FINDLAY, Ohio—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Industrias Negromex S.A. de C.V. said tires produced with their joint silica masterbatch technology have shown improvement over tires produced using conventional dry silica mixing technology
The companies have successfully evaluated silica masterbatch technology—which they have earned a joint U.S. patent—in INSA's full-scale production at Altamira, Mexico.
"This is a first for the tire industry," said Chuck Yurkovich, Cooper Tire's vice president, global research and development. "It's one thing to patent an industry-leading silica masterbatch process, but quite another to successfully use it in manufacturing and evaluate this new technology in tires.
"By accomplishing this, Cooper Tire and INSA have demonstrated significant processing advantages in our plants—including improvements in mixing efficiencies through considerable reduction in cycle times over conventional dry mixed silica—and we've been able to verify all aspects of tire performance," he said.
"It is exciting that Cooper Tire was able to demonstrate strong tire performance and value with this technology," said Felipe Varela Hernandez, General Director of INSA, which is a subsidiary of Grupo Kuo. "We are also equally excited to have established a viable silica masterbatch manufacturing process in our Altamira production plant. The joint development by our two companies over several years has been a key driver to confirm the future commercialization potential of this technology."
Cooper said the silica masterbatch from this manufacturing process was used to complete multiple tire evaluations. Tire testing consisted of all aspects of tire performance including traction and handling, treadwear, all-season capability and rolling resistance.