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RDAbbott and the ACS Rubber Division have partnered together to produce a new video. “Rubber: It’s Not Just Tires.” The video demonstrates the significance of rubber in everyday life and was designed to introduce the next generation of workers to this extraordinary industry. The video also includes footage from Dow, Arlanxeo, 3M and Hallstar.

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Byk is expanding its operations in the Shanghai region and has opened a new site. The company said that Asia accounts for one third of sales, and has made a substantial contribution in past decades. The five-hectare site in Shanghai (around 54,000 sqm) is home to laboratories, a distribution center, and administration and was constructed in just two years. BYK invested around EUR 38 million. Some 100 employees will work here it is in full operation.

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Recticel NV announced on 16 April that it has received an unsolicited non-binding offer from Kingspan Group Plc to acquire Recticel’s Insulation division and Flexible Foams division for an enterprise value of EUR 700 million on a debt-free, cash-free basis and subject to further price adjustment mechanisms. Recticel said it has taken note of the press release issued on 16 April by Kingspan. Kingspan has indicated that it has entered into a back-to-back agreement with a third party for the disposal of all of the Flexible Foams business. Rectcel said that Kingspan has not provided Recticel with any details, including but not limited to the identity, nature, rationale or consideration to be paid for the flexible foam business, in respect of this third party. Kingspan’s non-binding offer is subject to due diligence satisfactory to Kingspan, agreement on transaction documentation (including a material adverse change clause) and obtaining anti-trust clearance.

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Continental celebrated the grand opening of its greenfield tire plant in Rayong, Thailand. Starting operations exactly on schedule, only two years after the groundbreaking ceremony, the manufacturing facility is a  EUR 250 million investment and is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to produce about four million passenger and light truck premium tires per year for Thailand and the whole APAC by 2022.

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BASF and Aspen Aerogels announced the expansion of their strategic partnership with the signing of an addendum to their exclusive supply agreement. The addendum provides for the production and supply of a new non-combustible, high-performance thermal insulation product. The new product, complimentary to the existing Silica aerogel Slentex is said to have shown excellent performance in early testing with lead customers. As part of the agreement, Aspen has received a second tranche of prepayment from BASF which will be used to support product optimization and new process development. BASF receives exclusive rights to market the newly developed product.

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A slightly cheaper brand of motorcycle tire will soon be sold in the Philippines and it is locally manufactured, using the rubber bought from Filipino farmers. Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that as much as 10,000 pieces of Pilipinas Agila Tires, the first locally manufactured motorcycle tire brand, will be up for sale in two weeks.

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Borealis and Borouge have announced that the new compounding plant of Borealis in Taylorsville, NC, USA, has come on stream during Q1 2019 as planned, with the inauguration of the facility scheduled for 16 May 2019. With production lines for thermoplastic olefin (TPO) and short glass fibre (SGF) reinforced compounds, the plant is well located to meet the growing needs of OEM and Tier 1 in the region for advanced polypropylene (PP) solutions, while adding another 30 kt to the companies’ global PP compounding capacity.

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The Rampf Group has realigned the cooperation with its long-standing partner Orient Dosiertechnik from Korea with the founding of Rampf Korea Co., Ltd. Within the framework of the new joint venture based in Hwaseong City, mixing and dispensing systems are being developed and produced especially for the Asian markets. For this, Rampf Korea will predominantly be using dispensing components from German company Rampf Production Systems.

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The Coating Additives Business Line of Evonik has extended its existing partnership with international specialty chemicals distributor Safic-Alcan regarding the Tego additives products. Safic-Alcan SAS and Safic-Alcan Necarbo B.V. will be provided with the complete coating additives range of Evonik allowing customers to be supplied by a single distributor in France and the BeNeLux region. In addition, the agreement also extends to Safic-Alcan UK for the distribution of the liquid additives in the UK and Ireland.

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Lubrizol has announced the opening of a new TPU line in its Songjiang (Shanghai) China. This expansion of the Songjiang plant follows the launch last year of a new compounding line. Both expansions are aimed at supporting the company's engineered polymers business. The company has been adding capacity to its global TPU manufacturing footprint in every major region of the world to support the fast-growing demand for specialty elastomers. The new line in China will increase capacity for specialty applications by nearly a third.

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Perstorp is increasing the effective annual Penta production capacity at its Bruchhausen/Arnsberg plant in Germany by 12.5 %. The Penta polyols are used in resins for coatings in the building and construction and steel works industry, from architectural wood to marine paints. The plant has successfully obtained the ISCC PLUS International Sustainability Carbon Certification, which is said to be an important milestone in the company’s ambitious Pro-Environment quest to become Finite Material Neutral. The expansion work at the Bruchhausen site started in June 2018 and is well on track for completion in May 2019.

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