Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has become one of the first industrial sector users to access the world’s most powerful computer. SRI is using the new ‘exascale’ Fugaku supercomputer to expand its materials simulation capabilities at the smallest particle level. The manufacturer has previously tapped into supercomputer technology to assist with the development of its tyre technology. Its tyre engineers previously used Japan’s K-supercomputer to launch its 4D NANO Design process. SRI credits the resulting step change in performance with the increasing number of accolades and original equipment deals subsequently achieved by its Falken tyre range list.
Versarien plc, the AIM-listed the advanced materials engineering group, announced on 7 January that it has appointed Dr Stephen Hodge as the company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Dr Hodge joined the company’s board with immediate effect.
Cabot Corporation has completed its previously announced acquisition of Shenzhen Sanshun Nano New Materials Co., Ltd (SUSN) for approximately US$115 million. The business will be integrated into Cabot’s Performance Chemicals Segment.
On 18 November Birla Carbonand CHASM Advanced Materials Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of printed electronics materials and battery materials, based on proprietary carbon nanotube and ink/coating technologies, agreed to join forces to “accelerate the discovery and development of novel nanomaterials to benefit various market segments including high-performance tyres, novel coatings and next-generation batteries”.
On 1 May, Nexen Tire Corporation opened a branch office in Germany (Nexen Tyre Europe GmbH) and is reportedly in the process of scouting tyre specialists with more than 20 years experience to enhance the company’s marketing in Germany. In addition to the company’s existing UK branch, Nexen plans to open more offices in Spain, Italy, and France to expand its European sales network. Nexen Tyre Europe GmbH is being described as “the centre of Europe” for the Korean manufacturer. From here the company plans to execute localised marketing strategies in order to support European customer service.
German specialty chemicals group Lanxess AG reports it is banking on growing demand for more environmentally compatible products and systems solutions in China, its most important Asian sales market. At an international press conference held during the Chinaplas 2008 plastics fair in Shanghai (held between April 17 and 20), chairman of the Lanxess Board of Management, Axel C. Heitmann, stated ”Sales of our “green” premium products in China have risen significantly in the past twelve months. We expect this trend to continue and to have a positive impact on our business in China.”
An analysis conducted by Lanxess indicates that growth of this “green business” could provide double the rate of overall market growth in China. ”Therefore we will focus increasingly on green chemistry products in our portfolio,” added Heitmann. Among the measures to be implemented will be an increase in development of new, innovative products and systems solutions.
Iran’s Polymer and Petrochemical Institute incorporated “highly friction-resistant” nanotechnology into the development of vehicle and aircraft tyres. According to a Meridian Institute report, Iranian researcher Mohammad Karrabi said: “In this method, the frictional resistance of tyres has been increased through calculating the mechanical characteristics of them. Lower rolling resistance and higher frictional resistance will lead to less fuel consumption.” He also said that the use of nanotechnology will help Iran’s automobile manufacturers compete in the market. The project, which was launched with support from the Presidential Office last year, will be completed by next year.