing from Ted Ballou and his family. The acquisition price amounts to approximately US$44 million on a cash and debt free basis. There will also be an additional product transfer fee, which will be paid later.
Hexpol has today acquired 100 per cent of Trelleborg Material & Mixing Lesina s.r.o from the Trelleborg Group. The divested operation develops, produces and supplies polymer compounds. The majority of its sales are to external customers and a minor share to a small number of Trelleborg facilities in Europe.
Shangdong Hengyu Technology has become the latest tyre manufacturer to announce that it is making tyres based on the Nobel Prize-winning material graphene. Other firms using graphene in tyres include bicycle tyremaker Vitorria and fast-growing Chinese manufacturer Sentury Tire. According to the company supplying Hengyu with Graphene (The Sixth Element Materials Technology), Shangdong Hengyu has developed “tyre formulations” that the companies say demonstrates the positive impact of graphene on the performance of tyres.
Scientists working on Cooper Tire & Rubber’s guayule rubber project have reportedly reached a key milestone on the path to producing, by mid-2017, a concept tyre in which guayule-based polymers replace all natural and synthetic rubbers. Their testing has shown guayule to be an effective substitute material in certain components, with tyres produced using these components offering comparative performance to their conventional counterparts.
Solvay, Sylvaine Neveu, a researcher at the firm’s Research and Innovation entity within the group’s Global Business Unit Silica, has won the Irène Joliot-Curie 2016 award for work on energy saving tyre technology. She was honoured in the category "Woman, Research and Enterprise", granted by the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research.
A new research facility for industrialising the cultivation and processing of rubber harvested from Russian dandelions will be set up in Germany as part of Continental’s plan to bring tyres containing this rubber to market under the ‘Taraxagum’ brand name. On 12 August, the company presented plans to establish such a facility in Anklam, near the Baltic Sea island of Usedom. Continental will operate the Taraxagum Lab Anklam in collaboration with the IME Fraunhofer Institute, Julius Kühn Institute, Quedlinburg, and plant breeding specialist firm Eskusa GmbH.
The European Tyre Recycling Association (ETRA) has launched a campaign to refute 'allegations' about the impact of tyre rubber granulate used in sports fields. In recent years, it says, 'unfounded claims' have been made that recycled tyre rubber can harm those coming into contact with it while playing sports - in particular, those in goalkeeping roles. However, despite two decades of research into the subject funded by industry, governments and public interest groups, “there is no empirical research that links tyre rubber to cancer”, ETRA asserts.
Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. is participating in the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative (SNR-i), an effort put forward by the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) to ensure the sustainability of natural rubber as a resource.
On Friday 3 June Swedish firm Hexpol bought 100 per cent of the Berwin Group Ltd shareholders Glyn Williams and his family for around £25 million. Berwin has more than 60 years’ experience of rubber compounding and is a leading Rubber Compounder in the UK market.
As Europe’s retreaders are currently learning to their cost, commitment to sustainable products often takes a back seat to lower prices; despite offering proven environmental plusses, retreaded truck tyres continue to lose market share to cheap and often non-retreadable imported new tyres. To truly thrive, an environmentally-friendly product must also deliver a price benefit. With its micronised rubber powder (MRP) products, Lehigh Technologies offers this double advantage. Tyres & Accessories recently met with Lehigh Technologies’ vice-president and general manager Kedar Murthy and Josep Freixas, the company’s MRP business development manager for the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions, to find out how the market is taking to the concept of new tyres containing materials made from end of life tyres.
Bridgestone Corporation shares that its subsidiary in Singapore has signed the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative (SNR-i) on behalf of the global Bridgestone group. By signing this declaration, Bridgestone says declares its intention to support and abide by worldwide guidelines for responsible procurement of natural rubber. The company also has committed itself to maintaining active involvement in the SNR-i pilot phase.
Lanxess Rhein Chemie Additives is presenting its Rhenoshape tyre curing bladders at Tire Technology Expo this February. The products have been developed at the firm’s new production plant in China. According to the company, the Rhenoshape bladders are the result of investment in injection moulding technology and permanently coated bladders, and are the latest product in the company’s portfolio of eco-friendly Rhenodiv tyre release agents, Rhenomark tyre marking inks, and curing bladders.