A S l A ’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r t h e p las t l c s and r u b b e r l nd u s t r y
业 界 新闻 复 合 材料: 生物基解决方案重建全球经济
In this issue
Volume 34, No 243
publlshed slnce 1985
A S l A’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r the plastlcs and rubber lndustry
Features 焦 點 內 容 14 复合材料: 生物基解決方案重建全球經濟 17 Country Focus – South Korea’s inventions for the automotive and electronics industries bode well for the country; the Koplas 2019 show is held against this background from 12-16 March
20 Advertorial – Chinaplas 2019 is being touted as a show that will offer a range of concurrent events 22 Country Focus – Indonesia is readying itself for the Industry 4.0 through a sustainability agenda, as noted through interviews at the P&R Indonesia 2018 show in Jakarta
25 Composites – The composites sector is seeing a flurry of introductions in the biocomposites range of materials as renewable, recyclable, and low-cost solutions for a wide range of industries
Supplements 副 刊 In the manufacturing of fuel tanks, an optimal combination of Mould Area Protection (MAP) and Internal Air Cooling System (IACS) ensures faster hardening of the moulded component and shortens cooling time, according to FarragTech The trade spat between the US and China may have affected industries across the board, but the US synthetic rubber market has remained relatively unscathed
On the Cover Fibres, like bamboo and the like, are being added on as reinforcements to composites to create biocomposites
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A S l A ’ S L E A D l N G M A G A Z l N E F O R THE PLASTlCS AND RUBBER lNDUSTRY
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is published 8 times a year in Mandarin and English by Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is correct, the publisher makes no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the nature or accuracy of such material to the extent permitted by applicable law. © 2019 Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or used in any form, or by any means, without specific prior permission from the publisher. PRA is circulated free to trade readers in the plastics and rubber industry. Airmail subscriptions are available at US$160 within Asia and US$250 to all other countries outside Asia.
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M&As/Investments/Tie-ups • US compounder PolyOne Corporation has acquired Fiber-Line, a US-headquartered specialist in customised engineered fibres and composite materials, for US$120 million. • Sweden’s Perstorp is selling its Capa caprolactone business, including its production site in the UK, to US speciality chemicals company Ingevity for EUR590 million. The business has annual revenues of EUR150 million. Perstorp says it will focus on its polyol, oxo and feed businesses, as well as expand the markets for its phthalate-free plasticiser. • US-headquartered TriMas is acquiring Italy-based Plastic Srl, a privatelyowned manufacturer of polymer caps and closures for home care product applications. Michigan-based Trimas is a diversified industrial manufacturer of products for the consumer products sector. • German materials company Covestro has accelerated the expansion of its Thermoplastic Polyurethanes (TPU) business by raising its stake in
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its joint venture DIC Covestro Polymer (DCP) from 50-80%. DCP, established as a 50/50 joint venture in the year 2000, is a supplier to the Japanese TPU industry. • German speciality chemicals company Lanxess plans to strengthen its global asset base for flame retardant additives with investments of around EUR200 million over the next three years. The company runs a strong backward integrated production network for bromine and phosphorousbased flame retardants with plants in the US, Germany, France and the UK, also through its purchase of US firm Chemtura. • Thailandheadquartered Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) is to acquire Invista Resins & Fibers, which owns a 282,000 tonne/yearPET manufacturing facility located in Germany. IVL is also acquiring a PET recycling facility from Custom Polymers PET in the US that consists of two production lines: rPET flake and food-grade rPET pellets, with a combined capacity of 31,000 tonnes/year.
In other news, IVL’s joint venture in the US has received regulatory clearance to purchase the debtridden M&G USA Corp.’s facility for US$1.125 billion. IVL is also acquiring UTT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, a supplier of airbag fabrics, through PHP Fibers, a company owned by IVL (80%) and Japanese fibres and textiles producer Toyobo (20%).
• Riyadh-headquartered chemical company Sabic has taken a majority stake in US-based Black Diamond Structures, a nanotechnology company established in 2014. BDS produces and commercialises Molecular Rebar, a proprietary technology of modified carbon nanotubes that has the potential to enhance the performance of energy storage applications using lead-acid and lithiumion batteries. • German chemical firm Evonik has acquired Structured Polymers Inc, a US-based technology startup for 3D printing materials to provide it access to a new patented technology, to expand its specialty polymer powders in the additive manufacturing market.
• The world’s third largest flexible packaging producer, Constantia Flexibles, is to acquire a majority stake in TT-print. At the production site in Voskresensk, Russia, packaging for the pharma and food industry is produced. • The EU Commission has granted conditional clearance for German chemical company BASF to acquire Belgian firm Solvay’s polyamide (PA) business. Closing is expected in the second half of 2019 after all remaining closing conditions have been fulfilled, including the sale of a remedy package to a third party. • An affiliate of Sun European Partners has completed the sale of its investment in Elix Polymers, a Spanish manufacturer of ABS resins and derivatives, to Sinochem International (Overseas) Pte for a value of EUR195 million. • US-based DAK Americas, an Alpek Polyester business, is to acquire Perpetual Recycling Solutions’s 45,000 tonnes/year of rPET flakes PET recycling facility in Richmond, US. It will complement Alpek's current food-grade PET recycling capacity in Argentina, and its fibre-grade recycling joint venture facility in the US.
PRA is published eight (8) times a year in print and digital formats, in both English and Mandarin. PRA has ďŹ ve (5) print issues with a circulation of 14,000 per print issue plus bonus distribution in key international industry events; and three (3) digital issues, circulated to a database of 42,000 per issue. It is complemented by print/online vertical supplements of Rubber Journal Asia (RJA) & Injection Moulding Asia (IMA)
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Plant Set-ups/Expansions • BASF and Indian conglomerate Adani Group are evaluating a major joint investment totalling about EUR2 billion, in which BASF will hold the majority, in the acrylics value chain in India. The designated site would be at Mundra port in Gujarat and comprises the operation of production plants for propane dehydrogenation (PDH), oxo C4 complex (butanols and 2-ethylhexanol), glacial acrylic acid (GAA), butyl acrylate (BA) and other downstream products. In other news, BASF’s plan to establish a new smart site in Guangdong, China, with an investment of US$10 billion, has moved a step forward. The project will include a wholly-owned steam cracker with a planned capacity of 1 million tonnes/ year of ethylene and several plants for consumer-oriented products and solutions. • Ineos Styrolution has made its final investment decision to construct a new 100,000 tonnecapacity ASA plant at its site in Bayport, Texas. Start-up is
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scheduled for 2021. In other news, Ineos has selected Antwerp, Belgium, as the location for its ethane gas cracker and worldscale PDH unit in Europe. The EUR3 billion investment is the largest in the European chemicals sector in 20 years and could be a game changer for the Belgium economy.
• Germany’s Covestro is building a new manufacturing line for PC films at Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Thailand. The total investment of more than EUR100 million also includes an expansion of the associated infrastructure and logistics. • China’s Xinjiang Tianli Gaoxin Petrochemical (Tianli Gaoxin) has selected Belgian polyolefins firm Lyondellbasell’s Lupotech T process technology for a 200,000 tonnes/ year LDPE and EVA plant to be built at Dushanzi, Xinjiang Province. • Chinaheadquartered Zhejiang Petrochemical Co Ltd (ZPC) is working on the second phase of an
integrated refining and petrochemical complex in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province. The complex is one of several new large industrial sites that are part of China’s current national economic development plan. ZPC will use a range of process technology from Honeywell UOP for hydroprocessing and heavy oil upgrading, and to make aromatics for plastic resins, films and fibres. • Oil giant BP and South Korea’s chemical firm Lotte are to expand capacity at their joint venture Lotte BP Chemical in Ulsan, South Korea, to 100,000 tonnes/ year of acetic acid capacity through debottlenecking. The firms will also double the current 200,000-tonne/year VAM capacity with the addition of a second VAM plant by the end of 2020. • Germanyheadquartered KRAIBURG TPE has started up a new production line at its Malaysian plant to boost production capacity by 35% and increase KRAIBURG TPE’s total production capabilities to 60,000 tonnes/ year worldwide.
KRAIBURG TPE is expanding its offices and warehouse in Malaysia in tandem with the new production line. The company will also be extending its sales network in Hanoi, Vietnam. • Lithium-ion battery maker SK Innovation is investing US$1.67 billion to build a new electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing plant in Georgia, US. Customers for SK Innovation include MercedesBenz and HyundaiKia Motors. The new plant is expected to bolster its US presence as well as create more than 2,000 jobs. • Era Polymers, an Australian PU products manufacturer, is investing US$9.2 million into a facility in North Carolina, US. The 140,000-sq ft facility was formerly occupied by DSM. The company currently manufactures PU systems in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. • Hanwha Total Petrochemical, a 50/50 joint venture between Total and Hanwha, is investing US$500
INDUSTRY NEWS million to further expand its Daesan integrated refining and petrochemical complex located in South Korea. The investment will increase PP capacity by 60% to 1 million tonnes/ year by the end of 2020; and will increase ethylene capacity by 10% to 1.5 million tonnes. • Total Corbion PLA, a 50/50 joint venture between Total and Corbion,
has started up its 75,000 tonnes/year PLA bioplastics plant in Rayong, Thailand. With this, the global production of PLA bioplastics will increase by almost 50% to 240,000 tonnes/year. • BP and Socar Turkey are mulling over a joint venture to operate a world-scale petrochemicals complex in Turkey. The proposed
Machinery News • Canadian mould maker StackTeck Systems has set up its first mould making plant outside of North America, in South Korea. The mould making facility began as a subsidiary of its parent company in 2010 with a focus on building moulds for PET preforms, medical, and packaging applications. This business will now be called StackTeck Asia. It currently has three PET machines for mould qualifications; with a 150-tonne PET pilot cell located in Canada. • To cater to the Indian flexible packaging industry’s growing demands for
locally made extrusion coating and lamination machinery, Indian machinery maker Rajoo Engineers has teamed up with rotogravure printing and laminating machinery supplier Kohli Industries. The Rajoo-Kohli Lamex series of extrusion coating and lamination lines will be assembled at Rajoo’s facility in Rajkot, Gujarat. • Austrian machinery manufacturer SML has sold the first cast stretch film line to Sigma Stretch Film of Asia in Thailand. The joint venture between US-based Sigma Plastics Group and Thai industrial bag
facility, in Aliaga in western Turkey, will produce 1.25 million tonnes/year of PTA, 840,000 tonnes/year of paraxylene and 340,000 tonnes/ year of benzene. The companies are seeking a potential final investment decision in 2019, with start-up expected by 2023. • Evonik has commenced operation of an additional line maker King Pac Industrial will leverage Sigma’s and King Pac’s experience that is also looking to expand into the cast stretch film market. The line will be installed in a new, custombuilt facility of over 300,000 sq ft and will produce around 20,400 tonnes/year of stretch film. • Italian extrusion machinery maker Colines has tied up with industrial solutions provider Rieckermann to represent it in Asia and provide aftersales service in China, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines. • Germany-based machine maker KraussMaffei Group, which
for PMMA at its site in Ark, US, to double the capacity of the speciality moulding compounds. The business line is said to be the only PMMA manufacturer in the world that has fully integrated MMA/ PMMA production networks with downstream compounding in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. was bought by Chinese chemical firm ChemChina in 2016, completed its listing on the Shanghai stock exchange in December 2018. The listing occurred through the transfer of ChemChina’s stake in KraussMaffei to ChemChina’s majority-owned subsidiary THY (Qingdao Tianhua Institute of Chemistry Engineering), which is listed on the Shanghai stock exchange. In addition, THY has taken over ChemChina’s production site in Sanming, China. New injection moulding machines for the Chinese market will be manufactured at this site in the future. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019
Closing the loop with food wastage Managing food waste calls for an effective food strategy, which should include integrating it into the circular economy system for biobased plastics to maximise value, says Angelica Buan in this report.
hen it comes to the issue of surmounting wastes entering the environment, plastics always get the flak. However, organic wastes that include agricultural and plant-based materials, food leftovers, wood, and the like, taking up a significant portion of generated municipal solid wastes (MWS), are not getting as much attention, possibly due to their degradable nature. In todayâ€™s call for greater circularity, it is time to view organic waste as a high value resource.
Food wastes are especially under the lens of material circularity. It is estimated that a third of the food produced globally for food consumption at 1.3 billion tonnes is lost or wasted. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) data, per capita waste by consumers is between 95-115 kg/year in Europe and North America; while consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, south and south-eastern Asia throw away 6-11 kg/year. With this much food waste, composting is no longer an adequate solution to mitigate it, but valorising it into high value materials is. Adoption of renewable-based materials sought Global food waste costs an estimated US$1 trillion, according to the FAO. In the US alone, approximately 150,000 tonnes/day of food is wasted. Recently, a group of US businesses and environmental leaders launched the Plant Based Products Council (PBPC), a collective of organisations that aims to steer the global economy toward more sustainable and responsible consumer products and packaging through greater use of plant-based materials.
PBPC promotes the adoption and use of products derived from renewable biomas
Bioplastics development utilises food wastes that are valorised into high value materials
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The PBPC, a latest among the roster of global initiatives for biosourced materials, promotes the adoption and use of products derived from renewable biomass. The group, through private sector programmes and government policies, will encourage the use of renewable materials and feedstocks, including policies to reduce carbon emissions, improve water quality and soil health, and reduce solid waste destined for landfills by purposeful closed loop endof-life strategies through recycling and composting.
