TOKYO (May 27, 2004) — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. and Exxon Mobil Corp.'s chemical division have reached an agreement to license technology in connection with the Yokohama Advanced Liner (YAL), a new patented inner liner for automotive tires.
The Tokyo-based tire maker said it and ExxonMobil Chemical Co. are combining their respective expertise in the field to improve and advance the performance of YAL. The pact also grants the chemical company rights to commercialize and globally market YAL-related materials in the future.
YAL, according to Yokohama, offers the flexibility and elasticity of a rubber and low air permeability of a plastic. With current technology, a tire inner liner—which is a layer affixed to the inside of a tire to prevent air leakage—can weigh up to 10 per cent of the total weight of a tire. Most liners are made of halogenated butyl rubber. If this rubber is replaced with YAL, Yokohama claims its new liner offers superior impermeability, enabling the inner liner to be a thin film yielding a significant reduction in the total weight. Benefits include a reduction in energy consumption and natural resource conservation.