LEVERKUSEN, Germany (May 24)—Synthetic rubber producer Lanxess GmbH has enhanced production capacity for two key rubber polymers by modifying the production process at its plants in France and the U.S.
Lanxess didn't quantify the capacity gains for neodymium-catalyzed polybutadiene or solution-polymerized SBR, saying only it now has greater flexibility to manufacture increasing amounts of the high-performance polymers for its global tire customers.
"We have to be flexible, and we are able to supply high-performance PBR to the tire industry worldwide. The use of high-performance PBR and VSL is expanding, and so are we," said Joachim Grub, head of Lanxess' PBR business unit.
The company didn't go into detail about the changes, other than to say they enable production of multiple grades—including Nd- and lithium-catalyzed PBR and solution SBR on the same line. The modifications, the first of a three-phase process, were enacted at facilities in Port Jerome, France, and Orange, Texas.
Besides increasing demand from the tire companies for its Buna SSBR, Lanxess cited rising demand for its Nd-PBR in high impact polystyrene, shoe soles and golf balls.
Also affected is capacity for lithium-catalyzed PBR.