Companies will utilize guayule biopolymers for the development of the next generation of tires
FINDLAY, OHIO, FEBRUARY 29, 2012 – COOPER TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY (NYSE: CTB) and
Yulex Corporation announced today they have entered into an agreement for the joint evaluation and development of guayule polymers and resins for tire applications. Under this agreement, Cooper will provide advanced polymer and materials science expertise, and utilize its design, development and testing capabilities as part of this project. Yulex will contribute experience with the development and production of advanced engineered biopolymers from the guayule plant. Terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.
As the global supply for natural rubber continues to decline, it is becoming increasingly vital to identify a sustainable, high quality alternative source of natural rubber. The biopolymers Yulex extracts from the guayule plant are used as a replacement for traditional tropical or petroleum-based rubber. Production of this bio-based material is ecologically responsible and carbon neutral, and the material itself is valued for its physical performance including increased elasticity, functionality, reliability and strength.
“The agreement between Cooper Tire and Yulex will facilitate development of a domestic supplemental source of natural rubber by leveraging resources and capabilities of both companies,” said Chuck Yurkovich, Cooper’s Vice President of Global Technology. “Our goal is to develop a reliable source of natural rubber, thus decreasing our reliance on off-shore raw material sources. If successful, the program will create a new agricultural polymer with broad-based tire industry applications, convert desert wasteland into viable farm land for associated crops, and create jobs for American workers.”
Yulex CEO Jeff Martin added, “We are excited to be partnering with Cooper Tire to develop a custom technology utilizing the guayule plant for their next-generation tire production. This agreement represents an outstanding commercial opportunity and a significant validation of our technology.”
About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (Cooper) is the parent company of a global family of companies that specialize in the design, manufacture, marketing, and sales of passenger car and light truck tires. Cooper has joint ventures, affiliates and subsidiaries that also specialize in medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. Cooper's headquarters is in Findlay, Ohio, with manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design facilities within its family of companies, located in 11 countries around the world. For more information on Cooper, visit www.coopertire.com, www.facebook.com/coopertire, www.twitter.com/coopertire.
About Yulex Corporation
Yulex Corporation has developed a portfolio of biobased elastomer products derived from the U.S. grown guayule plant. Our technological innovation is designed to replace traditional tropical or petroleum based rubber for consumer, industrial and medical markets, with the residual agricultural materials utilized as a feedstock for bioenergy. We collaborate with our customers to develop and market highly differentiated, premium performance products in an ecologically responsible, sustainable manner. For more, visit http://www.yulex.com.
Company Contact: Michelle Zeisloft, 419-423-1321