Following a feasibility study, Lanxess has decided to convert production of emulsion styrene butadiene rubber (E-SBR) used in standard tires, to solution styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) used in high-performance “green tires” at its site in Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Lanxess is the first company to carry out such a conversion.
The future capacity for S-SBR in Triunfo will be 110,000 metric tons (m.t.) per year, exactly the same as the current E-SBR capacity. The switch in production technology represents an investment of €80 million, which will be financed from the company’s cash-flow. Up to 500 temporary workers will be needed during the conversion phase. The plant will produce the latest grades of S-SBR at the end of 2014. A regular supply of E-SBR will be maintained from the company’s plant in Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
November 2012 saw the launch of mandatory tire labeling in the E.U., similar to the consumer labels found on refrigerators and washing machines. Tires are graded from A (best) to G according to their fuel efficiency and from A to F according to their wet grip. Rolling noise is also measured.
Japan and South Korea were the first countries in the world to introduce a labeling system in 2010 and 1011, respectively. The Brazilian government aims to implement tire labeling as of October 2016. In China the topic is taking shape as part of the country’s current five-year-plan.
- Lanxess AG, Leverkusen, Germany