ExxonMobil builds tyre liner plant

ExxonMobil Chemical have announced plans to build a plant to manufacture a new type of liner to make tyres lighter and more durable.

The plant will produce a dynamically vulcanised alloy (DVA) using ExxonMobil Chemical’s speciality blend of elastomers and nylon, known as Exxpro. This alloy, which combines the elasticity of rubber with the low air permeability of plastic, would be blown into films and used as the air barrier inner liner of tyres.

Art Sullivan, vice-president of the Butyl Polymers Global Business section of ExxonMobil Chemical, claimed that the new alloy would improve a tyre’s ability to retain air, which would have significant benefits.

‘Maintaining proper tyre inflation reduces stress and irregular wear, saving millions of gallons of gasoline every day,’ he said.

According to ExxonMobil Chemical, the tyres will be made up of fewer hydrocarbon-based raw materials, which will make the tyres lighter. The new inner liner material is also said to show a 20 per cent improvement in tyre durability, and to perform well in cold temperatures.

The initial market development manufacturing plant will be located in Pensacola, Florida, and is expected to start operating in early 2008.