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ExxonMobil develops new compounds for inner liners

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ExxonMobil Chemical Co. says it has new elastomer compounds that can make tires lighter, improve their durability and significantly reduce vehicle fuel consumption.

The elastomers are marketed under the proprietary name of Exxpro. They can be used "as the air barrier inner liner of tires," say ExxonMobil officials.

"Tire inner liners with the Exxpro-based alloy are up to one-fifth the gauge of a conventional halobutyl inner liner, leading to lighter weight tires and improved rolling resistance.

"The new inner liner material has shown a 20% improvement in tire durability and it also performs well in cold temperatures."

ExxonMobil plans to commercialize Exxpro later this year. The firm will begin construction on a plant in Pensacola, Fla., that will manufacture the product. Production there is expected to start in early 2008.

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