São Paulo, Leverkusen – Lanxess is strengthening its standing as the world’s leading producer of high-performance rubber. Following a feasibility study, the German specialty chemicals company has decided to convert production of emulsion styrene butadiene rubber used in standard tires to solution styrene butadiene rubber used in high-performance “Green Tires” at its site in Triunfo (Rio Grande do Sul) in southern Brazil.
Lanxess is the first company to carry out such a conversion. The future capacity for S-SBR in in Triunfo will be 110,000 metric tons per year, exactly the same as the current E-SBR capacity. The switch in production technology represents an investment of EUR 80 million, which will be financed from the company’s cash-flow. Up to 500 temporary workers will be needed during the conversion phase. The plant will produce the latest grades of S-SBR at the end of 2014.
A regular supply of E-SBR to customers will be maintained from the company’s plant in Duque de Caxias (Rio de Janeiro) in Brazil, which has enough production capacity to supply the entire Brazilian E-SBR demand. E-SBR is mainly used in the manufacturing and retreading of truck tires, which means tire carcasses can be reused several times, thus saving raw materials for tire production.
Source: Rubber World