Materials News PBPCâ€™s membership comprises large and small businesses from across the US that produce, distribute, or sell products/packaging from renewable biomass inputs, as well as those organisations that pledged to build a more sustainable future. Currently, the organisation includes Cargill, Tate & Lyle, WestRock-Multi Packaging Solutions, Loliware, Visolis Biotechnology, Hemp Industries Association, and more. A thorny recipe for plastics from durian Meanwhile, in the Southeast Asian region, the durian fruit, infamous for its pungent smell and thorny skin, is being honed to provide a solution for biodegradable packaging material. Researchers at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have utilised durian husks to develop biodegradable packaging materials. The durian contains pectin, a carbohydrate polymer that is present in cells of plants. Pectin derived from fruits has been used in materials such as adhesives and films.
NTU researchers used the pectin in durian to develop biodegradable material
The team of Singaporean researchers, led by Professor William Chen, Director of NTUâ€™s food science and technology programme, extracted pectin from ground durian husks. The cellulose powder obtained from the process was used to create sheets of the material, which can purportedly degrade within a month if composted in soil. Colouring can be introduced into the cellulosic material. The team is further exploring the commercial potential of the durian-derived material with several food and beverage companies. Bioplastics from seeds Composting of certain food wastes ensures a sustainable end-of-life cycle. Even if organic wastes, especially of fruits and vegetables, are not upcycled into new materials they can still contribute to agricultural sustainability by making soil healthy. However, not all fruit pits, specifically the stone-hard pits of avocadoes or olives, can be easily composted. A start-up Mexican company Biofase has developed a patented process to produce a bioplastic from avocado pits, considered as agro-industrial wastes. The bioplastic is used to make disposable drinking straws and cutlery. Scott MungĂa, Founder of the Michoacan-based company has been using this process since 2012, for extracting a molecular compound from the seed to obtain a biopolymer that could be moulded into any shape. The resulting bioplastic degrades in 240 days in the environment, says the company.
Biofase’s plant, sited in Morelia city, is reportedly churning out 130 tonnes of the bioplastic, 40% of which is made into straws. It consumes 15 tonnes/day of avocado seeds, which it sources from US-headquartered food company Simplot. The Biofase facility exports 80% of its output to the North, Central and South Americas and is looking at opening a 700-tonne/month capacity plant in the near future.
Teysha's technology can produce bioPC materials that can be used for a range of applications including medical implants and packaging
Biofase makes products from material based on avocado pits
In a related development, Turkey-based start-up Biolive, led by researcher Duygu Yilmaz, has developed a sustainable plastic based on olive pits. The cellulosic agent in olives is used to produce a bioplastic that is viable for use in a variety of applications, from electronics and toys to food packaging. Biolive is able to produce 3.5 tonnes of material from 5 tonnes of olive seeds that are collected from companies manufacturing olive oil. Biopolymers from agricultural wastes Waste olives have been a major ingredient in a number of material developments. Wastes from olive oil production have been converted into bioethanol for vehicle fuel by a team of researchers from the University of Haifa, Israel. Meanwhile, another olive bioplastic breakthrough has been initiated by Spanish researcher Jesús Zorrilla. From olive skins, he was able to produce PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) biopolyesters that are synthesised by microorganisms. PHAs are water soluble, degradable, biocompatible and non-toxic, and thus are suitable for a range of industry applications. Along the same vein, Teysha Technologies, a UK-based bioplastics start-up has developed a technology for organic-based plastic substitute. Its “plug-and-play” process, as the company calls it, obtains monomers and co-monomers from biobased feedstock, such as starches and agricultural waste, to produce biopolymers that can be used in various applications, from medical implants and medical mouldings to food packaging and construction components.
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Teysha claims that its technology can produce biopolycarbonate (bioPC) materials that are rigid or flexible, or that offer different thermal properties. The process uses polyhydroxyl natural products as monomeric building blocks and carbonates as the linkages to produce the bioPCs. With the technology, it is possible to control the biodegradation of the polymers, the company said. The materials are said to be fully compatible with existing production methods and adapt to current manufacturing facilities. Meanwhile, Italian bioplastics firm Bio-on and agricultural firm Gruppo Rivoira have joined forces to develop bioplastic materials from agricultural waste to make packaging for fruits and vegetables. Their joint venture, Zeropack, will be able to produce films, small and large containers and labels based on bioplastics. These items will be produced from fruit and vegetable waste and will be 100% natural and biodegradable. Zeropack has licensed Bio-on's bioplastics technology to support its efforts. Zeropack produces biobased films, containers and labels made from fruit and vegetable scraps
Materials News Bio-on has developed a process in which sugar cane or sugar beet pulp is fermented to make PHA resins. Bio-on researchers, based on its work on bioplastics applications, found that PHA bioplastics can replace most of the plastics used in food packaging, specifically for fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and cheese. All the bioplastics developed by Bio-on, both PHAs and PHBs (polyhydroxybutyrates), are obtained from renewable plant sources without any competition with food chains, it said. In most cases the materials guarantee the same thermo-mechanical properties of traditional plastics with the advantage of being completely ecofriendly and 100% biodegradable in a natural way. Edible films made from apples An apple a day not only keeps the doctor away but also food wastage. Scientists from the Samara Polytech in Russia have developed edible films utilising Russian apples and natural ingredients. The product was initially designed for astronauts, according to the head of the project team, Nadezhda Makarova, and aimed at space menu modification. The packaging can be stored with food, can be heated and eaten, and therefore works well in outer space where other packaging materials are inconvenient to use and dispose of. The packaging is also suitable for use in the Arctic territories, on offshore oil platforms, and even during long journeys.
more suitable in this concoction. The product is very low on caloric value, and thus can be considered a dietary addition. It is also strong enough to withstand boiling water. Fruit and vegetable puree is taken as a liquid mass with a plasticiser, and then the mass is dried at a temperature of no higher than 60Â°C so that the resulting product does not become too brittle. The project team has created more than 500 experimental edible films samples. The prototypes showed a high level of material strength and are able to compete with the materials obtained from cellulose, the team said. From packaging, edible dishware is also a prospective offering. The same technology is applied to produce the product but the viscous mass is poured into a special mould, and then dried. Additionally, the edible dishware can dissolve in 12 hours when placed in water.
Unlocking the potential of chitosan from shells Seafood processing industries are mostly discarding the head and shell portions of seafood. Tonnes of these wastes are released into the environment through landfills. However, waste products from seafood are a mine of useable compounds. For example, shrimp waste products contain 63.8% protein, 1.73% fat and chitin/ chitosan, according to the FAO. Researchers at Canadaâ€™s McGill University are among those who have harnessed the potential of shell waste products, not only of seafood but also other insects. The team have discovered a method, based on mechanochemistry and ageing, to create biodegradable plastic from the hard shells of lobsters, shrimps, crabs and insects such as crickets and beetles. This process turns chitin into a new, long molecular weight polymer called chitosan. This new material has interesting mechanical properties and is envisaged for applications where durability and biodegradability are required, such as in biomedical, food packaging and high value fibres, according to researchers Audrey Moore and Thomas Di Nardo. The m ater ials have the pot ent i al f or other applications too, including 3D printing, cutlery, and other plastic The apple's viscoplastic properties and good taste are ideal for Samara Polytech's products. edible films Chitosan is not a novel find, as it has already been used in pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and textiles, to cite a The unique food wrap is based on fruit or vegetable few industries. But producing it on a large scale has been puree, which consists of natural ingredients and a stumbling block, the researchers said, thus aiming to contains no dyes or preservatives. Apples, due to their overturn this challenge with their process. viscoplastic properties and good taste, turn out to be JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019
