Momentive opens new R&D lab

A new research and development laboratory will facilitate Momentive Performance Materials’ testing and development of advanced compounds for the tyre industry. The 1,860-square metre (20,000-square foot) centre is located in Charlotte, North Carolina and has been set up with an investment of US$3.5 million. Momentive says it is “staffed by some of the industry’s foremost tyre researchers.” The silicones and advanced materials specialist intends for the facility to serve as a global hub for the discovery and development of new silane materials that can help tyre makers deliver products with lower rolling resistance, better wet traction and advanced performance.

“This new tyre research and development laboratory reinforces our commitment to developing cutting-edge specialty products for the global automotive industry,” said Jack Boss, president and chief executive officer of Momentive. “The lab will enhance our ability to improve the advanced compounds tyre manufacturers need to optimise production and develop new products.”

“Our goal is to help our customers increase speed to market for both design and performance,” added Mike Stout, Momentive’s global marketing director for Tire and Rubber. “With our new lab, we can do just that. We can shorten development time for compounders because we’re able to replicate the testing and analysis they conduct when incorporating our tyre silanes; thus validating their results.”

Momentive’s key product for tyre industry customers is NXT silane, a substance that contributes towards lower rolling resistance without sacrificing wet traction. The company recently undertook several investments that extend its automotive industry activities, particularly within the tyre and rubber segment. In January, Momentive acquired the operating assets of Sea Lion Technology in order to increase the availability of tyre silanes in the US. During the same month it also broke ground on a new manufacturing facility for NXT silane materials in Leverkusen, Germany. When in operation, the plant in Leverkusen will enable Momentive to supply the European market with locally-produced materials.                  sg

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