02/07/2013

www.gupta-verlag.de/rubber

Lanxess presents study on the global S-SBR market

These included all the top 20 suppliers in the industry. Two results of the study are: Leading figures in the tyre industry see a clear trend toward low-rolling-resistance tyres, not only in Europe but globally as well. What's more, this will hardly be possible without improved high-performance S-SBR as well as Nd-PBR. So the sector is increasingly looking to work together with highly specialised synthetic rubber manufacturers.The findings of the study give according to Lanxess a consistent picture of the sector as a whole: 85 % of all questioned tyre companies expect the new EU regulation to significantly impact their daily business, with most seeing this as an opportunity. In high-performance tyres, S-SBR - particularly in combination with silica fillers - is expressly considered by many to be an absolute must. The authors of the study believe that in a few years S-SBR will have significantly overtaken conventional E-SBR - in five years' time twice as much S-SBR will be used in car tyres as ESBR. 85 % of the experts surveyed see the supply situation as being somewhat critical, however.A significant role in the assessment of S-SBR is played not only by the improved performance of the products manufactured from them but also by questions of processability. The global tyre industry experts are extremely interested in how the S-SBR grades currently avail­able will continue to develop. The supply of ever better green tyres will be largely dependent on the provision of increasingly refined S-SBR grades.As a pioneer in synthetic rubber, Lanxess says that it has a worldwide unique expertise in S-SBR chemistry and production technology. Joachim Grub, head of the company's Performance Butadiene Rubbers business unit points out: "Our most recent investments in debottlenecking our S-SBR and Nd-PBR production plants in Europe, Brazil and the United States and increasing their flexibility - along with the building of our 140 kt Nd-PBR facility in Singapore - show that we want to maintain our reputation as a reliable supplier of high-performance special purpose rubber for the tyre industry.”
"Green tyres” can reach their peak performance with formulations containing both Nd-PBR and SSBR. Nd-PBR is used in the treads and sidewalls and helps reduce the rolling resistance and increases the fuel efficiency. Nd-PBR is highly resistant to abrasion and plays a significant role in making tyres safer and more durable. S-SBR is mainly used in the tread compound of "green tyres”, where it helps to reduce rolling resistance and improve grip on wet roads.Demand for "green tyres” is being driven by the introduction of tyre labelling around the world. November 2012 saw the launch of mandatory tyre labelling in the European Union (EU). Tyres are graded from A to G according to their fuel efficiency and wet grip. Rolling noise is also measured. Japan and South Korea were the first countries in the world to introduce a label system. After a voluntary tyre label was introduced in Japan in January 2010, South Korea launched its voluntary labelling in November 2011 and introduces a mandatory label in December 2012. Other countries like Brazil, the USA, and China are expected to follow in the coming years.

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