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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Rhein Chemie responds to trends in the Indian rubber industry – More and more users in India are taking advantage of Rhenogran®

In India the demand for higher product quality and efficiency in production is increasing in the wake of greater competition. Awareness of health and environmental issues is also increasing. These trends have led to a sharp rise in the demand for polymer-bound chemicals (Rhenogran®) from Rhein Chemie in India, and, as a result, Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH of Mannheim, Germany, is launching production of Rhenogran® at the Lanxess India site in Madurai.

Mannheim/Madurai – In India the demand for higher product quality and efficiency in production is increasing in the wake of greater competition. Awareness of health and environmental issues is also increasing. These trends have led to a sharp rise in the demand for polymer-bound chemicals (Rhenogran®) from Rhein Chemie in India, and, as a result, Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH of Mannheim, Germany, is launching production of Rhenogran® at the Lanxess India site in Madurai.
“The versatile facility encompasses raw material and process traceability in providing our customers with a quality Rhenogran® product. Rhein Chemie continues to provide customers with unique product solutions all around the globe. This facility represents our commitment to better serve our customers in India and the growing demands of the market here,” says Wes Morrison, Vice President of Manufacturing, Rubber Division, Rhein Chemie. Rhein Chemie enjoys worldwide success with its Rhenogran® service concept. The company has over 30 years’ experience as a market leader in the development, production and applications technology of polymer-bound chemicals. A comprehensive portfolio of products, which is constantly adapted to processors’ requirements, has been developed from an initially small range of specialties.

More and more customers are utilizing the processing and economic advantages and environmentally friendly properties of Rhenogran®. Using powdered chemicals often causes problems, particularly if they are hazardous or have poor dispersibility. Dust and odor generation can lead to major health problems, inadequate flow properties create difficulties in metering, and lack of homogeneous distribution at higher mixing temperatures mean longer mixing times. The result is off-spec batches and loss of quality, leading to lower production performance and increased manufacturing costs.

Rhenogran® offers processors a solution to all these problems at the same time. The active ingredients can be optimally utilized by combining selected, high-quality chemicals with an ideal binder system and special process know-how. The viscosity is matched to the processing so that dispersion is very rapid for virtually all rubber mixtures, and the granulate form makes metering and incorporating the product very easy. Dust-free binding of the active ingredients is very important for health and environmental protection, as it protects man and the environment from hazardous rubber chemicals. The workplace remains clean and a number of safety measures no longer have to be implemented.
The uniform active ingredient content – mostly 80 percent concentration – and the universal use of a polymer binder based on EPDM/EVA every time mean correct metering. The polymer binder and dispersants are adapted to provide compatibility with all common elastomers and therefore safeguard the quality of the vulcanizates. A major factor is quality control. A range of tests and specifically developed test methods ensure high quality.

Producers of technical rubber goods for the automotive and engineering industries use the full Rhenogran® range of accelerators, antioxidants, metal oxides and crosslinking agents. In foamed rubber articles, for example, the very fine, homogeneous distribution of the polymer-bound chemicals is a benefit because there are no residual powder agglomerates which could lead to defects and an increase in the scrap rate.

Polymer-bound products are therefore of particular interest to the tire industry because they bring about a significant reduction in dispersion time. Rhenogran® Hexa-80, Resorcin -80, ZnO-80, PCZ-70/IIR and polymer-bound insoluble sulfur products are used here.

Rhenogran® MBTS, MBT, S, ZnO, ZDBC, ZDMC, TMTD, ETU and DPTT are essential products for manufacturers in the profile industry for the production of high-quality weather strips where again homogeneous, rapid dispersion brings an improvement in mix times and mix uniformity leading to reduction in scrap rates and an overall improvement in the surface quality of the weather strip. These manufacturers are also continuously looking for improvements in environmental protection and workshop hygiene. The manufacturers of weather strips using these materials benefit from a high degree of uniformity in terms of color and physical properties.

Rhein Chemie has been successfully providing the chemical industry with tailor-made additives and service products for more than 100 years. Approximately 1,000 Rhein Chemie employees produce and sell products worldwide to many segments of the rubber, lubricant, plastics and polyurethane industries. About 550 employees work at the head office in Mannheim-Rheinau. The company has subsidiaries and production facilities in Europe, Asia and North and South America. Rhein Chemie is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the LANXESS Group, Leverkusen.

Mannheim, January 2007
bit (2007-01-802EN)

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Contact:
Martina Bitterlich: Phone +49 (0) 621-8907-455,
Fax +49 (0) 621-8907-8455
martina.bitterlich@rheinchemie.com

Forward-looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by the management of Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of our sole stockholder LANXESS Deutschland GmbH and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in LANXESS AG's reports to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. LANXESS AG and Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH assume no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.