ExxonMobil Chemical has announced the start-up of a manufacturing facility at its existing site in Pensacola, Fla., that provides new capacity for the production of a revolutionary new tire material technology that can improve vehicle fuel efficiency. Specifically, Exxcore™ DVA enables better fuel economy from significantly improved tire inflation pressure retention (IPR). IPR is a measure of tire air pressure loss over time. Improved air retention means reduced rolling resistance, resulting in improved fuel economy.
"Tire inner liners made with the new material, Exxcore™ dynamically vulcanized alloy (DVA), achieve leading-edge air retention with less material. This reduces air loss between fillings and helps conserve energy and resources for future generations," said Art Sullivan, vice president, ExxonMobil Chemical Butyl Polymers Business.
If all vehicle tires on the road in the U.S. had an IPR of 1.5%, it would represent a significant potential annual fuel savings of over 700 million gallons and a reduction in greenhouse gases of over 6 million tpa, equivalent to taking over a million cars off the road. Exxcore™ DVA can help achieve these savings. Exxcore™ DVA combines the flexibility and elasticity of rubber with the low air permeability of plastic, achieving 7 to 10 times better permeability than existing halobutyl inner liner materials. In addition, tire durability testing shows an improvement greater than 50% percent over standard halobutyl inner liners. This allows for an improved speed rating and potentially extends the tire's life.
The new material's performance benefits have already been recognized by key tire manufacturers. ExxonMobil Chemical's development partner, The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., plans to begin manufacturing tires with Exxcore™ DVA inner liners later this year. In addition, Cheng Shin Rubber Company, the manufacturer of the popular "MAXXIS" brand, plans to debut a higher-performance, lower-IPR tire with the new inner liner material in 2009. Exxcore™ DVA represents ExxonMobil Chemical's latest advancement in tire inner liner material science. The additional capacity will help meet growing worldwide demand for fuel efficient tire inner liners.