• 美国复合材料公司PolyOne Corporation 以1.2亿美元的价 格，收购了总部位于美国的定 制工程纤维和复合材料专业公司 Fiber-Line。 • 瑞典的 Perstorp 以 5.9 亿欧 元的价格，将其 Capa 己内酯 业务，包括它在英国的生产基 地，出售给美国特殊化学品公 司I ngevity。该业务的年营收为 1.5 亿欧元。Perstorp 表示，它 将专注于其多元醇、氧代和饲 料业务，以及扩大其不含邻苯 二甲酸酯的增塑剂市场。 • 总部位于美国的 TriMas 正在收 购意大利的 Plastic Srl，后者是 一家私人拥有的家庭护理产品 的聚合物盖子和瓶盖制造商。 位于密歇根州的 Trimas 是一 家多元化的消费品领域产品制 造商。 • 德国材料公司 Covestro 通过增 加其在合资公司 DIC Covestro Polymer（DCP）的股权，即从 50% 提高到 80%，加速扩张其热 塑性聚氨酯业务（TPU）。DCP 是在2000 年成立的50/50合资 企业，它是日本TPU行业的供 应商。 • 德 国 特 殊 化 学 品 公 司 Lanxess计划在未来三年 投资大约2亿欧元，强化其 全 球 阻 燃 添 加 剂 的 资 产 。 该 公 司 也 通 过 收 购 美 国 公 司 Chemtura，在美国、德 国、法国和英国建立一个强 大的后向综合生产网络，生 产溴和磷基阻燃剂。 • 总部位于泰国的 Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited（IVL）将收购 Invista Resins & Fibers，后者在德国拥 有一个 282,000 吨／年产能的 PET 制造厂。另外，IVL 也收购 了在美国的 Custom Polymers PET的一个 PET回收设施，该设 施拥有两条生产线：rPET 薄片 和食品级 rPET 颗粒，总产能为 31,000 吨／年。
JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019
其他消息方面，IVL在美国 的合资企业已获得监管机构批 准，以11.25 亿美元收购债务 缠身的 M&G USA Corp.的工 厂。IVL 也通过 PHP Fibers， 这是一家由IVL（80%）和 日 本 纤 维 及 纺 织 品 生 产 商 Toyobo（20%）持有的公 司 ， 收购安全气囊织物供应商 UTT Beteiligungsgesellschaft。 • 总部位于利雅得的化学公司 Sabic，已经取得美国 Black Diamond Structures 的大部分 股权，后者是一家成立于 2014 年的纳米技术公司。BDS 商业化 生产的 Molecular Rebar，是一 种改性碳纳米管的专有技术， 具有使用铅酸和锂离子电池提 高能源储存应用性能的潜力。 • 德国化学公司 Evonik 已经收购 美国的 3D 打印材料技术初创公 司 Structured Polymers Inc， 并通过后者提供的新专利技 术，扩大其特殊聚合物粉末在 添加剂制造市场的业务。 • 全球第三大的软包装生产商 Constantia Flexibles 将收购 TT-print 的大部分股权。它在俄 罗斯 Voskresensk 的生产基地， 主要生产制药和食品工业包装。 • 德国化学公司BASF已经获得 欧盟委员会的有条件批准，收 购比利时公司Solvay的聚酰胺 （PA）业务。在完成所有剩余 的成交条件后，包括向第三方出 售补偿方案，有关收购预计将在 2019年下半年完成。 • Sun European Partners 的附 属公司已经完成向Sinochem International (Overseas) Pte脱 售其在西班牙的 ABS 树脂及衍 生物制造商 Elix Polymers 的投 资，价值为 1.95 亿欧元。 • 美国 Alpek Polyester旗下的 DAK Americas 公司将收购 Perpetual Recycling Solutions 在美国里士满的45,000吨／年产 能的 rPET 薄片PET回收工厂。它 将 辅 助 Alpek目 前 在 阿 根 廷 的 食 品级PET回收能力，以及它在美 国的纤维级回收合资工厂。
工厂设置／扩展 • BASF 和印度企业集团 Adani Group 正在评估一项总额约 20 亿欧元的大型联合投资计划，其 中BASF将在印度的丙烯酸价值 链中占有大部分股权。指定地点 位于古吉拉特邦的蒙德拉港，包 括丙烷脱氢（PDH）、氧代 C4 配合物（丁醇和2-乙基己醇）、 冰丙烯酸（GAA）、丙烯酸丁酯 （BA）及其他下游产品之生产 工厂的运作。 其他消息方面，BASF 计划 在中国广东建立一个新的智能站 点，投资额达 100 亿美元，并已 向前迈进了一步。该项目将包括 一个全资拥有的蒸汽裂解装置， 计划产能为100 万吨／年的乙 烯，以及数家以消费者为导向的 产品与解决方案的工厂。 • Ineos Styrolution 已作出最终 投资决定，在其位于德克萨斯 州 Bayport 的工厂建造一座新的 100,000 吨 ASA 工厂。预计将 于 2021 年开始启动。 其 他 消 息 ，I n e o s 已经选择 比利时安特卫普作为其乙烷气体 裂解装置和世界级 PDH 装置在 欧洲的据点。这项 30 亿欧元的 投资是 20 年来欧洲化工行业最 大的投资，可能会改变比利时的 经济面貌。 • 德国的 Covestro 正在泰国的 Map Ta Phut 工业区建造新的 PC 薄 膜 生 产 线 。 总 投 资 额 超 过 1 亿欧元，包括扩建相关的基础 设施和物流。 • 中国的 Xinjiang Tianli Gaoxin Petrochemical (Tianli Gaoxin) 选 择 了 比 利 时 聚 烯 烃 公 司 Lyondellbasell 的 Lupotech T 工艺技术，将它应用在新疆独山 子新建的一座20万吨／年产能的 LDPE 和 EVA工厂。 • 总部位于中国的Zhejiang Petrochemical Co Ltd (ZPC)， 正在浙江省舟山市展开第二阶段 的综合炼油与石化工厂工程。 该综合工厂是中国目前国家经济 发展计划中几个新的大型工业基
地之一。ZPC将采用 Honeywell UOP 的一系列工艺技术，进行加 氢处理和重油改质，并为塑料树 脂、薄膜和纤维制造芳烃。 石油巨头BP和韩国化学公司 Lotte 将通过消除瓶颈行动，将 其在韩国蔚山的合资公司 Lotte BP Chemical 的醋酸产能扩大 至 100,000 吨／年。双方也计划 在 2020 年底前增加第二个 VAM 工厂，使现有的 20 万吨／年的 VAM 产能翻倍。 总部位于德国的 KRAIBURG TPE 已经启动它在马来西亚工厂的新 生产线，将产能提高 35%，并将 KRAIBURG TPE 的全球总生产 能力提升至 60,000 吨／年。配 合新生产线的启动，KRAIBURG TPE 正在扩大其马来西亚的办事 处和仓库。该公司也将扩大它在 越南河内的销售网络。 锂离子电池制造商 SK Innovation 投资 16.7 亿美元，在美国佐治亚 州建立一个新的电动汽车（EV） 电池制造厂。SK Innovation 的 客户包括 Mercedes-Benz 和 Hyundai-Kia Motors。预计新工 厂将加强它在美国的业务，并创 造逾 2,000 个就业机会。 澳洲的PU产品制造商Era Polymers，投资 920 万美元在 美国北卡罗来纳州的一家工厂。 这个占地 140,000 平方英尺的工 厂先前为 DSM 所使用。该公司 目前在南非、纽西兰和澳洲生产 PU系统。 Total 与 Hanwha 的 50／50 合资企业 Hanwha Total Petrochemical 投资5亿美元，进 一步扩大其位于韩国的 Daesan 综 合炼油和石化综合企业。到 2020 年底，该投资将使 PP 产能增加 60%，至 100 万吨／年；并将乙 烯产能增加 10%，至 150 万吨。 Total 和 Corbion 的 50／50 合资 企业 Total Corbion PLA，已在 泰国罗勇启动其 75,000 吨／年 产量的 PLA 生物塑料工厂。有了 这家工厂，该公司在全球的 PLA 生物塑料产量将增加近 50%，至 240,000 吨／年。
• BP 和 Socar Turkey 正在考虑 成立一家合资公司，于土耳其 经营一家世界级石化产品综合企 业。拟建的设施位于土耳其西部 的 Aliaga，每年将生产 125 万吨 PTA，840,000 吨／年的对二甲苯 和 340,000 吨／年的苯。双方正 在寻求 2019 年潜在的最终投资决 策，并预计在 2023 年启动。 • Evonik 位于美国阿克的工厂已经 开始为 PMMA 启动一条额外生 产线，以使特殊模塑料的产能翻 倍。该业务范围据称是世界上唯 一一家在美洲、欧洲和亚洲，全 面整合 MMA/PMMA 生产网络及 下游复合生产的 PMMA 制造商。
机械新闻 • 加拿大模具制造商 StackTeck Systems 在北美以外地区，即 韩国设立其第一家模具制造厂。 该模具制造工厂于 2010 年开始 成为其母公司的子公司，专注 于为PET瓶坯、医疗和包装应 用制造模具。此业务现在称为 StackTeck Asia。它目前拥有三 台具备模具条件的 PET 机器；在 加拿大拥有一个 150 吨的 PET 试 验室。 • 为了满足印度软包装行业对国 产挤出涂层及层压机械日益增长 的需求，印度机械制造商 Rajoo Engineers 与轮转凹版印刷和层 压机械供应商 Kohli Industries 进行合作。Rajoo-Kohli Lamex 系列挤出涂层和层压生产线将在 Rajoo 位于古吉拉特邦 Rajkot 的 工厂组装。 • 奥地利机械制造商 SML已向泰 国的 Sigma Stretch Film of Asia 出售第一条流延拉伸薄膜 生产线。美国的 Sigma Plastics Group 与泰国工业制袋商 King Pac Industrial 的合资公司将借 助Sigma和 King Pac 的经验， 希望将业务扩展至流延拉伸薄 膜市场。该生产线将安装在一个 逾 300,000 平方英尺的新定制工 厂，每年可生产约 20,400 吨拉 伸薄膜。
• 意 大 利 挤 出 机 械 制 造 商 Colines 与工业解决方案供应商 Rieckermann 合作，代表该公司 在亚洲，以及在中国、泰国、越 南、韩国、日本和菲律宾提供售 后服务。 • 2 0 1 6 年 被 中 国 化 工 公 司 ChemChina 收购的德国机器制 造 商 Kr aussMaf f ei G ro u p ， 已于 2018 年 12 月在上海证券 交易所完成上市。它是通过将 ChemChina 在 KraussMaffei 的股权转让给 ChemChina 持 有大部分股权，并且在上海证 券交易所上市的子公司 THY （ Qingdao Tianhu a In s ti tu te of Chemist r y Eng i n e e ri n g ） 完成上市。此外，THY 也接管 了 ChemChina 在 中 国 三 明 的 生产基地。未来将在该工厂 生产供应中国市场的新型注 塑机。
RJA 新闻 • 瑞 典 的 T r e l l e b o r g 在 印 度 投 资生产工厂，制造两轮摩托车 轮胎，以扩大其在欧洲的产 量。该投资将成为 Trelleborg 与 Yogesh Agencies & Investments 的合资企业的一 部分，后者为 Mahansaria 家族 所持有。预计将于 2020 年底开 始供应轮胎。。 • 今 年 ， N okian Hea v y T y re s 将 在芬兰诺基亚建立一个新研发 中心。此中心佔地 3,500 平 方米，乃大幅扩增产能的一部 分 。 Nokian H eav y T y re s 正 在进行为期三年，共 7000 万欧 元的研发和生产投资，并定下 50% 产 能 增 长 目 标。 • 科 技 公 司 C o n t i n e n t a l 在 德 国 的安克拉姆开设了一个 30,000 平方米的研究实验室，用于生 产蒲公英植物基天然橡胶。该 中心将成为日后的农业研究 及俄罗斯蒲公英提取工艺的据 点。未来的计划涉及将蒲公英 农场扩大到 800公顷以支持这 项研究。 JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019
新聞 業 界
• H a i n a n R u b b e r G r o u p 已 经 设立一个新的研究设施，与中 国最大的航空航天材料工程研 究院，北京航空材料研究所的 Aero Engine Corp. 合作，开 始研发石墨烯和天然橡胶复合 材料。该实验室将依据中国航 天研究所的研究和应用，将石 墨烯引入天然橡胶材料，并结 合 Haijiao Group 的天然橡胶 复合材料的湿混技术，提高材 料的物理性能。 • 德国化学公司 Wacker Chemie 正积极地提高其全球的硅橡胶 生产能力，于 2021 年时增加 40,000 吨／年，投资额达到 1亿欧元。2019 年，该公司 计划在德国、美国和中国的生 产基地，进一步提高液体硅橡 胶（LSR）、高温和室温硫化 硅酮及导热硅氧烷化合物的产 能。此外，该公司也评估在美 国田纳西州的工厂建造一座固 体硅橡胶工厂。 • 中 国 轮 胎 制 造 商 P r i n x Chengshan 在泰国收购 2,250 英亩土地，价值为 2 千 500 万美元，作为其新工厂用 途。该公司选择泰国，因受益 于低成本的原材料和运输，以 及该国的优惠政策。 • 提 供 全 方 位 服 务 的 翻 新 产 品 供 应商 Marangoni Tread North America，正在扩大其位于 美国田纳西州的胎面加工厂， 以提高现有产品的产能，并为 2019 年第二季度的新生产线 作 好 准 备 。 • 据创始人丹斯里林伟才表示，全 球最大的橡胶手套制造商，马来 西亚的顶级手套集团，可能会扩 大其在土耳其的业务，因为该国 从顶级手套进口 70% 的手套。 扩建行动正按计划进行，预计公 司的生产线总数将增加 148 条， 手套产能将达到 148 亿只／年。 到 2020 年 12 月，顶级手套预 计将拥有 796 条生产线，年产能 为753 亿只手套。 • 总 部 位 于 瑞 典 ， 从 事 废 弃 轮 胎 （ELT）材料回收工业设备的 JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019
Enviro Systems 公司；与加 拿大的回收商 Treadcraft 计划 成立一家合资企业，在美国纽 约共同运营一家 30,000 吨／ 年 的 回 收 工 厂 。 Vietnam Rubber Group 已在 北部的 Son La 省开设了价值 480万美元的新橡胶乳胶加工 厂。该工厂占地 16 公顷，拥 有两条生产线，年产 9,000 吨 橡胶胶乳。目前运营的是首个 6,000 吨／年产能的橡胶乳胶 生产线；而第二个生产线预计 将在 2020 年完成。 美 国 润 滑 油 添 加 剂 公 司 Shepherd Chemical 投 资 850万美元，扩建其法国 Mirecourt的业务，包括增设 第三座反应堆、新的仓库和升 级研发试验设施。加上最近在 美国业务的投资，Shepherd 表示，它是为了迎合用于子 午线轮胎安全的橡胶粘合促进 剂，以及用于清洁燃料的炼油 厂脱硫催化剂而设的。 Shandong Sunsine Chemical 是China Sunsine Chemical Holdings 的全资子公司，已获 得政府批准其3万吨级加速器 TBBS 扩建项目的测试运行。 该项目分为两个阶段，并已完 成第一阶段，一条 10,000 吨 的生产线。预计商业化生产将 使公司的加速器产能从 87,000 增加到 97,000 吨／年，总产 能从162,000 提高到 172,000 吨／年。 印度最大的炭黑生产商和出 口商 Phillips Carbon Black (PCBL),已将泰米尔纳德邦、 安德拉邦和特伦甘纳亚这三个 地点列入其150 万吨炭黑工厂 的入围名单。诸如靠近港口、 用户行业如汽车单位，以及财 政激励措施等因素将有助该公 司在“数个月内”确定工厂的 位置。该公司也在西孟加拉邦 和喀拉拉邦各有一个工厂。 轮胎／橡胶机械制造商VMI Group 已经扩大其波兰的生产 设施，该生产设施于 2017 年
启动。继其所说的 Leszno 工 厂取得“前所未有的成功”之 后，这家荷兰公司已经增加了 另外两个生产车间。在第一阶 段，于 8 公顷的土地上建造一 个 13,500 平方米的设施，以 扩 大 公 司 目 前 的 生 产 能 力 。 • 丹 麦 的 催 化 剂 公 司 H a l d o r T o p s o e 与 俄 罗 斯 P J S C Nizhnekamskneftekhim 公司 签订了一项新的甲醇装置的许 可证和工程服务，该装置年产 能为 50 万吨，将建造在俄罗 斯西南部，鞑靼斯坦的喀山。 甲醇是用来生产甲醛，以作 为该公司生产异戊二烯橡胶 的 原 料 。 • 法 国 轮 胎 制 造 商 M i c h e l i n 透 过投资者集团持有的 4.39 亿 美元，收购了印尼同胞 PT Multistrada Arah Sarana Tbk 的 80% 股权，后者生 产Achilles和 Corsa 轮胎品 牌。视某些交接费用调整而 定，该公司过后将以其向投 资者集团提供的相同价格为 剩余的已发行股票发起公开 发售。Multistrada 是上市交 易的公司，为企业集团Salim Group 所持有。 相关新闻，Michelin 以 13.6 亿美元完成了对 Camso 的收购。Camso 取得净销售 额 10 亿美元，专门生产用于农 场设备和雪地摩托车的橡胶履 带，以及用于物料搬运设备的 固体和斜交轮胎，其制造业务 包 括 在 斯 里 兰 卡 。 • 美 国 的 私 募 股 权 投 资 公 司 Wynnchurch Capital，已经 完成对 Buchanan Rubber 的 收购，后者是加拿大的工业软 管、接头及板材橡胶的分销 商。Buchanan 将成为不断成 长之分销平台的一部分，该平 台包括 Anderson Metals， 这是一家美国分销商和制造 商，拥有超过12,000 个库存 单位，包括阀门、配件、管接 头和相关产品；以及同样是美 国分销商的 Midland Metal
業界新聞 Manufacturing 公司，拥 有超过 13,000 个库存单 位，包括阀门、配件和相 关产品。 • 法 国 的 橡 胶 和 复 合 材 料 解 决方案开发商 Borflex， 正在收购瑞士公司 Rex Articoli Tecnici，这是一 家专门生产橡胶和热塑性 塑料零件的公司。Rex 的 主要市场是铁路车辆和铁 路基础设施、多材料技术 零件，以及以 SwissStop 品 牌 销 售 的 自 行 车 刹 车 系 统 。 通 过 这 项 收 购，Borflex 有望巩固其市 场地位，并使集团的综合 营业额达到约 4,600 万欧 元。 • 总 部 位 于 俄 亥 俄 州 的 Cooper Tire & Rubber 正 与非公路轮胎和全钢带轮胎 制造商 Sailun Vietnam Co 著手成立一家合资企业， 在胡志明市建造一座 200万 辆／年产能的卡车和巴士 子午线轮胎工厂。Cooper 将持有合资企业的 35% 股 权，并投资高达 2.4 亿美 元。工厂将于 2020 年上半 年开始生产轮胎。 • 由 总 部 位 于 东 京 的 Kuraray 和Sumitomo Corporation，以及曼谷 的 PTT Global Chemical 联合创立，总部设于曼谷 的合资企业 Kuraray GC Advanced Materials， 将在罗勇府玛塔普投资 丁 二 烯 衍 生 物 业 务 。 它将建造一个 13,000 吨／年产能的高耐热聚 酰胺-9T（PA9T）工 厂；16,000 吨／年产能 的氢化苯乙烯嵌段共聚 物（HSBC）工厂，以及 年产能为 5,000 吨的3甲 基-1.5-戊二烯（MPD） 工厂，投资额为 400 亿 日元。建造工程预计将于 2021 年底完工。
• 位 于 科 隆 的 特 殊 化 学 品 公 司 Lanxess，已经将其在 橡胶公司 Arlanxeo 的剩 余 50% 股权售予 Saudi Aramco。这家特殊化学 品学公司在 Arlanxeo 的 剩余股权是转让给前合 资伙伴 Saudi Aramco。 作为回报，Lanxess获得 14 亿欧元的收益，用于 加强其财务基础并显着地 降低其净金融负债。总部 位于荷兰马斯特里赫特的 Arlanxeo，2017 年的销 售额达到 32 亿欧元，在 9 个国家的 20 个生产基地拥 有 3,800 名 员 工 。 • 建 筑 、 汽 车 和 工 业 领 域 聚 合 物 解 决 方 案 的 系 统 与 服 务 供 应 商 Rehau Group，已经 完成对 MB Barter & Trading（MBT）的收 购，后者是一家瑞士的家 族企业，主要生产商品聚 合物、PET 和橡胶。 • 法 国 的 振 动 控 制 、 流 体 管理和密封系统技术供 应商Hutchinson，正 在 收 购 美 国 的 工 程 公 司 M i dé T e c h n o l o g y C o r p o r a t i o n 。 M i dé Technology 专业于智能 材料技术和机电整合。 • B r i d g e s t o n e E u r o p e 将以 9 亿1 千万欧元收 购 TomTom 的远程信 息处理业务。该交易预 计将于2019 年第二季 完成。TomTom是欧洲 数字车队解决方案供应 商，其安装的用户群为 860,000辆车，其中三 分之二以上是商用车。它 拥有量身定制的走向市 场市系统和高级数字产 品，包括 WebFleet 和 NextFleet。该公司平均 每天处理 8 亿个 GPS 位 置，330 万次行程和 2 亿 个入站消息。
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South Korea: where innovation is king for growth of industries Call it the Korean Wave! South Korea’s claim to fame goes beyond its cultural economy popularised by Hallyu and culinary tourism. Its flair for innovation has transformed the country into a major global innovator resilient to economic downturns, says Angelica Buan in this report.
