Cabot to invest in Malaysian elastomer composites facility

US-based elastomer/composites supplier Cabot is expanding its Port Dickson elastomer composites plant in Malaysia, following rising demands from the tyre sector. However, capacity was not disclosed.

Cabot built the world’s first facility dedicated to liquid mixing of elastomer composites in Port Dickson in 1995. It has since then been working to commercialise multiple new tyre/industrial rubber products in line with advancing customer programmes – driven by necessity for improved performance, safety and durability while simultaneously having reduced production costs and environmental impact.

The investment is expected to boost Cabot’s manufacturing capabilities in the country.

The firm says products from this facility would provide better rubber properties for OTR tyre, rubber track and mining applications. According to Cabot, tyres with increased resistance to abrasion, cutting or chipping and reduced energy loss allows for customer-preferred durability and fuel-efficiency on top of reduced operating costs. These can help the transportation industry advance toward more sustainable mobility by reducing both the consumption of raw materials and emissions generated by cars and trucks.

Moreover, Cabot’s investment is expected to augment demand for carbon black, a widely-used reinforcing agent in the rubber industry. Elastomer composites are produced in a proprietary and patented mixing process with other materials, such as carbon black, thus creating structurally different compounds than those by conventional methods.

According to the recently published report by TechSci Research, “Global Carbon Black Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2020”, the global carbon black market is expected to surpass US$25 billion by 2020, driven by rising demand from the tyre industry, in addition to construction and manufacturing sectors which use carbon black to provide strength to industrial rubber compounds and other equipment. The report says that the three largest players in the market are Birla Carbon, Cabot and Orion Engineered Carbons. Region-wise, the market is dominated by Asia-Pacific, wherein majority of the demand emanates from emerging economies such as China and India, on account of expanding tyre manufacturing facilities and growth in the construction sector.