Silica masterbatch benefitting Cooper’s tyre production
Cooper Tire & Rubber reports it has now manufactured more than two million passenger car tyres using silica masterbatch (SMB) technology developed together with Mexico’s Industrias Negromex S.A. de C.V (INSA). The tyre maker says the technology has delivered a number of benefits, including improved mixing productivity and flexibility, the elimination of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions) which are associated with the standard silanisation process of mixing silica) and improved silica dispersion in tyre tread formulations. Cooper says better dispersion means superior traction, wear and rolling resistance performance.
“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 tyre 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.”
Industrias Negromex plans to expand SMB production capacity 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. A review of SMB technology will be presented by Cooper and INSA at the American Chemical Society 2013 International Elastomer Conference, 7 to 10 October 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 tyre 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.”