outh Korea is the world’s fifth largest exporter and the 15th largest economy. The latest World Bank (WB) data places its GDP at US$1.6 trillion. The country has enjoyed moderate inflation, since the Asian financial crisis in late 1990s, and has promoted the implementation of economic reforms, opening up to more foreign investments; and flexing its free trade agreements to 27, some with its major markets of China and the US. Strong as it is, South Korea, dubbed as the Land of the Morning Calm, buckled to the detrimental impact of certain global economic issues, such as the trade feud between the US and China. China and the US are the country’s leading export destinations, respectively accounting for export values of US$142.1 billion and US$68.8 billion in 2017. According to the Korea Development Institute (KDI)’s analysis, domestic demand in both China and South Korea will be affected by the China-US trade dispute. KDI estimated that a 10% decrease in China’s exports to the US could dent South Korea’s GDP by a slight 0.31%. Already, revenues from South Korea’s major products have German machine maker Dr Boy’s South Korean shrunk along China’s representative SCM (Scientific Chemical Machinery) will economic slowdown. present three models of machinery, including a 63-kN XXS A data from the producing bookmark clips, equipped with 3D-printed mould Ministry of Trade, inserts. Boy says the printed mould inserts are a more costIndustry and Energy effective alternative to traditional metal moulds for the use (MOTIE) indicated that in prototype manufacturing and small batch production. Boy adds that South Korea is one of the fastest-growing markets exports to China in in the areas of prototyping and material testing equipment January fell by 19.1% as well as technical parts, and in the high-class automotive to US$10.8 billion, sector due to a decline in sales of semiconductors, general machinery, petroleum products, and wireless communication devices. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019
Country Focus On the whole, South Korea’s exports in January were shown to decrease 5.8% to US$46.4 billion against the same period a year ago. If this was not enough, South Korea’s economic growth rate also showed it has cooled to 2.7% in 2018 against the 3.1% growth over the previous year. KDI, which projected growth this year to continue to linger below the 3% mark, points to the weak performance of the manufacturing sector, along with the services and construction sectors, as stunting the growth. Mecca for technology: betting on semiconductors, chips and OLEDs But it is not all downhill. Growth industries, such as electric vehicles, renewables, and packaging, are anticipated to buoy the economy, plus the government has identified what it calls “new promising export items”, including secondary batteries and displays. South Korea can also tap into its capability in technology and innovation. In this aspect, the country has already outpaced two of Asia’s highly developed economies, Singapore and Japan, according to the Bloomberg Innovation Index 2018.
South Korea supplies more than half of the world's demand for memory chips
The semiconductor industry, specifically memory chips manufacturing, is South Korea’s asset. This industry ranks second in the world, representing over 16% of the entire global market. It also supplies more than half of the world’s demand for memory chips. In the last quarter of 2018, South Korea’s semiconductor exports crossed US$100 billion, surpassing the previous year’s exports valued at U$98 billion, MOTIE said. This is attributed to technology titans like multinational electronics company Samsung and SK Hynix, the world's second-largest memory chipmaker and the fifth-largest semiconductor company. The government, in bid to further boost the chip market as well as its display technology capability, has bankrolled KRW2 trillion for developing next-generation chips and post-OLEDs (organic light emitting diodes); as well as for solid-state, lithium-sulphur and lithium-metal batteries through joint investments with the private sector.
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The OLED market posted a double-digit growth of 12.8% to US$799 million in January due to increasing demand for large panels and mobile phones, as well as due to the rising OLED prices. For example, exports of secondary batteries rose 14.5% to US$660 million, and have consistently shown growth for three consecutive years, against the back of increased demand in electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage systems. Around KRW120 trillion will be invested by the private sector to build an industrial cluster for chip businesses, which would house four fabrication plants and about 50 suppliers. The construction of the new cluster will begin in 2021 and start chip manufacturing from 2025. Maintaining a global lead with EVs, hydrogen cars South Korea’s automotive industry remains a key economic driver, accounting for 10% of the country’s GDP, with the rise of eco-friendly cars and EVs contributing significantly to the growth. Meanwhile, hydrogen vehicles are making inroads as the country is pushing for clean energy, and to reduce dependency from imported energy sources. The country closed last year with a double digit growth in automotive production as well as exports compared to a year earlier, according to MOTIE. In January this year, automobile exports increased 22.6% year-on-year to 219,313 vehicles on account of newly introduced models, a base effect, and higher demand for eco-friendly cars, it said. Overseas shipments of eco-friendly cars increased 70.8% to 22,933 vehicles. Likewise, domestic sales of green cars reached 12,374 units, up by 19.3%. Backing up the automotive industry, the government has laid out a comprehensive plan including injecting funds of up to KRW3.5 trillion of liquidity support and loan guarantees for automotive makers who would like to secure new businesses. Moreover, the government is reinforcing its goal to increase EV use to 430,000 vehicles by 2022 and to pump up production of locally manufactured green cars from the current 1.5% to more than 10%.
By 2040, South Korea is raising production of hydrogen vehicles to 6.2 million
Country Focus Moving forward, exports of EVs are anticipated to increase seven times from the current 36,000 units to 250,000 units, while exports of hydrogen vehicles will be expanded 17 times to 5,000/year by 2022. South Koreaâ€™s hydrogen economy roadmap sets to promote eco-friendly automobiles and power cells that could generate KRW43 trillion for the economy by 2040. On target by 2040 is to raise production of hydrogen vehicles to 6.2 million, including 3.3 million for exports; hydrogen refuelling stations to 1,200, and to ramp up supply of power-generating fuel cells. The increased production is also expected to generate positive growth for related industries, such as automotive parts. Costs and safety risks of utilising hydrogen energy are also being addressed. Hydrogen reportedly costs approximately KRW8,000/kg, and the government plans to more than halve the cost by 2040. Meanwhile, charging stations can be installed in downtown areas to mitigate risks, if any. It is expected that with the increased production of hydrogen-powered vehicles, South Korea will be positioned as a global leader in eco-friendly car manufacturing. Beating headwinds with innovations, partnerships Major industry players including Hyundai, Kia, GM Korea, SsangYong and Renault Samsung have remained resilient through the cycle of decreased output of 2.1% in 2018, due to a slowdown in domestic sales and exports, as well as the temporary shutdown of some of the factories. However, an anticipated rebound is expected this year with new models, partnerships, innovation of mobility concepts, and push of more sales domestically and in developed markets, other than the US and China. In 2018, Hyundai Motor posted 1.8% increase in vehicle sales, led by its enhanced SUV line up, it said. Total sales in markets, other than South Korea, were up nearly 5.6 million units, represented by sales growth in major regions including Europe, Russia and Brazil. Its domestic sales rose by 4.7% to 721,078 units, against the previous year.
Austrian machinery maker Engel will be at the Koplas show displaying its E-victory injection moulding machine for the production of LED lenses from LSR
Targeting a combined sales of 4.68 million units this year, Hyundai said it is continuing to buttress its smart mobility solutions capabilities, while increasing investments in R&D and expanding strategic partnerships with global ICT leaders. Hyundai has also partnered with its peer car maker, Kia Motors, for an EV charging and automated valet parking system (AVPS) concept. According to the partners, the system will offer convenience to drivers who are faced with overcrowding of both parking and charging locations as EVs are becoming mainstream. Hyundai and Kia are considering commercialising the technology upon the launch of level 4 autonomous vehicles by 2025. Hyundai and Kia also plan to commercialise autonomous vehicles in various smart cities from 2021, with a goal of launching fully autonomous vehicles by 2030. Seoul-headquartered Kia Motors is flexing its capabilities in eco-friendly vehicles, as well as advancing into manufacturing autonomous and connected cars. The car maker posted global sales of 208,908 units of passenger cars, recreational vehicles (RVs) and commercial vehicles in January, representing a 1.2% year-on-year increase. SsangYong Motor, the South Korean unit of Indian car maker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, is raising KRW50 billion to invest into new vehicle development and modernisation of its production facility. The company, which posted 0.2% decreased sales in December, is gaining momentum on increased domestic sales, which went up slightly by 0.1% to 10,656 units in December. Relatedly, SsangYong Motor is campaigning its future mobility vision, to produce more autonomous, connected vehicles and EVs. Incheon-headquartered GM Korea reported January sales of 38,705 units, with domestic sales totalling 5,053 units, and exports of 33,652 units. The company, which exported about 1 million complete vehicles and vehicle kits to about 120 markets around the world in 2018, is currently working on its plan to complete the spin-off of its R&D operations into a standalone company. Even with the backing of major shareholders, the spin-off had been opposed by unionised workers on concerns of closure in the long-term. But GM has assured workers it would not close its South Korean manufacturing facilities and the new standalone company, GM Technical Centre Korea, started operations in early January. GM Korea, along with its industry compatriots, has vowed to continue to innovate to moor the countryâ€™s economy to more stable grounds and greater competitiveness. It is against this backdrop that the 25th edition of the plastics machinery show, Koplas 2019, will be held from 12-16 March in Goyang, South Korea. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019
Chinaplas to present a rich assortment of concurrent events
uring the past year, the operating environment for most industries became increasingly complex. It is more vital than ever for enterprising businesses to anticipate key market trends, to understand the industrial structure with a global perspective, and to master technological innovation. CHINAPLAS 2019, with its aim to promote the plastics and rubber industries’ development by focusing on technology and creativity, offers an international platform for the release and exchange of information related to advanced new technologies. The show will not only feature more than 3,500 exhibitors, but also will organize a series of exciting concurrent events to address those industries’ needs. “We saw that exhibitors and visitors not only seek to secure the supply and demand of key materials, equipment and services at CHINAPLAS, but they also actively discuss hot topics, and explore industry trends and opportunities,” said Ada Leung, General Manager of Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd., the show organizer. “We showcase innovative products and cutting-edge solutions together with exhibitors who are industrial leaders of the world. In addition, the show features a number of concurrent events covering the circular economy, Industry 4.0, industrial design, medical plastics, and much more. With richer content, more diversified forms, and more practical solutions than ever, CHINAPLAS offers ways for upstream and downstream members of the supply chain to collaborate and create new opportunities for growth. We aim to empower the development of the plastics and rubber industries,” Leung said. Plastics Recycling & Circular Economy Conference and Showcase China’s decision to prohibit the import of solid waste from other countries, and its policies designed to promote development of renewable resources represent only the beginning of some structural changes. More sustainable development and environmental protection policies are bound to come. In this new era of the circular economy, China highly values the development of the renewable resources industry. What is more, recycling technologies are constantly evolving and improving, providing a boost to the industry. How can your company realize commercial opportunities related to the global trend of resource conservation in 2019? How can plastics feasibly contribute to the cause of sustainable development? Focusing on the concerns of the industry, CHINAPLAS 2019 and CPRJ - China Plastics and Rubber Journal will jointly host the “Plastics Recycling & Circular Economy Conference and Showcase” in Guangzhou on May 20, 2019 (the day before CHINAPLAS 2019 opens).
