HOUSTON — ExxonMobil Chemical Co. said it will build a facility to make a dynamically vulcanized alloy of its Exxpro specialty elastomer and nylon for use as tire inner liners.
The company expects to open the plant in Pensacola, Fla., in early 2008. No cost or other details of the project were disclosed.
The product will improve the durability of tires, make them lighter weight by using less raw material and significantly cut fuel consumption, the supplier said.
The new Exxpro-based alloy can be blown into films and used as the air barrier inner liner in tires, according to the company.
The firm expects to commercialize the technology in late 2007. ExxonMobil calls the development the first major technology advancement to tire inner liner raw materials since it started producing halobutyl in 1961.
Tire inner liners made of the alloy are as much as one-fifth the gauge of a conventional halobutyl inner liner, the firm said. That leads to lighter-weight tires with improved rolling resistance.