Stamford, Connecticut – Rain Carbon Inc., a US-based producer of carbon-based products and advanced materials, has opened a “state-of-the-art” rubber lab at its production facility in Duisburg, Germany.
The $1.3 million (€1.1 million) lab comprises a complete processing line, including a rubber bale cutter, a “highly sophisticated” lab station for internal mixing, and “cutting-edge” rubber-process and dynamic-mechanical analysers, said Rain Carbon 4 Aug.
"This investment will enable Rain Carbon to significantly improve our technical services and targeted product development for the rubber industry,” said Kris Vanherbergen, executive VP of carbon distillation and advanced materials.
The intention, he said, is to position Rain Carbon as “preferred partner” in terms of applications and R&D cooperation.
Rain Carbon produces approximately 10 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) of performance resins for the rubber industry.
The materials are targeted at improving grip and reducing rolling resistance in tire compounds as well as enhancing the mechanical dynamic properties of technical rubber articles.
Prior to establishing the new lab, the company relied on a third-party lab, which it said inhibited the product development and internal knowledge required to establish strong technical relationships.
"Our customers want to have a detailed understanding of the resins we supply and their performance," said Dr. Jun Liu, head of R&D and application technology for the company's carbon distillation and advanced materials business unit.
"Unfortunately, we could only provide customers with analytical results in the past, which did not foster a stronger technical relationship,” she added.
With the lab investment, she went on to say, Rain Carbon can assess a broader range of variables and a “much better” understanding of its products and their performance.
"In addition, being able to conduct the testing in-house will improve our knowledge about the link between resin structure and performance," Liu said.
"This will enhance our credibility with rubber customers... when it comes to key performance data related to grip and abrasion, dynamic loss factor, the interaction between rubber and filler, processing capability and more."