Lanxess Examining Options for Brazil Retreading Chemical Production
Some 18 million truck and bus tyres are said to be retreaded in North America each year and a further nine million in South America, and to meet growing demand for the raw materials used in retreading both within the region and worldwide, Lanxess’s Performance Butadiene Rubbers (PBR) business unit is “considering the possibility” of manufacturing ESBR-BMB (emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber black masterbatch) in Brazil in the future. Options for doing so at its Triunfo or Caxias production sites are currently being examined.
“Manufacturing ESBR-BMB in Brazil would ideally supplement our CoBR-BMB production capacities in Orange, Texas. It would enable us to supply these important products to our retreading customers in America from one source and region,” said Dr. Joachim Grub, head of the PBR business unit. “Retreading tyres saves resources by enabling tyre carcasses to be used several times. The use of Lanxess rubber can also lower the rolling resistance of the newly treaded tyres, thus cutting fuel consumption.”
According to Lanxess, BMB products are easier to process during compounding since there is no longer any need for the compounder to mix ESBR with carbon black and oil. In addition, wet mixing during BMB manufacture leads to better dispersion of the filler particles, which can have a positive effect on the end product’s properties.
“In addition to the established markets in America and Europe along with those in the Middle East and Africa, we see particularly good growth potential in China and India,” remarked Christoph Kalla, head of marketing and R&D for the business unit. “In these countries, the retread sector has not yet been able to keep pace with the enormous increase in demand for tyres. An improved quality of the radial tyres produced should enable the retread industry to catch up.”