ERJ staff report (LMH)
Leverkusen, Germany - The trend for low-rolling-resistance tires will need to be met with improved high-performance solution styrene-butadiene rubber grades (SSBR) and Nd-PBR (neodymium-based performance butadiene rubber), according to the results of a survey by Lanxess.
The study on the SSBR market, carried out by Stratley Portfolio Performance Inc. on behalf of Lanxess, was based on the opinions of decision-makers from 32 tire manufacturers from around the world that make up some 84 percent of global tire sales.
Lanxess said that some 85 percent of all tire companies questioned expect the new EU tyre labelling regulation to significantly impact their daily business, with most seeing this as an opportunity rather than a burden.
The authors of the study said that having performed detailed market studies, they believe that in five years' time twice as much SSBR will be used in car tires as conventional ESBR (emulsion-styrene-butadiene rubber). However, some 85 percent of those surveyed see the supply situation as being somewhat critical.
Lanxess added that the supply of tires with low-rolling-resistance and other fuel-saving properties â€œwill be largely dependent on the provision of increasingly refined SSBR grades.â€
The German company also noted that it is not only improved performance of SSBR elastomers that is of interest to manufacturers but processability. The survey showed that global tire industry experts are extremely interested in how the SSBR grades currently available will continue to develop.
â€œThe data and assessments that we are presenting in their fullness for the first time will not only help our customers adapt to the change in the market, they are also a valuable tool allowing us to adapt to the needs of our customers even more effectively,â€ commented Joachim Grub, head of the Lanxess Performance Butadiene Rubbers business unit.