ExxonMobil announced today plans to expand its specialty elastomers plant in Newport, Wales. The company said the project, expected to be completed in late 2017, will result in a 25-percent increase in its global capacity to manufacture Santoprene™ thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV), high-performance elastomers used for automotive, industrial and consumer applications.
“ExxonMobil is the world’s foremost supplier of engineered thermoplastic elastomers,” said Kurt Aerts, specialty elastomers and butyl rubber vice president at ExxonMobil Chemical. “Our investment in this expansion strengthens our leadership position and reflects our continuing commitment to help customers around the world manufacture high-performance products that require both flexibility and durability.”
Santoprene elastomers perform like vulcanized rubber and process like plastic for applications in diverse markets. Like plastic, Santoprene TPV can be extruded, molded or thermoformed easily and economically into a variety of shapes. Like rubber, it is resilient, flexible and resistant to heat, fluids and chemicals. Santoprene elastomers provide manufacturing flexibility, ease of processing and consistent product durability. ExxonMobil’s Vistalon™ synthetic rubber is a critical raw material in Santoprene TPV.
Manufacturers using Santoprene TPV can reprocess scrap materials and overruns, which yields an environmental benefit through reduced energy use and waste. Santoprene elastomers have been successfully used for decades in a wide range of applications from health care devices to a variety of automotive components, including weather seals. The lower density of Santoprene TPVs, compared to thermoset rubber and other thermoplastic elastomers, contributes to reduced part weight.
“We are committed to providing our customers with premium products and outstanding technical service backed by decades of expertise and leadership,” Aerts said. “ExxonMobil offers innovative design and performance solutions that help customers differentiate their products and grow new market opportunities for them and for us. Santoprene TPV complements our specialty elastomers portfolio that includes both conventional and metallocene products.”
Experts from ExxonMobil Chemical work closely with customers to design parts and evaluate performance characteristics and service life. The company’s technology centers offer prototype part and tooling development and testing support.
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.