Rhein Chemie

Rhein Chemie provides solutions for the tire industry in India – In addition to release agents, the company is now producing polymer-bound rubber chemicals in India

Rhein Chemie provides solutions for the tire industry in India – In addition to release agents, the company is now producing polymer-bound rubber chemicals in India

Thursday, 18. January 2007 The launch in January 2007 of a Rhenogran® production facility at the LANXESS production site in Madurai, India is a sign that Rhein Chemie’s service concept for the Indian market is undergoing systematic development. The company can therefore now provide Indian tire manufacturers not only with release agents (Rhenodiv®), but, through the new facility, also with a range of Rhenogran® products that are tailor-made to their needs.

Mannheim/Madurai – The launch in January 2007 of a Rhenogran® production facility at the LANXESS production site in Madurai, India is a sign that Rhein Chemie’s service concept for the Indian market is undergoing systematic development. The company can therefore now provide Indian tire manufacturers not only with release agents (Rhenodiv®), but, through the new facility, also with a range of Rhenogran® products that are tailor-made to their needs. “The steady rise of radial tires that has resulted from the massive expansion of the road network in India means that changes to the formulation of individual tire components are now essential. This, coupled with the demand for consistently high quality and an increased awareness of occupational and health protection issues, is giving rise to an increasing demand among Indian tire producers for polymer-bound chemicals. Rhenogran® can be dosed and incorporated into a mixture much more effectively than the corresponding powdered chemicals. The use of polymer-bound chemicals enables chemicals to be distributed more effectively within the mixture and therefore gives rise to more constant grades,” explains Dr. Dietmar Hoff, Technical Manager Tire Industry at Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH, Mannheim, Germany.

As the market leader, Rhein Chemie can look back at over 30 years of experience in the development, production and applications technology of polymer-bound chemicals. What originally began as a small range of specialties soon expanded into an entire program that is constantly adjusted to the needs of downstream processors.

Two typical problem-solvers are available to customers in the form of Rhenogran® ZnO-80 and Rhenogran® IS90-65 (polymer-bound, insoluble sulfur). The use of the corresponding powdered chemicals can give rise to considerable distribution problems or significantly longer mixing times, particularly in compounds, such as the steel cord compound, that incorporate high dosages of zinc oxide and insoluble sulfur. Rhenogran® Resorcin-80 and Hexa-80 are specific products for use in tire adhesion compounds. Predispersion using Rhenogran® ensures significantly more rapid mixing, which reduces the extent to which the working environment is polluted with the chemicals that are used.
Rhenogran® PCZ-70/IIR was developed for the vulcanization of molding bladders. This combination product therefore fulfills several tasks at the same time. As the product is made up of a blend of zinc oxide and crosslinking resin, the crosslinking butyl blend does not require any additional vulcanization compound. It also ensures the homogeneous distribution of the crosslinking chemicals in the butyl rubber, which is difficult to blend, while the polymer binding protects the crosslinking resin against aging.

Rhenogran® MBT-80, MBTS-80 and DTDM-80, which are accelerators and sulfur donors, complete the range of polymer-bound chemical products, which can be used in a huge variety of applications. As it is the case with regard to release agents for the tire industry (Rhenodiv®), which Rhein Chemie has been producing for the past 18 months at the LANXESS site in Madurai in Southern India, additional Rhenogran® products will be developed in response to the needs of its customers.
High import costs for finished release agents, coupled with the dynamic development of the rubber industry and in particular the tire industry in India, provided the rationale to produce water-based tire solutions locally in Madurai. Previously, tire producers in India predominantly used solvent-based release agents that were produced in their own plants. The increasing use of radial tires, coupled with environmental considerations, however, drove tire producers to seek ways of replacing solvent-based release agents with water-based alternatives.

“A complete range of environmentally friendly and cost-effective release agents for tires are produced, using modern plants: This range encompasses water-based inside paints, water-based outside paints, bladder coating and mold release agents. A team of service staff adapts the products to match customers’ requirements. Experiments are carried out on site and the real-time development of existing and new service products means that customers can always be sure that the most appropriate product will be used to provide a solution to their problems,” explains Dr. Manfred Breining, Senior Manager Marketing Release Agents at Rhein Chemie.

The good lubricating properties of the water-based inside tire paints Rhenodiv® 9092/G and Rhenodiv® 9092/W ensure the reliable molding and demolding of the molding bladder with the tire blank or the vulcanized tire. Selected ingredients are used, in order to ensure the maximum bladder life, while minimizing the number of rejects. The semi-permanent bladder coating Rhenodiv® 7204A provides customers with a product with enhanced efficiency. When Rhenodiv® 7204A is used, applying the release agent on approximately every tenth heating is sufficient in order to achieve excellent demolding performance. Rhenodiv® 9140 on the other hand is a high-performance, water-based outside tire paint. Using Rhenodiv® 9140 supports venting between the tire blank and the mold, in addition to the flow properties of the rubber itself. This ensures an excellent finish on the final product, while significantly reducing the reject rate.

“The Rhenodiv® range will be expanded in 2007, in line with customers’ requirements. As far as the range of bladder coating products is concerned, further high-performance Rhenodiv® release agents from Rhein Chemie will soon be available to customers. We are also working to develop a water-based tire finishing paint for the Indian market,” explains Dr. Hoff.

Rhein Chemie has been successfully providing the chemical industry with tailor-made additives and service products for more than 100 years. Approximately 1,000 Rhein Chemie employees produce and sell products worldwide to many segments of the rubber, lubricant, plastics and polyurethane industries. About 550 employees work at the head office in Mannheim-Rheinau. The company has subsidiaries and production facilities in Europe, Asia and North and South America. Rhein Chemie is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the LANXESS Group, Leverkusen.

Mannheim, 18. January 2007
bit (2007-01-803EN)

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by the management of Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of our sole stockholder LANXESS Deutschland GmbH and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in LANXESS AG’s reports to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. LANXESS AG and Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH assume no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.