June 20, 2007
ExxonMobil Chemical announces manufacturing facility for new tire compounds
Chevrolet Volt concept. Click image to enlarge
Houston, Texas – ExxonMobil Chemical Company has announced it will begin construction of a facility to manufacture new specialty elastomer compounds. The new compounds can improve the durability of tires, making them lighter weight by using fewer raw materials, and significantly reducing fuel consumption. The plant, in Pensacola, Florida, is expected to start production in early 2008 and will supply customers globally.
The plant will manufacture an alloy of the company’s proprietary Exxpro elastomers and nylon; the alloy can be blown into films and used as the air barrier inner liner of tires. ExxonMobil expects to commercialize the technology in late 2007; it marks the first major technology advancement in tire inner liner raw materials since the 1960s.
Inner liners with the alloy are up to one-fifth the gauge of a conventional halobutyl inner liner, leading to lighter tires with improved rolling resistance. The new material has also shown a 20 per cent improvement in tire durability, and performs well in cold temperatures.