WILTON, Conn. (Aug. 7) — GE Advanced Materials´ Silicones unit has launched NXT Z silane, an addition to its GE family of NXT silane coupling agents.
The material, which the company called a breakthrough, mixes silica with rubber for silica tire treads, without generating ethanol during the compounding and manufacturing steps. GE said the new silane helps manufacturers of silica tires reduce production costs by eliminating ethanol emissions and by using a single-step mixing process with temperatures as high as 170°C, which does not cause viscosity increases or premature vulcanization.
NXT Z silane also helps tire manufacturers enhance the wear, traction and rolling resistance properties of silica tires and reduce ethanol emissions over the life of the tire, said Mike Stout, GE global marketing manager, which in turn leads to lower gas mileage. In addition, GE lab tests indicate that the potency level of NXT Z is higher than other silanes, which indicates less of the product is needed, he said.
The features offered by NXT Z allow for lower overall cost in building tires, Stout said.
"NXT Z silane provides the capabilities the tire industry needs to meet a wide range of product performance objectives in ways that help control production costs and meet environmental objectives," Stout said in a statement.
The new silane will be made at GE´s plant in Sistersville, W.Va., and will be marketed globally, Stout said.