Evonik Industries has started up a precipitated silica plant for the tire industry in South Carolina. The company has invested about $ 120 million in this world-scale production plant, in response to the high demand from the tire industry for precipitated silica in North America.
Essen/Germany — The automotive sector needs highly dispersible precipitated silica for production of tires with improved rolling resistance and better wet grip. Silicas are part of Smart Materials, one of Evonik’s four strategic growth engines. The construction of the new production plant in Charleston creates over 40 new jobs.
Proximity to key customers in the tire industry was the decisive factor in the choice of the South Carolina site, the company announced. From the location, the company plans to supply local customers with products and custom-tailored solutions, including Ultrasil 7800 GR silica. According to the company, this type of silica has a larger specific surface area, which gives the tread compound more rigidity without negatively impacting its processability. It is therefore particularly suitable for SUVs, whose main global market is the US.