Versalis announced a Joint Technology agreement with Chinese partners to develop green tires

Daniele Ferrari, Ceo of Versalis-Eni
Daniele Ferrari, Ceo of Versalis-Eni

Versalis, Italian oil giant Eni’s chemical company and a major producer in the polymers and elastomers industry, Ecombine and EVE Rubber Institute – respective subsidiary and affiliate companies of Mesnac, a Chinese global leading rubber & tire machinery corporation – announced a Joint Technology agreement to develop an innovative technology for high performance green tires.

Versalis’ know-how in synthetic rubbers – widely acknowledged as a standard of excellence – will play a key role in attaining a breakthrough generation of tires, based on proprietary solution Styrene Butadiene Rubber (s-SBR) and Butadiene Rubber (Nd-HCBR) technologies.

The scope of the partnership will be to integrate the Versalis elastomers technologies with EVE’s ATCM – Advanced Technology for Compound Manufacturing -, an innovative technology, for the production of advanced elastomer compounds designed for the tire market.

The EVE Rubber Research Institute Co. Ltd is dedicated to the development and recycling of new types of rubber such as functional rubber and green rubber, as well as employing ATCM technology which ultimately leads to this innovative development. The Institute was founded in January 2013, is an important platform of academic exchange and technical cooperation with international advanced level in the field of rubber science and engineering in China. It has established several mature research areas including new rubber materials, environmentally friendly processing technology and the application of rubber materials, the design and development of environmental friendly tires, as well as research into new functions for rubber .

The combination of Versalis and EVE’s technologies is going to generate an innovative Joint Technology Platform which will  offer to the tire market an unrivalled array of new materials with enhanced mechanical performances and environment-friendly features. The newly developed technology will be used by Versalis and EVE for joint licensing – thus laying the basis for  long-term cooperation.

“Technology innovation in the elastomers industry is fundamental to ensure a leading position in the marketplace. In the tire business, R&D is focused on meeting the ever-growing  customer requirements in terms of performances and environmental sustainability. This new partnership – incorporating and leveraging top of the class technologies – will be a real game changer within the tire landscape, capable to significantly upgrade the excellence of the products and the creation of value within the supply chain”,  said Daniele Ferrari, CEO of Versalis.

During the past 30 years since China embarked on its reform and opening-up policy in 1978, China has shifted from the labor-intensive manufacturing to high-tech and high-end manufacturing. Before its reform and opening-up policy, China opened up the global market with a cheap labor advantage. However, it is imperative that China should improve the products quality and focus on innovation. EVE Rubber Institute is an advanced public research platform. It commits itself to the application and development of new rubber materials. EVE has filled many blanks in this field, for example, the new mixing technique is a major innovation and of vital importance. We consider Eni as our most reliable partner in the new material project not only because it is one of the most influential players in the oil industry, but also a solid cooperation foundation between Italy and China, especially in the tire industry. It is worth mentioning that H radial tire technology industrialization in China has been implemented as well by a main Italian tire manufacturer. Ecombine will cooperate with Versalis(Eni) in key and major techniques, introducing SSBR and BR. Our cooperation will facilitate the transition of SSBR and BR from raw materials to mass application. Meanwhile, EVE rubber institute will cooperate with Versalis in solvent recycling. The cooperation between the three parties will benefit the development of the green tire industry and improve the creativity and core competence of elastomers”, said Mr Yuan Zhongxue, Chairman of  Mesnac.

Versalis is the industry leader in manufacturing intermediates, polyethylene, styrenics and elastomers and is entering the green chemicals and polymers industry partnering with worldwide biotech companies. As part of its new strategy, the company aims to gain a leadership position in fast-growing markets by leveraging its technological and industrial expertise. In Asia, Versalis has entered into partnerships with global petrochemical producers for development of its elastomer division.

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