Tokyo - Sumitomo Chemical is strengthening its automotive materials business in China by building manufacturing capabilities for thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) at its existing facility in Dalian, Liaoning Province.
The company made the announcement on 23 May but did not give further details on the capacity of the new plant.
The TPE unit will be part of Sumitomo subsidiary Sumika Polymer Compounds Dalian, which was set up in 2011.
Sumitomo's TPEs are offered under the brand name Espolex globally.
The materials supplier said the primary applications for its TPEs would include automotive materials, such as airbag covers and body seals.
“People's rising awareness of auto-safety has been accompanied by an increasing number of vehicles equipped with air bags, including those made of TPE,” noted the company.
The company already offers TPEs and synthetic rubber into the Chinese market through its subsidiary Sumika Plastics & Chemicals Trading (Shanghai).