125 years of Rhein Chemie
Know-how and High-Performance Additives Deliver Lasting Success
Know-how Brings Renown
Sustainability also remained on Kaufmann’s personal radar in the years that followed. “When the waste piled up during the boom years of the rubber industry and engineers required increasing amounts of rubber, Kaufmann demonstrated his credentials as a rubber pioneer by producing recycled, so called reclaimed rubber from used tires to make technical rubber products such as seals, hoses, conveyor belts and carcasses,” explains Borkowsky.
Kaufmann died in 1933 at the age of 62, shortly after joining forces with like-minded people to found the DKG (German Rubber Association), an institution that is still important today. But the company he helped to shape continued to enjoy rapid growth. Its name was only changed from Dubois & Kaufmann to Rhein Chemie GmbH in 1941. Production of processing promoters for the rubber industry started in the mid-1930s and the first technical application laboratory was set up in Mannheim in 1953.
As Borkowsky points out, “that was something completely new to the industry. The findings obtained here were published in detailed technical reports and proved very popular with rubber processors. We made a name for ourselves with this expertise and our customers still see us as the first port of call for rubber applications development. We’re successful because we’re innovative.”
Product Portfolio Continuously Expanded and Optimized
Rhein Chemie’s rubber know-how and innovative products soon enabled it to make a name for itself outside Germany, too. By 1956, the company was already active in 11 European countries. In addition to the focus on innovative, customized solutions, sustainability also remained an important aspect. In 1957, for example, chemists at the company, which was now also making additives for lubricants, developed an extreme-pressure additive for use in the formulation of metalworking fluids.
Made from rapeseed ester, i.e. produced from rapeseed oil like factice, this light-colored sulfur carrier was launched under the product name RC 1422. This was the starting point for a fast-growing group of highly specialized additives for industrial lubricants. Over the following years, Rhein Chemie gained a place amongst the technology leaders in a number of segments of this market.
When the first products of today’s well-known Rhenogran family came onto the market in 1971, it finally became possible to incorporate rubber additives pre-dispersed in a polymer matrix into the rubber compound very homogeneously and with no dust. Over the following decades, Rhein Chemie also continued developing this promising product family. It now comprises over 100 products that are geared perfectly to their many different applications.