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Integrating conference and exhibition elements, the one-day, specialized event will feature more than 20 expert presenters, and is expected to attract more than 300 elite attendees from the plastics, rubber and packaging industries. The conference is built around three themes: “Material Science for Sustainability”, “Recycling Technology” and “Environmental Packaging”. Topics will cover the production and current applications of recycled plastics, advances in plastics recycling technology and processing, the latest in environmentally friendly materials and additives, and how companies can save on costs through greater use of postindustrial recycled materials. Recyclers and recycled material users (including retailers and brands) will share environmental solutions and real success stories from the packaging, electrical and electronics, and automotive industries. Industry 4.0 Factory of the Future How to speed up the implementation of industry 4.0, which continues to sweep the globe? Industry practitioners who aspire to see in real life the operation of a future factory or to find solutions to practical problems can visit the “Industry 4.0 Factory of the Future” at CHINAPLAS 2019. The event is a product of combined force of the show’s organizer and core supporters of Industry 4.0 – iPlast 4.0, EUROMAP and VDMA. What makes this conference different and stand out from previous Industry 4.0 events is that visitors can personally experience the real “Industry 4.0 Factory of the Future”. There will be two themed areas, “Manufacturing Intelligence Control Room” and “Smart Factory”, to demonstrate implementable intelligent solutions. The control room will be located on the viewing deck of Hall 4.2 in the Exhibition Hall. It will display operational data recorded at both the on-site machines and a remote smart factory, while the “Smart Factory” located at Booth 4.2D01 in the “Smart Manufacturing Technology Zone” will simulate the production environment of the future manufacturing industry and demonstrate how engineers and the control room communicate through data. Visitors can view 15 simulation scenarios – from production, management and supply chain, including shift handover, KPI monitoring at multiple production sites, and material traceability. Additionally, visitors can assess the progress toward Industry 4.0, and its practical benefits, by using the “Inject 4.0 Online Diagnosis Service” for companies and the “Inject 4.0 Online Application Engineer Evaluation” for technical personnel. Moreover, CHINAPLAS 2019 also will offer customized consultation. Confirmed enterprises that will join in these activities include Engel, Ningbo Zhafir Plastics Machinery Co. Ltd, Sumitomo, Piovan, Matsui, TIG, and Monitor, among others.
Advertorial Design x Innovation Industrial design continues to be a popular topic at CHINAPLAS. For this year’s show, we will join forces with the Guangzhou Industrial Design Association to present “Design x Innovation”, which comprises three parts: “CMF Inspiration Walls”, “Design Forum” and “CHINAPLAS Designers’ Night”. The “CMF Inspiration Walls” reflect three key elements – Color, Materials and Finish – and they reveal some of the emerging technologies being developed to advance CMF design for plastics. Last year, the technicolor exhibits from Springfield CMF Technology Co. Ltd. enthralled and impressed visitors, who scrutinized and touched more than 140 samples of products made using Springfield’s Differential Pressure Overlay Decoration (DOD) process. Covestro and Springfield will be repeat sponsors of this event, and the show organizer is pleased to welcome firsttime participating company PolyOne. The show organizer is also increasing the number of display locations from two to three. CHINAPLAS 2019 will feature Design Forums in two locations, fashioned around two themes, including “CMF Design”, a popular theme from last year, and "Design for Recycling/Sustainability” in response to the show’s focus on "Green Technology". The show is glad to introduce a new highlight – CHINAPLAS Designers’ Night, with the theme “Connect & Inspire”. Product designers, engineers, product developers, corporate decision makers, exhibitors, partners, and others from electrical and electronics and related industries are invited to enjoy food and wine at the Langham Place Guangzhou Hotel. In such a relaxed atmosphere, let us see what kinds of ideas and possibilities will be inspired. Tech Talk Tech Talk, celebrating its third year, has become part of the repertoire of CHINAPLAS. This year, it will be held from May 21-23, and its topics will drill deeper into the application industries and highlight practicality. It will not only showcase major technological breakthroughs of exhibitors, but also provide a platform for professional buyers to better understand the challenges currently facing the plastics and rubber industries. By way of open forums, the event will bring together the highlights of CHINAPLAS 2019, showcase the latest and hottest product technologies of the year, and focus clearly on cutting-edge solutions in automotive, electrical and electronics, building and construction, packaging, and other industries. We also have expanded and refined Tech Talk to include 11 major themes, including new energy vehicles, automotive thermoplastic elastomers, 3D printing, bioplastics, composites, antimicrobial applications, in-mould labelling, precision extrusion, green building solutions, plastics for wearable electronics, long fibre injection moulding, and more. Medical Plastics Connect The medical plastics market continues to evolve and develop, with more exhibitors plunging into that field,
which has great potential and value. A gem of CHINAPLAS for the past four years, “Medical Plastics Connect” actively promotes medical-grade chemical raw materials and equipment to create an efficient communication platform for medical device, consumables, and pharmaceutical packaging manufacturers. These activities aim to pinpoint for potential buyers the unique medical plastics technologies among the many exhibits active in this sector. "Medical Plastics Connect” activities include “Open Forum”, “Pop-up Kiosk”, “Medical Plastics Guidebook” and “Medical Plastics Guided Tour”. This year, we will expand the display of high-end market technologies, such as 3D printing and pharmaceutical packaging. The open forum has earned a good reputation, and attendees have generally agreed it has improved year over year. In response to market needs, we have decided on a number of hot technology topics for the "Medical Plastics Open Forum 2019", including medical-grade masterbatches, biocompatible materials, resins that are resistant to disinfection, automated packaging equipment, high- precision injection moulding, sterilization packaging technology, 3D printing, medical composite bags, ultrasonic welding, hot and cold runners, and more. Over 70 not-to-be-missed technical seminars In addition to a series of wonderful concurrent events, there are more than 70 technical seminars at CHINAPLAS 2019. The organizer will also hold a number of activities extending to multiple application industries to help the industries grasp the current situation of the market. CHINAPLAS, now on a par with K Show in Germany, is returning to Guangzhou this year and will be held in Guangzhou, PR China, from May 21-24, 2019. An estimated total of over 3,500 exhibitors from all over the world will be presenting to more than 180,000 professional visitors from 150 countries and regions. CHINAPLAS 2019 is going to be an extravaganza. Visitors can enjoy admission discount through online pre-registration from now till May 13, 2019, at an early-bird rate of USD 7.5 for a four-day pass. Visitors will receive a visitor badge in advance to enjoy express counter for fast entry if they pre-register on or before February 28, 2019. To pre-register, please visit www.ChinaplasOnline.com/prereg. For more information about CHINAPLAS 2019, please visit www.ChinaplasOnline.com. JANUARY / FFEBRUARY 2019
Indonesia in readiness for a sustainability agenda Indonesia is making the cut in its Industry 4.0 ambitions with a sustainability agenda. Sustainability through the recycling innovation was an overarching theme at the Plastics and Rubber (P&R) Indonesia show held in November last year in Jakarta. Organised by PT Pamerindo Indonesia, the show featured technology solutions for recycling, material economies and productivity across a range of industries.
From a top polluter to a waste-solution provider? A 2015 University of Georgia study alleging Indonesia as the world’s worst polluter of the oceans has pushed the country to right its wrongs, such as its commitment to reducing waste by 70% by 2025, and investing US$1 billion/year to curb waste accumulation in its oceans. The government has also struck deals with investors to create an infrastructure for this. However, not all Indonesians are convinced by the US study. Amelia Maran of the Indonesia Plastic Recyclers (IPR) refuted the 2015 study, opining that the sampling and information used were not obtained first hand from Indonesia. As well, the methodology used is under question by the Ministry of Industry. Meanwhile, Sutrisno of the 60-member GIATPI (Indonesia Woven Polyolefin Manufacturers Association) also said the Georgia study pitched “incorrect data”. He added, “When we make our products, we make it a point that we use recyclable materials.” While the waste management situation in Indonesia is far from perfect, challenges are being addressed, said Maran. “Government regulation is still lacking for effective recycling. Now, we are just starting to disseminate information to the public about recycling,” she said, adding that IPR is a relatively new organisation that has yet a clear vision of a circular economy. The association currently has 40 members, all of whom are recycling companies. Amelia Maran of IPR says that despite “Indonesia has a sizeable recycling the fact that Indonesia has a sizeable industry, with about 1.1 million tonnes/ recycling industry, it is still low at year of plastic waste recycled,” Maran 20% said. Yet, the rate is still low at 20%, she said, suggesting the need for more municipal recycling facilities (MRFs) and the implementation of a proper waste management/collection system. The plastic bag ban, specifically in retail markets, Maran observed has lacked the grit to curb waste. “Some supermarkets have started charging for plastic bags but this practice has been stopped, to avoid the bags landing up in landfills and thereafter in the oceans.” Plastic ban not a cure-all to waste problem PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical, Indonesia’s largest petrochemical company, is also of a mind that the bottom line of the waste problem is not the plastic itself but in how people manage waste. “Chandra Asri is focusing on educating people,” said Andri Wijaya, Engineer Technical Services. Wijaya and his colleague, Polymer Sales Executive Mario Saputra, also opined that there are solutions more viable than a ban. “We need to think of ways to recover energy from waste plastic as well as use the waste in road construction.” He offered that Chandra Asri is collaborating with the Ministry of People Housing and Public Works with its sustainable programme, whereby plastic waste is recycled into pellets, which are blended into a road bitumen mix, with the pellets making up 30% of the mix.
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Country Focus According to Andri Wijaya and Mario Saputra, Chandra Asri's sustainability programme includes promoting the use of plastic asphalt for roads
In fact, Chandra Asri’s petrochemical complex located in Cilegon, Banten, has made use of the plastic asphalt on a road outside, containing 6% or 3 tonnes of plastic waste, for a start. Meanwhile, Chandra Asri also offers the oxodegradable plastic. “Oxo-degradables degrade by oxygen, not by biological means. It is an oil-based option and the cost (of oxo-degradables) is nearly the same as that of conventional plastics. Thus, they are used in plastic bags by some retailers,” said Wijaya. Redeeming the value of plastic waste with recycling A prerequisite in a circular economy is the recyclability of materials. In this regard, recycling technologies become co-creators of the industry to achieve circularity. To counter the low adoption of recycling is to make the process less complicated and Polystar, a third time exhibitor in P&R Indonesia, says it offers such a solution. The firm says its HNT three-in-one machine line, which combines a cutter compactor with extruding and pelletising systems, boasts a high efficiency output and can process different plastic types, including HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, BOPP, OPP and CPP. Meanwhile, German blown film extrusion technology specialist Hosokawa Alpine, which was pitching its technology for film lines at the show, is pushing for complete PE solutions for films for better recyclability. “The future will be more on recyclability of products. Having said this, we need to create products that are easily recyclable,” said Joachim Oberhauer, Operations Director, at Hosokawa Alpine. “Many products are made with a combination of materials like PA, PE, and other such types that are complicated to recycle. That is why we are promoting the three or five-layer PE film solutions for better recyclability later,” he said.
The future will be more on recyclability of products, says Joachim Oberhauer of Hosokawa Alpine
Edge with energy and material economies Machines that are energy efficient are sought after for their promise of savings in energy consumption and production costs. Thailand-based blow moulding machine maker Sabmann Blasformtechnik was promoting its all-electric blow moulding (EBM) machines for producing containers of 5 ml to 100 l. Netnapit Hoonkaeo, Director, underscoring the significance of efficiency, assured that for processors wanting a switch from traditional hydraulic machines to Netnapit Hoonkaeo of EBMs can immediately Sabmann Blasformtechnik enjoy energy savings. emphasises on the significance of efficiency using an EBM “Energy consumption is around 0.22 kw/kg with up to about 60% savings,” Hoonkaeo said. KG Ravi and Suresh Mohan from PT Ergon Oil Indonesia reiterated that Indonesia’s lower cost of labour and operations, nonetheless, would benefit from energy efficient strategies. US-based Ergon that is involved in crude oil processing and naphthenic and paraffin speciality oils has storage facilities in Indonesia.
