ExxonMobil Chemical Co. is planning to expand its specialty elastomers plant in Newport, Wales, in a bid to increase its high-performance elastomers' capacity globally, the company announced July 20.
The project, expected to be complete in late 2017, will add an extra 25 percent to ExxonMobil's global capacity to manufacture Santoprene thermoplastic vulcanizate, high-performance elastomers used for automotive, industrial and consumer applications.
Stating that ExxonMobil was the world's “foremost supplier of engineered thermoplastic elastomers,” Kurt Aerts, speciality elastomers and butyl rubber vice president at ExxonMobil Chemical, said the investment should help the company maintain its “leadership position.”
Santoprene elastomers perform similarly to vulcanized rubber while they process like plastic for applications in diverse markets.
Santoprene TPV can be extruded, molded or thermoformed easily and economically into a variety of shapes, while being resilient, flexible and resistant to heat, fluids and chemicals, according to ExxonMobil.
Santoprene elastomers provide manufacturing flexibility, ease of processing and consistent product durability, the company said. ExxonMobil's Vistalon synthetic rubber is a critical raw material in Santoprene TPV.
ExxonMobil's specialty plants in Newport, Wales and Pensacola, Fla., supply Santoprene TPV to customers around the world. Vistalon rubber raw material is produced at ExxonMobil plants in Baton Rouge, La., and Notre Dame de Gravenchon, France.