Bridgestone: 98% of tier 1 suppliers acknowledge procurement policy

The aim at Bridgestone Group is to use “100 per cent sustainable materials” by 2050 and beyond, and last year the tyre and rubber company introduced a new procurement policy to steer it towards this end. Under a partnership it began with CSR evaluation specialist EcoVadis in 2018, Bridgestone is now assessing its suppliers’ current sustainability practices and looking at what support may be needed to improve performance.

Together with EcoVadis, Bridgestone is monitoring and rating the environmental, social and ethical performance of its suppliers to help identify and evaluate qualified suppliers, promote best practices, and serve as a communication and improvement tool for the industry as a whole.

Read the source article at Tyrepress

US university develops rubber-reinforced bioplastics

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Columbus, Ohio – Researchers at the Ohio State University have combined natural rubber with bioplastics to develop a “tough and flexible” biodegradable material.

The biocompound is “a much stronger replacement for plastic,” said the university in a report published in the journal Polymer in March.

The study involved melting rubber into plant-derived poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) along with organic peroxide and trimethylolpropane triacrylate (TMPTA).

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal

Birla Carbon to raise carbon black prices in U.S.

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MARIETTA, Ga.—Birla Carbon will raise base prices for all its carbon black markets in North America, a move it says is driven by increasing operating costs.

Read the source article at Rubber and Plastics News

Trinseo presents new SSBR grade at Tire Tech Show

Hanover, Germany – Trinseo SA has presented a new grade of multi-functionalised S-SBR, Sprintan 918S, at the Tire Technology Expo, held 5-7 March in Hanover.

The new grade, the company said in a statement, achieves “an optimum balance of low rolling resistance, high grip, and a good mechanical property profile.”

The new oil extended grade offers easy processability while addressing challenges such as physical stability, safety and high fuel efficiency, the company said.

The rubber…

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal

China Rubber Network: Market Information

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(Translated by Google Translator)

Point 1: Reaffirm the long-term rising logic of natural rubber. The rise of natural rubber lies in the fundamental changes. The emergence of high points on the supply end and the stimulation of the demand side lead to the arrival of natural rubber. With the gradual improvement in fundamentals, we reiterate the logic of natural rubber.

Point 2: The main producing country reduces exports, and the supply turning point may appear. The International Tripartite (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia) Rubber Council reached an agreement …

Read the source article at Global Rubber Markets News

Evonik’s new truck tyre silica

Evonik reports that it has developed a new silica that it says is particularly suitable for use in truck and bus (TBR) tyres. In contrast to passenger car tyres, TBR tyres use mainly natural rubber, which, in combination with silane, places special requirements on the silica. With Evonik’s latest silica/silane development, fuel savings could be as high 8 per cent, the company said, which cuts costs and is better for the environment.

Read the source article at Tyrepress

Trinseo presents new synthetic rubber solution

Trinseo, the global plastics, latex binder, and synthetic rubber manufacturer, is introducing a new grade of multifunctionalized S-SBR called Sprintan 918S, at the Tire Technology Expo from March 5-7 in Hanover, Germany.

Read the source article at Tyrepress

All-season tire from Cooper introduces special silica and resin tread technology

Cooper Tire Europe has launched its new Discoverer all-season tire, designed to provide high traction in unpredictable weather – all year round.

The new Discoverer, which comes in a wide range of sizes, offers high levels of grip over a wide temperature range, thanks to the incorporation of special silica and resin technology.

Read the source article at Tire Technology International

Marangoni acquires Leader Rubber majority shareholding

The Marangoni Group has acquired a majority shareholding, 51 per cent, in the South African tread maker Leader Rubber Company SA (Pty) Ltd. The move is the latest development in the decade-long partnership between Leader Rubber and Marangoni. The Italian company acquired a 25 per cent share in the company in 2015 , a move it described as the “culmination of a partnership that has been ongoing for several years.”

Read the source article at Tyrepress

Increasing carbon black capacity an industry priority, latest Smithers Rapra research shows

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Increasing carbon black capacity an industry priority, latest Smithers Rapra research shows

According to The Future of Carbon Black to 2023, a new market report from Smithers Rapra, increasing carbon black production capacity is an industry priority for the five years to 2023. More than 70% of all carbon black produced is used in the production of tires, and demand for the fossil fuel-based rubber reinforcing agent continues to grow in relation to increasing global vehicle and tire demand. Industrial and middle class growth in emerging markets is driving the need for greater carbon black supply.

Data from the new Smithers Rapra market report estimates global carbon black demand at around 12.03 million tons in 2013. The market will increase to a projected total of 14.55 million tons in 2018. Across the same time period the projected value in the market has risen from $18.1 billion to $19.9 billion.

Global demand for carbon black is forecast to increase to reach almost 18 million tons in 2023, an average year-on-year increase of 4.3%, Smithers Rapra data shows. Total value will increase significantly faster and the market will be worth $30.4 billion. The market is driven primarily by continued large investments in capacity for passenger vehicle tires and light truck tires, and a stable replacement market. Carbon black has a stable growth profile, with a compound annual growth rate (by volume) of around 3.9% during 2013–18.

Several key trends are driving the increased demand for carbon black globally.

Changes in the tire market

Because the tire industry consumed 73.5% of the global volumes of carbon black in 2017, changes in the tire manufacturing industry are putting new pressures on carbon black producers. In the US, capacity utilization in all sectors of tire production is in the 70%–80% range, but tire size and structure are changing. Tires are getting wider with smaller sidewalls, which creates more demand for tread blacks, and less demand for carcass carbon blacks. The most popular rim size has increased from 14-16 inches and reached 18 inches in 2018.

Industry consolidation

There is a trend toward merger and acquisition (M&A) activities in the carbon black industry worldwide. The growing consolidation within the carbon black industry is inevitable to meet market demand for quality products at competitive pricing. This benefits larger suppliers.

The top three carbon black producers are Cabot, Aditya Birla and Orion Engineered Carbons. In

2017 these three companies produced around 39.2% of global supply. To meet growing demand, Cabot has strengthened its position with multiple expansion projects, while Aditya Birla has doubled its capacity by acquiring Columbian Chemical’s assets. The India-based firm is now present in 12 countries with 17 manufacturing facilities.

For Chinese producers the emphasis is more on increasing operating rates and realizing higher pricing and profit margins. However, still more new carbon black production capacity is required to meet the growing demand during 2018–23.

Environmental issues and government regulations

Environmental issues and national government regulations are playing an important role in the M&A activity, shifting production sites around the world; as does a renewed focus on lean manufacturing. In the US, for example, the five major domestic carbon black makers have signed consent agreements with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – three of them in 2017 – to reduce toxic emissions from their plants. The expense of complying with these environmental consent agreements will hamper investment in production capacity to the end of the current decade.

Shifting trade patterns

The international market in carbon black trading across 2013–23 will experience change. Most significantly, since 2015 North America has become a net importer, due to an increase in demand for carbon black based on reinvigorated domestic tire production. Since 2015 the Middle East has switched from net imports to exports. New production facilities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have created a surplus of carbon black for exporting within the Middle East, and beyond its borders to Africa and Western Europe.

China was the leading global exporter of the commodity, and this is expected to continue during 2018–23. Thailand and Indonesia are its main trade partners, followed by India, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Recently, China has started to export more carbon black to the US, Western Europe, Poland and Turkey. This has led to protectionist measures – anti-dumping measures in some countries – most recently in India and the US.

For more information about Smithers Rapra’s The Future of Carbon Black to 2023 market report, visit: https://www.smithersrapra.com/market-reports/tire-industry-market-reports/the-future-of-carbon-black-to-2023.