Ergon Oil's KG Ravi and Suresh Mohan say that Indonesia’s lower cost of labour and operations would benefit from energy efficient strategies
At the show, Ergon featured its Hyprene process oil, which Mohan touted as “genuine naphthenic oils produced to exacting specifications and designed for a variety of processing applications with good solvency, low odour and colour stability characteristics”. Meanwhile, Dutch dosing equipment firm Movacolor is latching onto accuracy to achieving savings. At the Jakarta show, Movacolor highlighted its gravimetric MC Balance doser, featuring a dosing cylinder and patented weighing technology, which ensures “accurate dosing, even when low dosage rates are required”. In this way, savings on expensive additives, like masterbatch, stabilisers and liquid additives, can be achieved, said Anders Olsson, Sales Director APAC for Movacolor. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019
Country Focus MC Balance’s dosing cylinder releases the additive in a steady flow, while the stepper motor ensures maximum control with no stoppages or pulsations, said Olsson. Representing the marvel of i4.0, MC Balance also calibrates the dosages and adjusts it automatically through the MCSmart system. Olsson explained: “MCSmart can monitor Movacolor's technologies like MC Balance doser assures accuracy every shot, right down and enables savings, says Anders to the percentages of Olsson additives and regrinds used. It’s like a 100% quality assurance software that is working 24 hours. The data is stored in a server and is easy to retrieve for later use.” Energy reduction is definitely a priority for customers, according to Dario Pagetti, Sales Area Manager, Colines, an Italian extrusion line producer. At the show, Colines introduced an MDO unit, equipped with cloud technology, for energy/ material savings. “We have introduced a new Energy reduction is a priority 4.0 industry software for customers, according to that allows us to manage Dario Pagetti of Colines and troubleshoot via a computer and the Internet, from Italy,” Pagetti said, adding that Colines runs service points in Indonesia as well as Thailand and India, and from this year, in China, too. First time exhibitor at the show, Austrian extrusion machinery maker SML, hails a combination of quality, innovation and efficiency as its formula for sustainability. At the show, the Malaysian arm of SML promoted lines for economical Quality, innovation and production of large efficiency are SML's formula quantities through the for sustainability, cites Gerald extra wide CPP film line. Ausweger
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With a maximum output of 2,300 kg/hour, the CPP line also provides the advantages of reduced labour costs as well as less kW/kg power consumption requirement. Gerald Ausweger, Managing Director at SML, also spoke about the new barrier sheet lines, installed in Thailand for a packaging company, as an example of efficiency SML caters to. Outlook for the Indonesian and Asian markets Polystar, which has recently moved to a much larger location in Tainan near its previous facility, has witnessed 30% growth in sales, according to David Lo, Marketing Manager of the Taiwanese recycling machine company, partly due to the opportunities presented by China’s plastic waste import ban. “Vietnam has been a main market; and Malaysia and Japan offer opportunities. This is since China has barred waste shipments from other countries and we are able to service these countries,” Lo said. Lo of Polystar sees recycling as a long term staple for i4.0 economies in Asia, including Indonesia. “In five to ten years, recycling will be an important business in Indonesia and in Asia. Recycling solutions will be important tools in the future due to the dwindling energy and petroleum supply. We can use plastic waste efficiently to recover energy for further use,” he said. Alluding to the potential of postIn five to ten years, recycling will be an important business in consumer waste as a Indonesia and in Asia, forecasts source of high-value David Lo of Polystar materials, Lo also said that recycling is an important issue in Indonesia as it is a huge market due to the large number of film processors catering to the packaging sector. SML, which accounts for half the global market share in stretch films, and is the largest supplier for cast film lines worldwide, has a mixed outlook for 2019. In the context of the company’s performance and that of the plastic machine sector in the previous year, Ausweger said: “The last few years for plastic machine manufacturers, with regards to Asia, have been really tremendous and companies are really investing into new capacities. I think that this good business climate will carry over through 2019, but may eventually slow down.” “The impact of the US trade policies and the imposed duties on certain imported products, may result in uncertainties (in the industry); and in Europe, which historically has a low unemployment rate, will slow down slightly. But on the whole, economies are still doing well,” he added, concluding on an optimistic note for the industry sector.
Biobased solutions for a regenerative global economy Biocomposites are being introduced as renewable, recyclable, and low-cost solutions that present a right fit for industries seeking to reduce their carbon footprint, says Angelica Buan in this report.
Biocomposites, also known as natural fibre composites, are a sustainable material solution to achieving circularity
mid efforts to reduce carbon footprint of major industries, where are we in the issue of achieving full circularity? Barely there, according to a latest circular economy report. The issue of climate change is behind global efforts to decarbonise, and which led to the creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1989, Kyoto Protocol in 1997, and Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, to mention a few international initiatives for sustainability. However, the use of non-recyclable, non-renewable sourced materials continues unabated. Resource extraction and greenhouse gas emissions, which characterise among other manmade activities a linear economy, are prevailing. This trend, thus, makes full circularity a pipe dream. Biocomposites a real deal Nevertheless, the trend towards bio-materials is growing. Biocomposites, also known as natural fibre composites (NFCs), are materials that combine a resin matrix and plant-based reinforcement. They are recyclable, degradable and renewable. For this reason, the market share for biocomposites is anticipated to grow. Citing a market report by Grand View Research, the global biocomposites market is expected to post a 12.5% growth by 2025. Hedging on the bamboo plant in aerospace applications The FUI BAMCO (bamboo long fibre-reinforced biobased matrix composite) French consortium, comprising eight industry stakeholders, companies and research laboratories, is developing biosourced composites using long bamboo fibres. This is a novel take beyond existing biocomposites based on flax and hemp fibres. The companies include: French specialty chemicals company Arkema; bamboo-reinforced composite specialist Cobratex; France-based engineering company Assystem Technologies; functional materials specialist Specific Polymers; R&D organisation CIRIMAT; Compositadour, a technological platform for R&D and training on composites materials and robotic processes; French light aircraft maker Lisa Aeronautics and mechanical engineering and composite firm MĂŠcano ID. The companies are designing a biocomposite material for application in the aerospace sector as some polymer composites like glass/phenolic composites will soon be impacted by the European Reach regulation. As a result, there is an urgent need to develop equally effective solutions, the group said. Assystem Technologies and CIRIMAT have been working together for over four years on the bamboo fibre-reinforced composite. Features are light weight, thermal resistance and mechanical properties in terms of strength and impact/vibration absorption. Bamboo is ecologically viable for its rapid growth, low water consumption, low soil usage, and no use of fertilisers or pesticides. For aerospace applications, BAMCO composites may be used in cabin interiors, cover panels and fuselage cladding panels, and even in the on-board galleys used to prepare and store in-flight meals on aircraft. Lisa Aeronautics will incorporate a prototype component in its future aircraft. Additionally, the composites may be used in the manufacture of finished components for use in the marine and leisure sports markets. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019
The BAMCO composites, which make use of long bamboo fibres, are developed for application in the aerospace sector
The BAMCO material has entered its operational phase with the launch of development work. The first prototype components are scheduled for 2021, say the partners. Fibres reinventing the wheel in automotive applications Lightweighting to increase fuel efficiency is a touchstone in todayâ€™s vehicle manufacturing. Thus, more of its parts and non-structural components, from the chassis and power train to fuel systems are made of plastics to significantly reduce weight. Biocomposites can also be used to enable light weighting and biodegradability, as well as cost reduction for manufacturers. Palm fibre biomass is the basis of the biocomposite developed by a team of researchers led by Dr Hom Dhakal of the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (AMM) Research Group at the University of Portsmouth. It also involves researchers from the University of Cambridge, INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique), and University of Britanny. The new material based on date palm fibre polycaprolactone (PCL), obtained from agricultural waste, can be used in non-structural parts, such as car bumpers and door linings. The fibres, from the sheath of the date palm tree, are common in North Africa and the Middle East. Citing findings of their study published in the journal Industrial Crops and Products, the researchers found that the date palm fibre PCL had increased tensile strength and achieved better low-velocity impact resistance than traditional man-made composites. Meanwhile, US-headquartered materials company Celanese and US-based fibre-based packaging producer International Paper have collaborated on developing cellulose fibre-reinforced PP for automotive applications.
Palm fibre biomass is the basis of the biocomposite developed by a team of researchers from various, universities led by the University of Portsmouth
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The new material, known as Thrive, is said to render weight savings of up to 25% per part as well as cycle time reductions of 20-40%, with energy savings resulting in an estimated 14 million kg of carbon dioxide reductions. US car maker Ford used the Thrive composite in the centre console carrier of its 2018 Lincoln Continental luxury sedan, demonstrating that this natural thermoplastic fibre blend can meet dimensional stability and component performance requirements while using existing tooling. Cruising along the same direction is German automobile manufacturer Porsche. Its latest midengine race car, Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, features natural-fibre body parts, said to be the first-ever production race car to feature this, according to Porsche. The driver and co-driver doors and the rear wing are made of an organic fibre mix, sourced primarily from agricultural by-products such as flax or hemp fibres and feature similar properties to carbon fibre in terms of weight and stiffness.
Porsche's newest sports car model features natural-fibre body parts
The car maker highlights that the new Porsche race car not only showcased improved driveability and faster lap times but also the use of sustainable raw materials. Decarbonising the construction industry Deforestation contributes to worsening climate change, and thus lesser use of wood, particularly in building and construction is sought by consumers and manufacturers. The demand for wood plastic composites (WPCs) in the building and construction sector is driving growth of the global composites market that is estimated to reach nearly US$8 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 7.9% from 2018, according to Research and Markets. For wood finish enthusiasts, they are not shortchanged with WPCs used in decking, railings and fencing. This is because WPCs exhibit wood-like finishing and durability, as well as moisture-resistance, non-toxicity and low maintenance benefits; and most importantly, the incorporation of biobased materials adds up to the ecofriendly appeal of the material. Further, according to Research and Markets findings, PE-based biocomposite is expected to remain the largest segment and witness the highest growth over the forecast period because of its durability, near-zero moisture absorption, chemical inertness, and ease of processing.
Composites Getting woody with biobased WPCs Biobased WPCs have already been applied for sustainable architecture, such as the first research pavilion of the BioMat (Department of Biobased Materials and Materials Cycles in Architecture) research group at ITKE (Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design) in Stuttgart, Germany. A ten-month project presented in mid-2018, the pavilion comprises a double-curved, parametrically designed segmental shell of light, single-curved wood and biocomposite elements that is supported by three curved crossed wooden beams. The first research pavilion of the BioMat showcases wood and biocomposite elements
Architects, academic experts and students, with support from the University of Stuttgart, the German Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR) under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the Baden-Württemberg Foundation, and multiple industrial funding collaborated on the project. BioMat has been engaged in the project that spans from 2017 to 2020 to develop extruded and co-extruded profiles made of plant residue-reinforced bioplastics for windows and other architectural applications, with project partners Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Naftex GmbH, Profine GmbH, and ETS Extrusionstechnik Mathias Stange. The BioProfile project involves the study on profiles made of plant residues as a source for natural fibres reinforced by biopolymers. According to BioMat, although different environmental impacts of manufacturing windows and facade elements were taken into consideration by many partners involved in the building industry sector, bio-based fibre reinforced materials have not still been able to supplement PVC, even partially in the production of façade and windows profiles. The project, thus, aims to develop marketable window and façade profiles made of both biopolymers and renewable plant residuals with biobased additives. The project focuses on both material composition and fabrication process for extrusion and coextrusion to encounter the multitude of requirements, such as flame protection, UV resistance, thermomechanical impacts, heat transmission behaviour and formability to achieve various geometrical possibilities suiting different architectural designs, BioMat furthered. Additionally, because the natural fibres utilised in this project are agricultural wastes, the outcome offers an environmental solution to reduce resource consumption, as well as improve the environmental impact of the building industry.
More room for improvement required While it is recognised that biocomposites are environmentally sound alternatives to traditional materials, experts find that the material requires further improvements to be on a par with synthetic materials in terms of adoptability and production, to say the least. For example, a recent study by Canada’s University of British Columbia, Okanagan School of Engineering (UBC Okanagan), found that infiltration of mould in biocomposites, can lead to early deterioration and structural failure of products. Researchers at UBC Okanagan, in collaboration with MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and the National Research Council of Canada, have been studying the development and application of bio-sourced composites, specifically flax and hemp fibres.
A UBC Okanagan study finds that moulds can infiltrate biocomposite materials, leading to early deterioration and structural failure of products
The fibres, which are abundant in Canada, can be mixed with other materials to create cheaper, recyclable, and effective composite material products that are used by a range of industries, including transportation. In the study, which was published in Materials journal, researchers conducted a number of experiments to determine if and when mould will grow on biomaterials; and the effect of fungal growth on the final product. Fibre sheets were created for the purpose of the study. UBC researcher Bryn Crawford reasoned that raw natural fibres are basically prone to developing moulds when exposed to high relative humidity. Moreover, the potential for premature structural failure can occur, he said. The findings may have exposed the weakness of biocomposites, nonetheless, they provide insight for the industry on how to produce high-quality and durable biomaterials through more R&D efforts. Along the same vein, adoptability is restraining biocomposites market growth. Dr Dhakal of the AMM Research Group, which led the palm fibre study, opined that obtaining consistent, reliable properties is a challenge at the moment. It can also take a long while to convince people to use a new class of materials, such as natural fibre-reinforced composites for non-structural and structural applications, he said, suggesting that further research and innovation among experts in institutions and industries can unleash the full potential of biocomposites for use in a wide range of applications and end products. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019
Injection Moulding Asia Automotive
Manufacturing fuel tanks in an optimal way In the manufacturing of fuel tanks, an optimal combination of two devices, Mould Area
Protection (MAP) and Internal Air Cooling System (IACS), ensures faster hardening of
the moulded plastic component and shortens cooling time by 60%, says manufacturer of
peripheral devices FarragTech in this report. Ambient air dryers are employed for the use of MAP systems that function in that the mould area of the machine is separated from the ambient air and supplied directly by the MAP with filtered, dry air. In this way, a continuous use of cold water up to a temperature of 6°C is possible, without condensation on the mould surface forming
hen manufacturing fuel tanks for the automotive industry, the multi-layer or co-extrusion process is mostly used. A tubular preform made of molten polymers –virgin HDPE, HDPE regranulate, an internal and external bonding layer, EVOH and again virgin HDPE – is transferred into a blow mould and adjusted to mould contours due to interior pressure. In order to cure the tank, it has so far been cooled only by means of cold water in the cavity of the tool mould. However, the process step has been very costintensive and time-consuming, because low cold water temperature led to formation of condensation on the mould surface, which in turn results in unsteady product quality and increased scrap. Moreover, due to the continuing heat exposure, the EVOH-layer in the tank is damaged and thus the functional capability is limited.
