Specialty chemicals company Lanxess AG has started up a second production line for high-performance plastics compounding at its facility in Gastonia, N.C.
The new line represents an investment of about $15 million and doubles the site's annual production capacity from 20,000 to 40,000 metric tons.
In the plant, the basic polymers nylon and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) are mixed and refined with special additives and glass fiber, according to client requirements, to make the high-performance plastic product lines Durethan and Pocan.
They are used primarily in the auto industry to manufacture lighter-weight plastic components that can replace metal parts in vehicles,.
“This investment shows our strengthened focus on high-performance compounds and underlines our strategy to shift this business towards higher-value-added markets,” said Hubert Fink, member of the Lanxess board of management, in a news release.
“The capacity expansion in Gastonia also shows our commitment to North America, which we see as major growth region.”
The Lanxess High Performance Materials business unit has around 1,500 employees worldwide, with production facilities in Belgium, Germany, China, India, Brazil and the U.S.