Synthetic rubber, engineering plastics and carbon fibre are just some of the areas where SABIC is hoping to enter new markets with what it describes as “solutions to industry challenges,” the company announced on the opening day of K 2013.
Vice President, Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, said he hoped the innovations, which include solutions for lightweighting, safety and improved performance would ‘”improve the overall position” of the company.
A major focus for SABIC at K 2013 is its materials solutions for the automotive industry, an area in which it says it will continue to focus heavily. One of the company’s flagship applications at the show is the Volkswagen XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid car, which features advanced polycarbonate side windows as well as an all-thermoplastic tailgate concept, which SABIC says are both aimed at enabling lighter weight and energy efficiency within a vehicle.
At the company’s press conference, Scott Fallon, General Manager for Automotive at SABIC, said the company had “collaborated with almost every major automotive OEM in the world.“
“Our investment is paying off in the automotive industry. Some of our materials applications have completely changed the way the industry in terms of innovative design and you can see this design being used across the automotive markets.”
The company said it is working with materials that will enable it to enter “completely new markets”, including synthetic rubbers. SABIC said it will be producing a range of Polybutadiene rubber (BR), a homo-polymerised, 1-3 butadiene, which it says will be used for the production of tyres that are “safer, more fuel efficient and long lasting.” Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said that a market focus for the rubber would be the Middle East, where the demand for tyres is high.
The company also announced that it would be opening a new plant in 2016 in Saudi Arabia for the production of POM, a polymer known for its high stiffness, mechanical strength and good resistance to chemicals and solvents. The company highlighted its use of POM in the automotive industry by displaying fuel caps on its stand.
SABIC said its presence at K 2013 is a sign of its commitment to the EU market.