By Katherine Clarkson
Axel Heitmann, chairman of Lanxess, acknowledged that the global demand for tyres will show ‘a slight dip this year for the first time’.
Synthetic rubber producer Lanxess is forging ahead with new tyre products designed to reduce rolling resistance which is estimated to account for one quarter of all fuel consumption.
But he believes that the German company’s high-end products leave it well placed to deal with the conditions.
Lanxess, one of the world’s biggest producers of synthenic rubber, is looking to rubber additive Nanoprene as an “important development for green tyres”, which greatly reduces wear without compromising grip.
Similar hopes are entertained for PBR4003, a special solution SBR that the company plans to launch mid year as it readies itself for the September celebration of 100 years of synthetic rubber, discovered at the Wuppertal site, which is still operated by the Bayer spin off company today.
The group experienced dramatic fourth quarter declines, similar to many of its peers, with volumes in its performance polymers business, comprising synthetic rubber and semi crystalline polymers, down by 32% on the previous year.