Goodyear Tire and Rubber, which claims to be better at synthetic rubber chemistry than its rival tyre makers, expects to reduce its dependency on natural rubber through some new synthetic polymers.
The company gave no details of the new polymers, nor would it estimate the amount of NR it could substitute, but Joseph M. Gingo, Goodyear executive vice president for quality systems and chief technical officer, said "While our newly developed synthetic rubber products do not totally solve raw material cost concerns, we have gained for ourselves greater flexibility,"
Unusually, Goodyear's announcement was made on a Sunday, the day before the International Rubber Study Group, a NR research organisation, began its annual meeting in Cameroon. Goodyear is selling its chemical and synthetic rubber business activity.
Most tyre companies are able to re-formulate some recipes to reduce cost when the NR price changes, but the scope for such substitution is limited to a few percentage points, according to tyre industry insiders.
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Goodyear's Official news release