LEVERKUSEN, Germany (March 12, 2010) — Synthetic rubber producer Lanxess A.G. is considering producing emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (E-SBR) black masterbatch in Brazil in part to serve growing demand from the retreading industries in South and North America.
“Manufacturing E-SBR (masterbatch) in Brazil would ideally supplement our…production capacities in Orange, Texas, (and) would enable us to supply these important products to our retreading customers in America from one source and region,” said Joachim Grub, head of the Performance Butadiene Rubbers business unit.
Leverkusen-based Lanxess calculates 18 million truck and bus tires are retreaded annually in North America and 9 million in South America. The firm is evaluating its production sites at Triunfo or Caxias, Brazil, for the change. It did not comment on the timing of its decision or on the necessary investment.
“Retreading tires saves resources by enabling tire carcasses to be used several times,” Mr. Grub said. “The use of Lanxess rubber can also lower the rolling resistance of the newly treaded tires, thus cutting fuel consumption.”
The company said supplying black masterbatch compounds makes it easier for retreaders or compounders supplying retreaders since they then don't have to mix the E-SBR with carbon black and processing oils. Lanxess also claims the wet mixing process it uses to make black masterbatch leads to better dispersion of the filler particles.
Lanxess said its entire range of oil-extended ESBR grades has been offered with safe processing oils since Jan. 1.
Lanxess also said it is monitoring the growth potential for retreading in China and India, where the retread sector has not kept pace with rising demand for new tires.