DORMAGEN, Germany—Lanxess A.G. has completed the expansion of its Baypren polychloroprene solid rubber production operations in Dormagen.
The firm said it invested about $24.5 million in the project, which will increase the annual production capacity of the facility by 10 percent to 63,000 metric tons.
“This investment is further proof of our leading know-how in the field of high performance synthetic rubber,” said Werner Breuers, member of Lanxess' board of management. “By expanding our Baypren plant, we are providing the market with new impetus and demonstrating our strength to our customers.”
Lanxess said the new line uses its dry finish production technology, which enables Baypren to be manufactured in fewer production steps and conserves resources. The process dehydrates the rubber in a special extrusion devise, requiring less water and reducing the amount of wastewater.
The firm said the natural gas previously needed to dry the rubber no longer is necessary with the new process, which reduces the amount of waste air produced.
Lanxess said it is adding two new variants of Baypren to its product portfolio at Dormagen: Baypren high performance and Baypren green finishing. The high performance variant benefits from further optimized flow behavior, the firm said, while the green finishing grades feature enhanced crosslinking.
“These properties help increase the speed of the injection molding process for technical moldings and reduce energy consumption,” said Jan Paul de Vries, head of Lanxess' high performance elastomers business unit. “This results in significant economic benefits for our customers.”
Baypren high performance rubber grades are highly versatile and combine good resistance to weathering, oil and heat with impermeability to gases, the firm said. It is used in the automotive sector to make windshield wipers, hoses, belts, seals, insulating foams and air springs.
Lanxess' Dormagen facility employs about 1,000, which the firm said is the third largest Lanxess production site in Germany. The Baypren facility employs about 250 and is part of the high performance elastomers business unit, which falls under Lanxess' performance polymers segment. The segment recorded sales of about $6.13 billion in 2013.
Lanxess employs 17,000 in 31 countries and operates 52 production sites worldwide. It reported sales of about $11.3 billion in 2013.