Leverkusen, Germany - Lanxess AG has completed the first stage of a programme to increase production of neodymium (Nd) polybutadiene rubber (BR), or Nd-BR. The programme will modify existing manufacturing lines to enable production of multiple grades including Nd-catalysed BR as well as lithium-BR and solution styrene-butadiene rubber SSBR on the same line. Nd-BR-technology is valued for high-performance tyre production, but is finding applications in high impact polystyrene (HIPS), shoe soles, and golf balls.
Lanxess' production locations in Port JÃ©rÃ´me, France, and Orange, USA, have undergone modifications. "We now have even greater flexibility in Orange and Port JÃ©rÃ´me to manufacture increasing amounts of high performance Nd-PBR for our global tyre customers," said Dr. Joachim Grub, Head of the Business Unit PBR of Lanxess.
In the second and third stage of the project more production lines will be modified to manufacture Nd-BR. Another benefit of the increased flexibility will be the option to produce more S-SBR under the name Buna VSL. "We have to be flexible, and we are able to supply high-performance PBR to the tyre industry worldwide. The use of high-performance PBR and VSL is expanding, and so we are," Grub said.