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Cooper Tire and Industrias Negromex (INSA) Announce Joint Development of Viable Manufacturing Process to Produce Silica Masterbatch

cooper tire (select to view enlarged photo)

FINDLAY, OH & MEXICO CITY--June 7, 2013: Building on the recent announcement that Cooper Tire & Rubber Company and the Industrias Negromex S.A. de C.V. (INSA) subsidiary of Grupo KUO have jointly earned a U.S. patent (8,357,733) for silica masterbatch, the two companies today reported achieving a significant milestone. They have successfully evaluated silica masterbatch technology in full-scale production facilities and demonstrated that tires produced with silica masterbatch technology offer a range of benefits compared with tires produced using conventional dry silica mixing technology.

“This is a first for the tire industry”

"This is a first for the tire industry," said Chuck Yurkovich, Cooper Tire's Vice President, Global Research and Development. "It's one thing to patent an industry-leading silica masterbatch process, but quite another to successfully use it in manufacturing and evaluate this new technology in tires. By accomplishing this, Cooper Tire and INSA have demonstrated significant processing advantages in our plants--including improvements in mixing efficiencies through considerable reduction in cycle times over conventional dry mixed silica--and we've been able to verify all aspects of tire performance."

"It is exciting that Cooper Tire was able to demonstrate strong tire performance and value with this technology," said Felipe Varela Hernandez, General Director of INSA. "We are also equally excited to have established a viable silica masterbatch manufacturing process in our Altamira production plant. The joint development by our two companies over several years has been a key driver to confirm the future commercialization potential of this technology."

The silica masterbatch required for these tire evaluations was produced in a full-scale production demonstration line at the INSA plant in Altamira, Mexico. The silica masterbatch from this manufacturing process was used to complete multiple tire evaluations by Cooper Tire. Tire testing consisted of all aspects of tire performance including traction and handling, treadwear, all-season capability and rolling resistance.