Momentive Takes Over Conti R&D Facility
The purchase of a number of assets and sublease of laboratory space from Continental Tire North America has enabled Momentive Performance Materials USA to set up a 2,000 square metre tyre research and development laboratory. The Charlotte, North Carolina site is said to offer state-of-the-art capabilities and will help Momentive provide faster innovation for customers in the tyre and rubber industry while helping the company reduce new product development cycle times. Momentive has also employed five ex-Conti R&D personnel to work at the facility.
The laboratory, says Momentive, significantly expands its strategic capability for analysis of the chemical interaction of innovative silanes within the complex network chemistry of tyre and rubber compounds. The company has produced silanes for some 60 years, and Momentive notes that its NXT family of silanes has “led the way” by helping silica tyre manufacturers reduce rolling resistance with improved traction properties and faster compound processing, while virtually eliminating ethanol emissions.
“When Continental decided to consolidate an R&D laboratory facility elsewhere, we seized the opportunity to significantly add to our tyre and rubber research capability,” said Mike Stout, Momentive’s global marketing manager for tyre and rubber.
“Our goal is to help customers more rapidly achieve the benefits they seek, both in terms of design and performance,” said Eric Thaler, Momentive’s chief technology officer. “The Charlotte facility, with its highly trained technical staff and cutting edge capabilities, will enable us to deliver new value to the industry by better understanding the factors that affect silanes in tyre composition.”
With the new lab, Momentive expects to substantially increase the annual number of complex compounds tested, provide more specific, relevant data, and reduce turnaround time for development samples. “We can now more directly engage our customers with application data and analysis, while shortening their evaluation cycle of new Momentive products,” said John Nicholson, global technology manager for silanes, Momentive. “We have established not only an exceptionally well-equipped R&D facility, but also added a tremendously experienced staff to operate it, with 160 years of combined experience in tyre development.”