This is where the Mould Area Protection (MAP) system of FarragTech GmbH comes in. Due to the supply of dry air, the mould is prevented from sweating. For further increase of output, the Internal Air Cooling System (IACS) from FarragTech is also suitable. During the process, in addition to conventional cooling, the tank is internally flushed with -35°C cold air, whereby heat in the plastic is simultaneously taken away inside and outside, with material stress being prevented. Thus during production, time and money can be effectively saved. “Cooling of the plastic product represents both one of the most critical and most lengthy subprocesses in the extrusion blow moulding process,” explains Aaron Farrag, Deputy CEO of FarragTech. “Especially during production of multi-layer products such as modern fuel tanks, a lot of time can be saved and the EVOHlayer protected against damages due to heat “For this type of plastics processing exposure.” in the automotive sector, a During the combination of IACS and MAP system process, difficulties works well, because with optimal can occur due to coordination of the two mechanisms, the temperature the cooling time can be shortened by up to 60%,” explains Aaron Farrag, drop between the Deputy CEO of FarragTech exterior cooled by
The difficulty when producing petrol tanks mainly lies in the temperature drop between the external side cooled by means of cold water and the interior of the product, which is still warm and leads to significant material stress
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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive ohne IACS
Erzeugt Spannung im Material
Homogene Kühlung, somit keine Spannung
Temperature differences so far often led to significant material stress because the large-scale tanks are of a complex shape
means of cold water and the still warm interior of the product. These temperature differences so far often led to significant material stress - above all, because the large-scale tanks are complexly shaped, showing so different wall thicknesses in the range of 1.35 mm and 3.80 mm. Until recently, this was counteracted by means of interval blowing. But this process was less effective. As a rule, the results were unsteady product quality as well as failure to pass the subsequently carried out tightness tests, load tests as well as drop tests. By reason of the relatively high scrap rate, the costs of production increased. “In order to avoid that our customers moved on to reducing the temperature of cold water once more. However, apart from reduced product quality, this also resulted in an increase in energy costs,” Farrag further explained. “Instead, we recommended to carry out cooling of the interior by means of compressed air in addition to heat reduction with 6°C cold water when manufacturing petrol tanks consisting of several layers of plastic.” In order to achieve this, we selected the so-called Internal Air Cooling System (IACS) with integrated Blow Air Chiller (BAC). Modularly designable blow mandrels as well as suitable blow valve blocks were supplied. For blowing applications, the BAC provides air temperatures of up to -35°C.
In order to ensure that the device operates practically maintenance-free, a previously defined, good compressed air quality with a pressure dew point of 5°C at 7 bar as well as a residual oil content of max. 0.01 mg/m³ is absolutely necessary. In many blow factories, this is currently a standard already. Foam-insulated cold air pipes ensure that the air temperature on the way from the BAC device to the blow tools can be kept low and does not freeze or the condensation water does not drop into the production hall. Control of the BAC devices takes place via the specially developed Farrag Intelligent Terminal (FIT). In this way by means of the IACS system, material stress could be efficiently prevented and a higher quality of the produced plastic parts could be achieved in total.
Significant increase of productivity due to cooling from the inside and outside The BAC is available in a total of five different construction sizes, with the design always being linked to the air throughput for the specific application. In direct comparison to cooling by means of ram air, an increase of productivity from 25 to 200% can be achieved by using the BAC. For this purpose, the compressed air is brought to a dew point of < -40°C and then cooled in the integrated heat exchanger.
In order to prevent damage of the material during production, the compressed air cooling (IACS) with the integrated compressed air cooling device is selected
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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive
Kühlung mit Kältemittel
Ambient air is sucked via a filter and cooled in two steps: first via a water-cooled heat exchanger, then in the heat exchanger of the integrated refrigeration circuit
Combination with condensation water protection for optimal results An unwanted side effect of the mould cooling using water, the temperature of which is below the dew point on the ambient air, was the formation of condensation water on the mould, which negatively influences both the product and the mould. Moreover, the crystallisation rate in the moulded plastic increases in many cases so that the product quality significantly suffers. In order to avoid that, it was tried to air-condition the production halls accordingly - but this did not represent a sufficient solution for this problem, the more so as the profit was significantly reduced due to the increased operating costs. An alternative to keep the mould surface free from condensation water was the usage of dehumidification systems which ensure that dry air can be produced by means of adsorption dryers. By means of this, a very low dew point is achieved. However, this is connected with a high maintenance and energy requirement, because the molecular sieve must be regularly exchanged. In case of a defect, however, the complicated structure of the system causes significantly higher costs. For the regeneration of the molecular sieve, an additional energy requirement is necessary, which is why this did not come into question, too. What provided a relief here is the MAP system: “Both with blow moulding and injection moulding processes with cold forming, it ensures optimal protection against condensate formation on the mould surface and this way contributes to a consistently good product quality,” explains Farrag. Simple (ambient) air dryers are employed for the use of MAP systems. The system functions in that the mould area of the machine is separated from the ambient air and supplied directly by the MAP with filtered, dry air. In this way, a continuous use of cold water up to a temperature of 6°C is made possible without condensation on the mould surface forming.
Ambient air is sucked via a filter and cooled in two steps: first via a water-cooled heat exchanger, then in the heat exchanger of the integrated refrigeration circuit. In this, the air is cooled to approximately 3 °C. For pre-cooling of the sucked ambient air during the process, cold water is used which also serves to cool the moulds. The humidity, which is eliminated as a result of condensation, gathers in a trough and is conveyed out of the device using a pump. Thanks to the isolated machine environment, a trouble-free daily work routine is now possible also in the summer with a higher air humidity: often the cold water had to be heated again in order to ensure trouble-free production. As a result, the production process took more time. “For this type of plastics processing, as well as for further blow-moulded products, a combination of IACS and MAP system works well, because with optimal coordination of the two mechanisms, the cooling time can be shortened by up to 60%,” says Farrag. “Especially with thick-walled moulds, a production increase of up to 200% can be achieved.” Background Information: FarragTech was originally founded in 1991 as FASTI by Rainer Farrag, the inventor of the first compressed air dryer, and by Bernhard Stipsits. After both Managing Directors decided to go their separate ways in 2002, Rainer Farrag founded FarragTech GmbH in 2005. The company specialises in peripheral devices for further processing of plastic resin, increasing the quality of products as well as the productivity of the processing machines. The portfolio of the manufacturer includes resin dryers which are a further development of the compressed air dryer invented by Rainer Farrag, as well as systems for internal mould cooling, various loader and atmospheric air drying devices for mould area protection, of which were also developed by FarragTech. The company currently employs eight staff in its Wolfurt headquarters in Austria. Production takes place in Slovenia, with marketing carried out worldwide. 3
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • Sweden’s Trelleborg is investing in a production facility in India for the manufacture of tyres for two-wheeled motor vehicles, to expand its output from Europe. The investment will be part of a joint venture between Trelleborg and Yogesh Agencies & Investments, owned by the entrepreneur family Mahansaria. Tyre deliveries are expected to start at the end of 2020. In related news, Trelleborg has finalised the acquisition of privately owned Pneus ICM Inc, a specialised industrial tyre service provider and distributor in Montreal, Canada. Pneus ICM is the second largest industrial tyre dealer in the Montreal area, and a main service provider for eastern Canada. With annual sales of C$3.39 million, this bolton acquisition is part of Trelleborg’s strategy to strengthen its positions in attractive market segments. • Italy headquartered retread solutions provider Marangoni Group has acquired a majority shareholding in the South African tread maker Leader Rubber Company. The partnership between Leader Rubber and Marangoni has been ongoing for more than ten years and recently has been reinforced with the objective of further developing agreements with local retreaders and growing exports to markets in Africa. Leader Rubber is the exclusive distributor of the Ringtread system to the South African market and a manufacturer of precured tread strips, OTR uncured rubber as well as
consumables and machinery required for the retreading process holding a leading market share in Africa. Marangoni is increasing its share from 25% to 51%, with the objective of consolidating and strengthening its presence in South Africa and in all the African markets. • State-owned oil firm Saudi Aramco, French oil company Total, and Daelim, a South Korean petrochemicals company, plan to build a new 80,000-tonne/year polyisobutylene (PIB) plant in Saudi Arabia, which will come on-stream in 2024. A front-end engineering and design (FEED) of the PIB plant is expected to conclude in the last quarter of 2019. It will use feedstock from the Amiral Complex in Al Jubail. With Daelim’s PIB technology, a wide range of products in a single plant, from CPIB to highly reactive PIB (HR-PIB), can be produced.
dandelion farms to 800 ha to support the research. • Hainan Rubber Group has set up a new research facility, which will start developing graphene and natural rubber composites, in partnership with Aero Engine Corp. of the Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials, China’s largest aerospace materials engineering institute. The laboratory will introduce graphene into natural rubber materials based on research and applications by the China Aerospace Institute, combined with the wet mixing technology of natural rubber composites of Haijiao Group to enhance the physical properties.
• This year, Nokian Heavy Tyres will build a new R&D centre in Nokia, Finland. The 3,500 sq m centre, is part of a substantial capacity increase, with Nokian Heavy Tyres on an ongoing threeyear R&D and production investment of EUR70 million and 50% capacity growth target.
• German chemical firm Wacker Chemie is increasing its global production capacities for silicone rubber, by a total of 40,000 tonnes/ year by 2021 and with an investment of EUR100 million. For 2019, the company plans to further capacity enhancements for liquid silicone rubber (LSR), high and room-temperaturevulcanising silicones and thermally conductive silicone compounds at its production sites in Germany, the US and China. It is also evaluating the option of building a plant for solid silicone rubber at its US-based site in Tennessee.
• Technology firm Continental has opened a 30,000 sq m-research laboratory in Anklam, Germany, for its Taraxagum dandelion-plant based natural rubber. The centre will be the base for future research on farming and the extraction process of Russian dandelion. Future plans involve enlarging the
• Chinese tyre maker Prinx Chengshan is acquiring 2,250 acres of land in Thailand with a value of US$25 million for its new plant. Thailand was selected to benefit from the low costs for raw materials and transportation, as well as the country’s favourable policies.
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • Marangoni Tread North America, a full-service retread products supplier, is expanding its tread manufacturing plant in Tennessee, US, to boost manufacturing capacity for current products, as well as that of a new line targeted for the second quarter of 2019. • Malaysia-based Top Glove Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of rubber gloves, may expand its business in Turkey, according to founder Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai, since the country imports 70% per cent of its gloves from Top Glove. Its expansions are also on track and are expected to increase the company’s total number of production lines by an additional 148 lines and production capacity by 14.8 billion gloves/year. By December 2020, Top Glove is projected to have 796 production lines and a production capacity of 75.3 billion gloves/year. • Sweden-headquartered Enviro Systems, a company involved in industrial plants for material recovery from End of Life Tyres (ELT); and Canadian recycler Treadcraft intend to establish a joint venture for co-ownership of a 30,000-tonne/year recycling plant to be based in New York, US. • The Vietnam Rubber Group has opened its new US$4.8 million-rubber latex processing plant, in the northern province of Son La. Spanning 16 ha, the plant has two production lines with capacity to yield 9,000 tonnes/year
of rubber latex. Currently operational is the first 6,000-tonne/year of rubber latex line; while the second is due for completion in 2020.
fiscal incentives would help decide the location “within a couple of months”. The firm also has one unit each in West Bengal and in Kerala.
• US-based lubricant additives firm Shepherd Chemical is investing US$8.5 million to expand its Mirecourt, France, operation, including the addition of a third reactor, a new warehouse, and upgraded R&D pilot facilities. Combined with recent investments in its US operations, Shepherd says it is catering to rubber adhesion promoters for radial tyre safety, and refinery desulphurisation catalysts for cleaner fuels.
• Tyre/rubber machinery maker VMI Group has expanded its Polish production facility, which started up in 2017. The Dutch firm has added on two further manufacturing halls, following what it says has been “unprecedented success” of the Les z no plant. In the first phase, a 13,500 sq m facility was built on an 8 ha plot of land to extend the current manufacturing capability of the company.
