CLEVELAND—Huayu Rubber Co. Ltd. has named Tribute Energy Inc. its exclusive agent and distributor in North America for neodymium butadiene rubber.
Huayu is a spinoff from Shandong Yuhaung Chemical Co. Ltd., operating an 80,000 metric ton Nd-BR plant in Heze, Shandong Province, China, according to Tribute Energy Director Jamil Khan and Director of Chemicals Terry Kim. They discussed the new arrangement while attending the ACS Rubber Division meeting and exhibition in Cleveland.
They said Huayu Rubber uses technology from the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry and employs more than 500. Nd-BR is used primarily in tires, conveyor belts and golf balls, as well as other rubber products.
Demand for the material has been growing at a 10-12-percent annual rate, Kim said.
The executives said BR and solution SBR are the materials of choice to comply with European Union legislation for fuel efficiency, noise reduction and wet grip, which is behind the projected increase in demand. BR has excellent abrasion resistance and low temperature capabilities, and also is used to produce conveyor belts, golf balls and other rubber products.
Tribute Energy, based in Houston, set up an elastomers division a few months ago. Khan said it operates three warehouses in the U.S. The company handles SBR, EPDM and nitrile rubbers, thermoplastic elastomers and a variety of other petrochemical-based products.