LANXESS has started up a second production line for high-performance plastics compounding at its facility in Gastonia, NC, USA, as planned. The new line represents an investment of about USD 15 million and doubles the site’s production capacity from 20,000 to 40,000 metric tons annually. In the coming years, LANXESS plans to further invest EUR 50 to 100 million for organic growth in its high-performance plastics business.
In the plant, the basic polymers polyamide (PA) and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) are mixed and refined with special additives and glass fiber, according to client requirements, to make the high-performance plastic product lines Durethan and Pocan. They are used primarily in the automotive industry to manufacture lighter-weight plastic components that can replace metal parts in vehicles, for example, in engine applications, door structures, front ends, pedals, and interior components. This contributes to greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Another field of application is the electrical and electronics industry.
LANXESS expects global demand for engineering plastics in automotive applications to grow by 7 % annually (CAGR 2015-2020). This is being driven by rising car production and the trend towards more fuel-efficient automobiles.
Depending on the component, a part designed with high-performance plastics can weigh 10 to 50 % less than a metal version.
- LANXESS, Cologne, Germany