COVID-19 News / wdk: German rubber industry is systemically relevant

The trade association of the German rubber industry Wirtschaftsverband der deutschen Kautschukindustrie e. V. (wdk) announced that the companies represented in the association are represented with their products in practically all areas of life and are therefore systemically relevant for supplying the population.

This applies both to the product segment of technical elastomer products and thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) as well as to that of tyres. Therefore, it is imperative that the continuation of production is not hindered by the government, said the wdk. Technical elastomer products and TPE are used in the following important sectors:

  • Medical products: Protection against infection and patient care (used for rubber gloves, rubber aprons, seals or membranes in medical devices or as components of syringes)
  • Food production: Use in food cultivation, harvest, storage, processing and transport of food
  • Drinking water supply: protection against water loss, use in drinking water treatment and distribution
  • Mechanical engineering: TEE and TPE are essential components of machines for numerous systematically relevant applications in manufacturing and transport processes (use as seals, conveyor belts, vibration dampers, hoses or V-belts)

According to the wdk, the supply in Germany would be acutely endangered without tyres. In a situation where critical infrastructures require special protection, they are of crucial importance:

  • Ensuring transport and logistics: On the road, vehicle tyres enable both long-distance truck transport for the basic supply of supermarkets and medical facilities as well as the local delivery services that are essential for supplying people in quarantine.
  • Securing individual mobility: With the help of cars, taxis, motorised two-wheelers, bicycles or local buses, workplaces, doctors‘ surgeries, grocery stores or relatives can be reached individually.