BOSTON (March 2, 2017) — Carbon black supplier Cabot Corp. is expanding processing capabilities for elastomer composites at a plant in Malaysia in part to develop product lines for OTR tires, rubber tracks and mining applications.
Elastomer composites are blends primarily of natural rubber and reinforcing materials such as carbon black, Cabot said. The firm's proprietary mixing process for such products gives them "a superior level of carbon-black dispersion and creates materials that are structurally different from compounds produced by conventional methods."
Elastomer composites produced at the Cabot's Port Dickson, Malaysia, plant can offer improved rubber properties that are important for OTR applications such as energy loss (hysteresis) and resistance to abrasion, cutting or chipping, the Boston-based firm said.
"Off-the-road tires and rubber tracks are used in many applications where their performance determines the overall productivity of high-value assets," said David Reynolds, general manager of a "dedicated elastomer composites team" being set up at the plant.
"For example, longer-lasting aircraft tires can enable increased utilization of commercial aircraft, and rubber tracks with lower operating temperatures can enable faster operation of heavy industrial or agricultural equipment."
Cabot is making an undisclosed "strategic investment" to expand capabilities at Port Dickson, where the company has been producing elastomer composites for the past 10 years "under an exclusive customer agreement," said Cabot President and CEO Sean Keohane.
Shahrzad Pourriahi is a reporter with European Rubber Journal, a London-based sister publication of Tire Business.