TOKYO (May 27)—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, and the companies have agreed to combine their respective expertise in the field to improve and advance the performance of YAL.
The agreement also grants ExxonMobil Chemical rights to commercialize and globally market YAL-related materials in the future.
Yokohama has been working on the technology since the mid-1990s, according to company archives. In one report, the company said YAL exhibited 10 times the air impermeability of conventional liners and therefore could reduce a tire's weight by up to 9 percent.
The inner liner, made most often from halogenated butyl rubber, accounts for about 10 percent of the weight of a car tire, the companies said.