AKRON-Baker Rubber Inc. hopes to expand its markets after purchasing the assets of Goodyear's Micron Materials, a small, Cleveland-based crumb rubber processor. Baker Rubber supplied the Micron facility with course ground rubber which Micron processed into a fine powder used as a filler in floor mats, carpet backing, rubber railroad crossings and some tire components used in Goodyear's manufacturing plants.
With the purchase, South Bend, Ind.-based Baker Rubber acquired about a dozen patented stone grinding mills which will be installed in Baker's Chambersburg, Pa., processing plant.
The mills are expected to increase capacity at the plant by 20 million pounds. Goodyear said it will buy the Micron products it needs from Baker Rubber.
The patented equipment can process ground rubber into a powder ranging from -40 mesh to 200 mesh. Baker Rubber is currently capable of processing scrap rubber into 10 to 40 mesh material.
The new ability to process a finer material will open some new markets for the processor, a Baker Rubber spokesman said.
One prospective market is the Florida rubberized asphalt business, which requires the fine mesh rubber and uses about 20 million pounds of the material a year, according to the Baker spokesman.