The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is highlighting the European Chemical Agency’s (ECHA) campaign to remind companies that new rules on classification, labelling, packaging and notification of chemical substances came into force on 1 December 2010. From December, within one-month of placing a chemical substance on the market, all companies involved in their manufacturer or import will need to notify the ECHA for their inclusion in the new Classification and Labelling Inventory.
Last summer Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions ‘went native’, ripping out 15 acres of lawn at the company’s facility in Muscatine, Iowa and replacing it with native landscapes. The company’s actions caught the attention of the Wildlife Habitat Council, who has recognised the work undertaken with its “Wildlife at Work” certification. Bridgestone Bandag’s Muscatine facilities now have a total of 25 acres of native landscapes.
The Technical Rubber Products (TRP) business unit of specialty chemicals group Lanxess AG has increased its prices effective for NBR (nitrile-butadiene rubber) in Europe. Effective June 15, price per tonne has rises to 210 euros. Lanxess claims the increase is “unavoidable” as costs for raw materials have risen significantly.
Diversified Century Textiles & Industries Ltd has reportedly suspended production of tyre yarn at its Century Rayon plant in Kalyan, a Mumbai suburb. According to a Reuters report, the firm is halting production of viscose filament yarn and tyre yarn “due to adverse market scenario and demand slowdown.” Century Rayon, which makes rayon, tyre cord and chemicals, has an annual production of 25,000 tonnes of textile and tyre yarn.
The prices of certain Lanxess plastic and rubber chemicals, including some used in the tyre manufacturing process, are increasing at of April 1, 2010. The company’s Rubber Chemicals business unit will raise prices for its Vulkanox, Vulkacit and Renacit products by up to 20 euro cents per kilogram, depending on product and region. Vulkanox is used as an antioxidant, Vulkacit as an accelerator and Renacit as a peptizer, and are used in the production of various rubber products, including tyres, hoses and driving belts.
At the end of December, ETRMA published details of a set of exposure scenarios covering the use of chemicals in the rubber industry in order to support European rubber chemicals manufacturers and importers that operate within the framework REACH legislation. The latest REACH legislation took effect on 1 January 2010.
A provincial court in Korea has found factory chiefs and senior researchers of Hankook Tire guilty failing to prevent a series of work related deaths. The Korea Times reports that on August 14 the Daejeon District Court sentenced a factory chief, identified as Lee, 52, to eight months imprisonment, which was suspended for two years, and fined him three million won (£1.46 million). Another factory manager, Jung, 47, was given six months in prison, suspended for two years, plus a fine of two million won. The two men worked at Hankook’s Daejeon and Geumsan factories, where 14 workers died within 17 months.
A decision taken by the European Commission on March 2 means that the way is clear for JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s ‘One Equity’ private equity unit to take on sole ownership of carbon black manufacturer Columbian Chemicals. The former minority shareholder will pay US$150 million for a 66.75 per cent chunk in the Columbian Chemicals, which is currently owned by South Korea’s DC Chemical Co. Ltd. The South Korea based Columbian Chemicals facilities will, however, continue to be owned and operated by DC Chemical.
Specialty chemicals company Lanxess Butyl Pte. Ltd. has appointed Dr. Uwe Boltersdorf the site manager of its new butyl rubber plant in Singapore. Starting January 2009, Boltersdorf is responsible for project management of all third-party contracts, and supervision of all permits and internal guidelines. He will also oversee the hiring of new employees, implementation of business processes and setting up of the financial structure of the new site. Previously, Boltersdorf served as Board assistant to Dr. Axel Claus Heitmann, chairman of the Board of Management, Lanxess AG.
Equity Investment company One Equity Partners has agreed to pay $150 million to acquire the remaining 66.75 per cent stake in Columbian Chemicals Holding LLC that it does not already own. Columbian Chemicals, based in the US state of Georgia, manufactures carbon black for use in tyres and plastic products.
A new tyre launched onto the Japanese market on December 11 utilises the world’s first recycled polyester tyre cord product. The Toyo Proxes Ne features tyre cord manufactured using a substance produced by Teijin Fibers Limited, part of Japan’s Teijin Group. The chemically recycled Ecopet Plus polyester fibres are manufactured through a Teijin developed closed-loop recycling system known as ‘Eco Circle’, and are used in carcass of the environmentally oriented tyre. This is, comments Teijin Fibers, the first time a recycled material has been able to meet the strict requirements necessary for tyre carcass fabric.
The CSEasy industrial tyre system developed by Continental has won the silver ‘IQ Innovation Prize Central Germany 2008’. Judges met three times to establish the winner of the Chemicals/Plastics sector.
Hans-Jürgen Sauerwald, inventor of the CSEasy, said: “We were confident and optimistic about our chances when we took part in this competition and we are also in the running for the next contest, the ‘Innovation Prize Thuringia’. It is great for the CSEasy to be so widely recognised”.
The Rubber Chemicals business unit of Lanxess AG is increasing prices for the antioxidants (Vulkanox), accelerators (Vulkacit) and specialties (Vulkazon, Coagulant, KS 95) as of July 1, 2008. Increases will be in the range of up to US$1,200 per tonne, depending on the product and region. The company reports that continued cost increases have, in spite of cost-cutting programmes previously introduced, made a price rise unavoidable.
Having been working on development for some time, Zeus Tyre Filling Solutions has launched a new additional range of high performance tyre filling compounds branded TRIOfill, based on a unique “3-Part (PUR) Based – Chemicals Technology.”
Supplementing its well known “PolyFill – range, TRIOfill represents a new and more advanced tyre filling specification, that is designed to deliver a cleaner, greener product and a reduced carbon footprint. However, it is also said to considerably improve tyre fill’s physical properties, when compared with the more traditional (pure liquid) compounds.
According to Zeus TRIOfill offers unique advantages in terms of physical strength and its unique component characteristics are said to offer a much wider range of benefits to both FLT users and OEMs, particularly in terms of the plant hire companies.
Here, says Zeus, the new tyre filling formulation, not only delivers greater flexibility of tyre use and applications, but it also raises overall FLT tyre performance. One example of this is the increase in operational safety levels, particularly when operating at their maximum lift heights, because of the extra stability the tyre fill provides. In addition Zeus representatives told T&A that other key benefits of reduced costs include: increased operational mobility, and putting a stop to all pneumatic blow outs, punctures and tyre pressure losses.
Furthermore, TRIOfill comes with a new re-engineered “Fully Integrated – Pumping & Mixing Unit” that is not only the first pumping system to be electrically driven, but is designed to be much faster, cleaner, greener and more economic, than competing PU pumping systems.
“This unit, together with the innovative benefits of TRIOfill’s specification, now offers many original equipment manufacturers, an ideal, cost effective, safe and green tyre filling solution, in their considerations for driving out cost, improving supply line efficiencies and updating their own operational procedures, especially when linked to Zeus’s unique waste tyre filling materials collection & recycling service,” Zeus’ promotional literature explains.
Chemical manufacturer Rhodia, whose Rhodia Sileca enterprise produces silica for use in tyre manufacture, announced on November 22 impending worldwide price increases for its products. These increases will be in the range of 7 to 15 per cent, depending on product line.
The company reports in a statement that the price rises are a necessary measure: “Although Rhodia has put into place a number of action plans over the past few years to improve productivity and reduce costs, the price increases announced today are required to help respond to the dramatic and simultaneous rising costs of energy, raw materials and transport, and to defend Rhodia’s margins at a time when the demand for specialty chemicals is strengthening worldwide.”