One of the main products created from dissolved pulp is rayon. While rayon is predominately used in the textile industry to make silk-like clothing, it is also used for plastic products such as cellophane and film. Aside from these products, however, rayon filament is also used in a product many of us use every single day: tires.
Using rayon in tires is not a new development. Prior to “the nylon revolution” (the period when tire manufacturers began using nylon instead of rayon) in the 1960s, rayon was the primary material for the production of tire cord. Traditionally, rayon tires were sufficient for everyday usage in urban areas, but did not have the strength to cope with high-speed, long-mileage runs.
Lately, rayon tires have been making a comeback as cord material because some companies have developed rayon with greater tensile strength. Since rayon is generally less expensive than nylon, tires with rayon tire cord are also less expensive.
One of the markets seeking dissolving pulp in order to manufacture tires is China.
Appearing on the Business News Network (BNN) this week, Jeffrey Saut chief investment strategist at Raymond James said automobile growth in China is growing exponentially leading to a high demand for dissolving pulp and putting companies like Fortress Paper Ltd. – a Vancouver-based company who has just entered the dissolving pulp industry with a mill in Thurso, Quebec – at a strategic advantage.
Fortress Paper CEO Chadwick Wasilenkoff also appeared on BNN and said he had recently traveled to China to meet with eight purchasers of dissolving pulp who are currently in the process of expanding their operations.
Rayon is also experiencing a surge in popularity in Asia in the textiles industry as cotton producers struggle to meet current demands.