PENSACOLA, Fla. (Aug. 28, 2008) — ExxonMobil Chemical Co. has started up production at a new manufacturing facility at its existing site in Pensacola of a new tire material technology the firm said will improve fuel efficiency.
The plant will produce the company's new Exxcore-brand dynamically vulcanized alloy that will be used in tire inner liners to help tires achieve better air pressure retention using less material. ExxonMobil said Exxcore DVA combines the flexibility and elasticity of rubber with the low-air permeability of plastic, achieving seven to 10 times better permeability than traditional halobutyl inner liner materials.
ExxonMobil said Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd., its development partner on the project, plans to begin producing tires made with the materials later this year, while Cheng Shin Rubber Co. will debut a higher-performance tire made with Exxcore DVA in 2009.
ExxonMobil didn't give investment or capacity figures for the facility.