LANXESS expands capacities for Therban

Specialty chemicals company LANXESS is expanding its production capacities for Hydrogenated Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (HNBR) at its facilities in Leverkusen, Germany, and Orange, Texas, U.S., by 40 percent. This synthetic high-performance rubber is marketed under the brand name Therban. LANXESS will invest a low single-digit million euro amount in the expansion, announced the company.

Expansion work on the German and U.S. production facilities has already begun. The expansion in Leverkusen is scheduled for completion in April 2012, while the Orange facilities will be ready by December 2012. The measures will create 15 new jobs.

The HNBR rubber market is currently growing globally at a double-digit annual rate. This is due in particular to a strong global demand from automotive manufacturers, especially in China and India. At the same time, LANXESS' HNBR meets the increasingly stringent requirements of the market through the addition of further high ACN and low-Mooney grades to the Therban range.

Therban is a high-performance rubber developed by LANXESS specifically for demanding applications. The elastomer is characterized by good resistance to high temperatures and in contact with fuels, oil and ozone. Therban is used, for example, in the automotive industry for the manufacture of v-belts and toothed belts and for the stator/rotor systems of drill heads in the oil extraction industry.

The Technical Rubber Products business unit is part of the Performance Polymers segment, which generated sales of EUR 3.78 billion in 2010.