Kuala Lumpur, – Cabot Corp. is expanding its manufacturing as well as R&D capabilities at its plant in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, according to inward investment agency the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).
The project centres on Cabot’s ‘engineered elastomer composites’ (E2C) unit, launched in 2020 to supply the tire and industrial rubber industry.
Under the expansion programme, Cabot is increasing its staff by around 30% and installing enhanced digital controls and automation systems.
The US-based company is also signing a long-term extension and expansion of its land lease in Port Dickson, according to a 26 Feb MIDA statement.
At the Port Dickson site, Cabot has developed the first industrial scale, continuous liquid mixing process for natural rubber latex, the agency also noted.
The expanded R&D capabilities, it continued, will enable Cabot to further advance rubber technology via innovations is areas such modeling and optimisation of liquid mixing, characterising elastomer composites and automation of continuous rubber processing.
“Cabot will benefit from Malaysia’s solid chemical industry ecosystem, backed by investor-friendly business environment and policies as well as the availability of talented and skilled workers,” said Dato’ Azman Mahmud, CEO of MIDA.
Cabot Engineered Elastomer Composites is will continue to “strengthen our investments in Port Dickson and support the growth of this high-performance product line,” said David Reynolds, VP and general manager of the E2C business.
Cabot’s E2C composites are produced via a proprietary liquid mixing process for natural rubber latex and include three commercially viable products for off-the road mining tire applications.
According to the company, tires made with E2C rubber are said to last longer and are more energy-efficient than conventionally made alternatives.
Furthermore, it said, the rubber compounding process requires “fewer mixing stages, shorter cycles and lower temperatures, translating into additional sustainability and economic benefits.”
Cabot’s E2C technology featured in European Rubber Journal’s inaugural Top 10 Elastomers for Sustainability List in July 2020.