Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. and ExxonMobil Chemical Co. have agreed to cooperate on the commercialization of a Yokohama-developed inner liner technology that promises to reduce the weight of a tire ``significantly.''
Houston-based ExxonMobil Chemical, a producer of butyl rubber used in inner liners, has licensed patented technology related to the Yokohama Advanced Liner (YAL), and the companies have agreed to combine their respective expertise in the field to improve and advance the performance of YAL.
According to Yokohama documents, the firm has developed a resin called Velaren, which when used in conjunction with butyl rubber produces an inner liner that exhibits 10 times the air impermeability of conventional liners. Although usually only 1 millimeter thick, a tire's inner liner accounts for about 10 percent of the weight of a car tire.
Therefore, using YAL could reduce a tire's weight by up to 9 percent, Yokohama said in the past.
Yokohama has been working on the technology since the mid-1990s, according to company archives.
The agreement also grants ExxonMobil Chemical rights to commercialize and globally market YAL-related materials in the future.