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LANXESS sees new opportunities for its rubber polymers in the two wheeler industry

Mumbai, June 02, 2014: Amid the face of rapid urbanization and increasing mobility in India, one of the most popular modes of transport particularly for the youth is a two wheeler. The two wheeler has been growing slowly and steadily and is poised to grow by a volume CAGR of 8-9% to reach a size of 22-23 million units by 2016-17, according to a report published by ICRA in 2013.

Two wheelers are the most resilient segment in the entire automotive market, as stated in the India Auto Report. The report also states that the Indian two-wheeler market accounted for 14.38 million units in 2013. This represents a 3.69% growth over 2012 sales of 13.87 million units. In contrast, the passenger vehicle segment declined by about 7.5%.

The market is also showing preference for bikes with higher capacity engines and better fuel economy. Several international manufacturers have set up greenfield manufacturing facilities in India to cater to the rise in demand for two wheelers as a means to faster and convenient mobility especially in the tier-2 and tier-3 cities in India. All these factors are naturally creating an upward demand for high performance parts of two wheelers.

LANXESS, the technological leader in synthetic rubber and a proponent of ‘Green Mobility’, is perfectly positioned to cater to the increasing performance demands of the two wheeler industry.

LANXESS specialty elastomers offer the opportunity to replace conventional elastomers in two-wheelers with products that can ensure high performance. Therban®, Perbunan®, Krynac® and Baymod® N are high performance elastomers from LANXESS  which offer excellent properties for performance applications in a two-wheeler.

Perbunan® and Krynac® represent a series of oil-resistant acrylonitrile-butadiene rubbers (NBR) with a particularly high of quality. Both product ranges consist of several grades ranging between 18% to 49% acrylonitrile content (ACN). The acrylonitrile content primarily influences and improves the resistance to swelling, oils, greases and fuels.

Nitrile Rubber is used for making carburetor gaskets, leakage-free seals in shock absorbers, vibration dampers and hoses.

Therban® HNBR (Nitrile Rubber) is the original high-performance elastomer from LANXESS, and is a partially or completely hydrogenated acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber with resistance to heat, weather, aggressive fluids such as oils, fuels, and other non-polar liquids. Therban® offers a selection of grades that perform efficiently under extreme environments. Therban is best suited for making clutch damper, fuel tubes, engine head gasket, fuel tank and gauge gasket, crankcase o-ring, seals, timing belts and hoses among others.

The Baymod® N product range consists of specialty powdered nitrile rubber (NBR), which has proved to be an effective binder to phenolic resins with improved flexibility, anti-fading and noise reduction in friction materials. Baymod® provides safety and reliability in brake and clutch lining technology and encapsulates abrasive powders and decreases the wear and tear of the metal rotor for brake grades. This is best suited for the brake lining, friction pad and clutch facings.

Keltan® Elastomers for Highly customized solutions:
LANXESS offers all grades of EPDM rubber under the brand name Keltan®. The manufacturing of Keltan is highly energy and resource efficient with the innovative Keltan® ACE™ technology. The Keltan® portfolio consists of a broad range of global grades with diverse properties that offer freedom in recipe formulations, product design and processing windows.

Special applications of Keltan® EPDM in 2 wheelers:
Grommets : EPDM offers very good heat and ozone resistance with cost value proposition as compared to other polymers. Grommets which are used to protect against the sharp edges created by drilled holes are essential components. Keltan 8570C, Keltan 5470C, Keltan 4577 and Keltan 5469 are the suggested grades from LANXESS Keltan range which can offer ideal cost value proposition.

Handle Grip: EPDM can give excellent ozone resistance and long life compared to other elastomers. Keltan 8570C, Keltan 5470C are the suggested grades for this application wherein more fillers can be loaded without disturbing mechanical properties.

Foot Rest: Key requirements like very good ozone resistance and elongation at brake can be made possible with EPDM rubber. Keltan 8570, Keltan 5470, Keltan 5465 & Keltan 4577 are the suggested grades for this application.

Damper: Rubber vibration dampers made of chemical resistant EPDM rubber minimizes vibrations. Keltan 9565Q, Keltan 5469, Keltan 8570C lends very good dynamic properties for such applications.

Damper head lamp and tail light gasket: EPDM also has good heat, ozone and fog resistant properties as compared to other elastomers. Keltan 4450S, Keltan8570C, Keltan 5470C are the recommended products for these applications.

Butyl Rubber for Tubeless tyres
One of the leading two wheeler manufacturers has already paved the way for tubeless tires for scooty in India, while motorcycles with engine capacities of over 150 cc have also started using tubeless tires for better safety and performance. In tubeless tires, it is imperative that the innerliners help maintain the right tire pressure for optimal tire performance. This can be achieved with innerliners made of 100% HaloButyl Rubber. Right tire pressure then impacts fuel efficiency,  mileage, handling, safety and overall performance of the vehicle.

The oxygen transmission rate of 100% BromoButyl rubber is 9.9 cc/100in2, which is nearly 3 times lower than that of  80% BromoButyl rubber at about 27.9 cc/100in2. Based on this data, it is recommended that 100% HaloButyl inner liners would reduce chances of oxidation of the belt coating compound and corrosion of steel belt which will in turn positively impact the life / mileage of the tire.

Butyl rubber is also used for making spares like gaskets, seals and tapes.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.3 billion in 2013 and roughly 17,300 employees in 31 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and FTSE4Good as well as the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).

Forward-Looking Statements:
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Information for editors:
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