HOUSTON (June 20, 2007) — ExxonMobil Chemical Co. later this year plans to commercialize a new tire innerliner material it claims improves air retention despite being thinner and of lighter weight.
The company is building a plant in Pensacola, Fla., dedicated to this process.
The new material, a dynamically vulcanized alloy of the company's Exxpro speciality elastomer and polyester, has been under development for several years, ExxonMobil said, including cooperative work since 2004 with Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.
Tire inner liners with the Exxpro-based alloy are up to one-fifth the gauge of a conventional halobutyl inner liner, leading to lighter-weight tires with improved rolling resistance, ExxonMobil said. The new inner liner material has shown a 20-percent improvement in tire durability, including acceptable performance in cold temperatures.
“These new inner liners allow up to 80-percent reduction in hydrocarbon-based raw materials versus current innerliner technology,” said Art Sullivan, butyl polymers global business vice president. “This is a good example of how innovative polymer technologies can promote a sustainable future by reducing both motor fuel consumption and raw material usage.”