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PPG expanding precipitated silica capacity in Netherlands

PPG Industries announced today that it will increase production capacity for precipitated silica at its Delfzijl, Netherlands manufacturing location by more than 15,000 tons per year, due in part to growing global demand for AGILON(R) performance silica products.

The expansion is expected to come online in 2016 and will help PPG meet growing demand for its silica products, including large-scale Agilon volumes tied to a new multiyear global supply agreement with a multinational tire manufacturer. PPG did not release the project cost.

According to PPG, Agilon performance silica is a high-value technology platform of chemically-modified precipitated silica that can improve the performance of products in which it is used. It can also drive manufacturing efficiencies by reducing capital, improving throughput and reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.

In tires, for example, Agilon performance silica can replace traditional silica-silane in rubber compounds to improve vehicle fuel efficiency, tire traction and treadwear by as much as 5 to 10 percent. In industrial rubber applications, the technology can serve as a higher-performing substitute for conventional precipitated silica, carbon black and other fillers where the end products require significant heat dissipation, high tensile strength, improved abrasion resistance or lower compression set.

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