PITTSBURGH—Orion Engineered Carbons GmbH is converting a tire-grade carbon black production line at its plant in Yeosu, South Korea, to specialty and technical rubber products, the company announced at the International Elastomer Conference in Pittsburgh Oct. 11.
The firm also introduced two new grades of carbon black at the Rubber Expo. Sable 7800 and Sable 3300 are designed especially for high-performing mechanical rubber goods, according to Lin Bradley, Orion technical line manager for the rubber business line.
The conversion, which involves about 20,000 tons of carbon black capacity, will take place over the next several months, according to Dirk Rechenbach, Orion vice president of marketing for the rubber business. In a news release, the company said the process would be complete in July 2017.
Orion has converted production lines in the past to serve expanding specialty markets, Rechenbach said. The company will consider converting other carbon black production lines in the future but has no current plans to do so, according to Rechenbach. “This (the Yeosu conversion) is specifically for 2017,” he said.
The firm previously announced a plan to expand its specialty and technical carbon black production in Qingdao, China. The Qingdao and Yeosu conversions are part of Orion's ongoing transition to higher-value-added products, the company said.
Sable 7800 and 3300 both offer low non-dispersible matter residue for extrusion and high-quality molding applications, Orion said. The Sable product line allows rubber compounders to engineer products that meet the precise requirements of their customers, it said.
“We added the new grades to the Sable family to add flexibility to compounds to meet widely different specifications,” Bradley said. “They fulfill a need in a broad spectrum of MRG applications where they need to improve surface appearance and service life.”
Orion also featured several carbon black products for the manufacture of more fuel-efficient tires.
Ecorax S 204 reduces rolling resistance by lowering hysteresis of the sidewall or subtread compound via selected specific surface area and structure, the company said. Ecorax S 206 lowers air permeation through the inner liner for better tire inflation consistency, it said.