• Shandong Sunsine Chemical, a wholly owned subsidiary of China Sunsine Chemical Holdings, has obtained the government’s approval for the trial run of its 30,000-tonne accelerator TBBS expansion project. The project is split into two phases, with completion of Phase 1, a 10,000-tonne production line. Commercial production is expected to increase the company’s capacity for the accelerator from 87,000-97,000 tonnes/ year and total capacity from 162,000-172,000 tonnes/ year. • Phillips Carbon Black (PCBL), India’s largest carbon black producer and exporter, has shortlisted three locations, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for its 1.5 million-tonne carbon black plant. Factors such as proximity to a port, user industries such as automobile units and
• Denmark-based catalysis firm Haldor Topsoe has tied up with Russia’s PJSC Nizhnekamskneftekhim for license and engineering services for a new methanol unit with a capacity of 500,000 tonnes/year to be built in Kazan, Tatarstan, in the southwestern region of Russia. The methanol is used to produce formaldehyde as a feedstock for the company’s isoprene rubber production. • French tyre maker Michelin is acquiring an 80% stake in Indonesian compatriot PT Multistrada Arab Sarana Tbk, which makes the Achilles and Corsa tyre brands, for US$439 million held by an investor group. Subject to certain closing adjustments, it will launch a public offer thereafter for the remaining outstanding shares at the same price it’s offering the investor group. Multistrada is publicly traded and belongs to conglomerate Salim Group.
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News In related news, Michelin has completed the acquisition of Camso for US$1.36 billion. Reporting net sales of US$1 billion, Camso specialises in rubber tracks for farm equipment and snowmobiles, and in solid and bias tyres for material handling equipment, with a manufacturing footprint including Sri Lanka. • US-based private equity investment firm Wynnchurch Capital has completed the acquisition of Buchanan Rubber, a Canadian distributor of industrial hoses, couplings, and sheet rubber. Buchanan will be part of a growing distribution platform that includes Anderson Metals, a US distributor and manufacturer with over 12,000 SKUs comprising valves, fittings, pipe nipples, and related products; and Midland Metal Manufacturing, also a US distributor with over 13,000 SKUs comprising valves, fittings and related products. • Borflex, a French creator of rubber and composite solutions, is acquiring Swiss company Rex Articoli Tecnici, a specialist in the production of rubber and thermoplastic parts. Rex’s main markets are rolling stock and railway infrastructure, multi-material technical parts, and bicycle brake systems marketed under the SwissStop brand. With this acquisition, Borflex is anticipating to strengthen its position and bring the group’s consolidated turnover to around EUR46 million.
• Ohio-headquartered Cooper Tire & Rubber is forming a joint venture with Sailun Vietnam Co, a manufacturer of off-thehighway tyres and allsteel belted tyres, to build a 2 million/year truck and bus radial tyre plant in Ho Chi Minh City. Cooper will own 35% and invest up to US$240 million. Production will commence in the first half of 2020. • Kuraray GC Advanced Materials, a Bangkokheadquartered joint venture company co-founded by Tokyo-headquartered Kuraray and Sumitomo Corporation; and Bangkokbased PTT Global Chemical, will invest in a butadiene derivative business in Map Ta Phut, Rayong Province. It will build a 13,000 tonne/ year-high-heat resistant polyamide-9T (PA9T) facility; 16,000 tonne/ year-hydrogenated styrenic block copolymers (HSBC) facility and a 3-methyl-1.5pentanedio (MPD) facility with a production capacity of 5,000 tonnes/year, with an investment of 40 billion yen. Construction is expected to be completed by end of 2021. • Cologne-based specialty chemicals company Lanxess has completed the sale of its remaining 50% interest in rubber company Arlanxeo to Saudi Aramco. The remaining stake of the specialty chemicals company in Arlanxeo was transferred to the former joint venture partner Saudi Aramco. In return, Lanxess received proceeds of EUR1.4 billion, allowing it to strengthen its financial base and
significantly reduce its net financial liabilities. Arlanxeo, headquartered in Maastricht, Netherlands, generated sales of EUR3.2 billion in 2017 and employs 3,800 people at 20 production sites in nine countries. • Rehau Group, a systems and service provider for polymer-based solutions in the construction, automotive and industrial sectors, has completed the acquisition of MB Barter & Trading (MBT), a Swiss family-owned company for commodity polymers, PET and rubber. • France-based supplier of vibration control, fluid management and sealing system technologies Hutchinson, is acquiring Midé Technology Corporation, an engineering company based in the US. Midé Technology specialises in smart material technology and mechatronics. • Bridgestone Europe is to acquire TomTom’s telematics business for EUR910 million. The transaction is anticipated to be completed latest in the 2nd quarter of 2019. TomTom is a provider of digital fleet solutions in Europe, with an installed user base of 860,000 vehicles of which more than two thirds are commercial. It has a tailored go-tomarket system and a premium digital offering including WebFleet and NextFleet. It handles on average 800 million GPS positions, 3.3 million trips, and 200 million inbound messages per day.
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Rubber Journal Asia Synthetic Rubber
US market: Trade war is not the sector’s waterloo The US-China trade war is expected to leave
Odds not against the synthetic rubber sector The global synthetic rubber market is expected to cross US$45 billion by 2023, according to a Market Research Engine report. The growth is attributed to its increasing utilisation in heavy industries like tyres, which is expected to reach US$304 billion over the same period, according to a 2018 tyre forecast report by Techsci Research. In the US, despite the uncertainty looming over the synthetic rubber sector, it is business as usual for companies based there and those that are keeping their sails up and continuing to expand in stormy seas. Just to cite a few recent movements in the industry, California-sited elastomers supplier RDAbbott has concluded a deal with North Carolinabased manufacturer of adhesives, coatings, motion management devices, and sensing technologies, Lord Corporation to expand its distribution of Lord adhesives and coatings to Canada. Some key applications of adhesives and coatings include solid tyre vehicles, rubber track crawlers, rubber tank linings, functional components for the automotive industry, and custom rubber moulding for the oil, gas, and energy industries. This new agreement will be facilitated and managed locally by RDAbbott’s newly established division, RDAbbott Canada, in Ontario. For over 60 years, RDAbbott has partnered with Lord in rubber-tosubstrate bonding innovations. Recently, RDAbbott also worked with Lord on innovations that include bonding techniques for addition-cured polymers, liquid silicone rubber, plastics, and other substrates. In a related development, RDAbbott is also distributing high performance elastomer (HPE) products from Netherlands-headquartered synthetic rubber company Arlanxeo across the US. From this year, the
many industries wounded. Nevertheless, the US synthetic rubber sector has remained
unscathed and has stayed on a growth path, says Angelica Buan in this report.
t could have been a winter of doom for the US synthetic rubber industry when in September last year, China, in the thick of a trade spat with the US, announced that it would also be levying 10% duties on synthetic rubber. The duties were imposed on halogen butyl and neoprene rubbers and tyre products. This was after the US laid out its plan of levying a round of tariffs on synthetic rubber feedstock from China.
Synthetic rubber on the crosshairs of US-China tariff hike
The US and China have historically been strong trading partners. According to a 2018 data from the US China Business Council, US exports to China were increasing, growing by 86% to more than US$127 billion over the last decade against only a 21% increase in exports to the rest of the world. China has also been the US’s third largest market, after the UK and Canada. Exports for plastics and rubber to China amounted to US$6.4 billion in 2017, citing a data of World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS). Despite speculations of reversed growth for US-based synthetic rubber players, the upside is that the ongoing row has imparted lessons on resiliency and diversification.
RDAbbott ties up with Arlanxeo for the distribution of its HPE products, including Keltan, across the US
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Rubber Journal Asia Synthetic Rubber US company will carry Arlanxeo’s brands of Keltan (EPDM), Baypren (CR), Krynac and Perbunan (NBRs), Therban (HNBR), Levapren and Levamelt (EVMs). Arlanxeo’s HPE products are suitable for a wide range of industrial applications, including modifiers for plastic and adhesive raw materials, in gas and oil exploration and production, and in functional components for the automotive and cable industries. US synthetic rubber manufacturer Lion Elastomers has also recently hitched a distribution pact with Ohio-based TL Squire & Co for reselling its cold styrene butadiene rubber and EPDM brands Royalene and Royaltherm to selected accounts. Isoprene development on a roll Isoprene rubber (IR) is dubbed as natural rubber’s synthetic alter ego. Thus, the US, with its large tyre and non-tyre industries, is pursuing commercialisation of isoprene. Globally, isoprene is anticipated to corner nearly US$4 billion of the synthetic rubber market by 2025, according to a Zion Market Research report. The North American isoprene market is predicted to rise significantly over the period from 2018, with the US and Canada driving the growth at the back of their robust automotive and medical industries. The importance of isoprene in these high ticket industries cannot be negated. The largest tyre maker in the world, Bridgestone, has in 2017 led in developing synthetic IR through a molecular structure control utilising a new polymerisation catalyst. The proprietary catalyst, called Gadolinium (Gd), features a structure designed to enable it to be utilised to control IR molecular structure at temperatures above 40°C, the range commonly used in manufacturing processes. According to Bridgestone, the newly synthesised IR has the potential to contribute to the development of next-generation rubber with performance surpassing that of NR. Moreover, the IR can be created using isoprene derived from renewable biomass and is therefore anticipated to be a sustainable material. The Tokyo-headquartered tyre maker, through its operations in the US, Bridgestone Americas, plans to further the development of IR to practical application and determine how to secure a stable supply of isoprene with the aim of realising practical application in the 2020s. Meanwhile, Colorado-based chemicals company Gevo has recently unveiled its breakthrough development of renewable isoprene. The proprietary chemical-based catalytic process converts low-value fusel oils – a mixture of alcohols that are byproducts from fermentation processes such as ethanol production – into renewable isoprene.
Gevo has developed a method to convert low-value fusel oils into renewable isoprene
This new development is anticipated to provide commercially viable isoprene that is renewable, lowcarbon, and low-cost. Gevo added that fermentation processes were always deemed to be too expensive to make isoprene directly, and its technology can become a game changer. Making ‘peace’ in the US rubber sector with plants Ongoing research to fine tune the guayule plant to become a viable rubber alternative has put the US on the map of renewable materials frontrunners. Guayule is a woody desert shrub cultivated in the south western US, and it has been tapped as a source of natural rubber latex, organic resins, and high-energy biofuel feedstock. In a latest development, a team of scientists has come up with an improved guayule for rubber production. The project, led by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) chemist Colleen McMahan and her colleagues: molecular biologists Grisel Ponciano, Niu Dong, and Dante Placido and technician Trinh
Guayule plants in an ARS greenhouse
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Rubber Journal Asia Synthetic Rubber Flower power in Asia to counter guayule Notwithstanding, jumping on the bandwagon, the quest for a rubber latex alternative has crossed over to China. Shandong-headquartered tyre maker Linglong is funding research into dandelion rubber, another source of natural rubber. Dandelion rubber, also known as the Russian dandelion, is being tapped to meet the growing demand for rubber. The market for dandelion is shaping up as demand is increasing due to the plants versatile potential for a wide range of application, including in the cosmetics, food and beverage and medical industries. Dandelion is abundant in source and is available globally. Thus, many companies including global tyre makers Continental, Bridgestone, Cooper and Goodyear Tire & Company are launching R&D efforts into dandelion rubber. Linglong, considering dandelion rubber as the “ new strategic raw material of natural rubber in the 21st century”, is investing US$450 million to help set up a company in China dedicated to developing the new polymer. The new company, Linglong Dandelion Science and Technology Development Co, is aiming to contribute to the development of China’s dandelion rubber industry. In 2017, China heralded a significant progress it made on dandelion rubber development. The Institute of Genetics and Development Biology under the Chinese Academy of Science shared that it has charted a highquality genome sequence that includes over 46,000 genes of the Russian dandelion. Linglong reasons that China’s natural rubber demand requires it to import over 80% of the commodity. Therefore, boosting the development and application of dandelion rubber could reduce China’s imports of synthetic rubber, while at the same time help improve the environment. In this regard, the US and China share a common ground for renewable options to synthetic rubber. For all we know, their discoveries will lead to breakthroughs and collaborations that could finally settle the dust between these two economic giants.
Huynh, in Albany, California, has commenced following an agreement between the ARS Bioproducts Research Unit and Bridgestone Americas in 2013 to evaluate the genetically modified guayule. Improvement work on guayule is ongoing, and the team aims to produce a guayule variety that is drought and disease-resistant. Previously, in 2016, ARS delivered over 3,000 experimental guayule plants to Bridgestone Americas in Eloy for field testing. Other guayule developments by various companies have been carried out over time, including US guayule producer PanAridus, to make guayule rubber production commercially feasible. As well, global tyre makers Ford, Pirelli, Cooper and chemical company Eni Versalis are also working on the premise of producing green tyres. Arizona-based biomaterials company Yulex has also embarked on a project on improving the guayule crop through genomic technologies and for commercial production.
Yulex is developing further guayule for commercial production
Ohio State University (OSU) researchers, led by Professor Katrina Cornish, on route to commercialising guayule in non-tyre applications, have pioneered the first medical glove that is hypoallergenic and can block radiation. The Radiation Attenuation (RA) medical glove will eliminate the need for medical professionals working with radiation to double-glove to follow the federal requirement that they protect against both blood-borne pathogens and radiation, Cornish intoned. The RA medical glove is made from guayule-based rubber and was developed in partnership with EnergyEne Inc, a Wooster-based start-up. Cornish says the firm is expecting to put the glove out in the market within two years after securing FDA approval and commercial licencing. The team is also working on producing condoms and weather balloons from guayule rubber, giving Asian producers that use natural rubber for these products a run for their money.
Chinese tyre maker Linglong is investing in R&D of dandelion rubber for China’s SR industry
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