Cooper Tire & Rubber Company and the Industrias Negromex S.A. de C.V. (INSA) subsidiary of Grupo KUO today announced another major milestone in their initiative to develop and commercialize silica masterbatch (SMB) technology. The companies have now successfully applied SMB in high volume material and tire manufacturing.
Cooper has used SMB to manufacture more than 2 million premium passenger tires and derived a number of benefits from the technology including improved mixing productivity and flexibility, the elimination of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions associated with the standard silanization process of mixing silica, and improved silica dispersion in tire tread formulations, which led to better traction, wear and rolling resistance performance in the tires.
“Day-to-day use of this technology has had a major impact on our company’s manufacturing productivity and competitiveness,” said Chuck Yurkovich, Cooper Tire’s Vice President, Global Research and Development. “With the tire industry’s move to improve performance through the use of silica, finding superior methodologies, as we have with INSA, to incorporate silica is advantageous to the entire industry.”
INSA plans to expand the capacity of SMB production and market the product under the brand name “Emulsil™ Silica Masterbatch.” New production capacity is expected to be available by the first quarter of 2014. Emulsil™ product literature is available upon request from INSA. A review of this technology will be presented by Cooper and INSA at the American Chemical Society 2013 International Elastomer Conference, October 7 through 10, at the I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio.“We are excited to be able to offer the Emulsil Silica Masterbatch products to our customers in the tire and industrial rubber industry,” said Felipe Varela Hernandez, General Director of INSA. “We are confident our customers will be pleased with the quality and value of this new technology for achieving the benefits of silica in rubber compounds.”