Chemical firms combining to produce sustainable tire materials

Jan. 1, 2020
Lehigh Technologies and the Dow Chemical Co. are partnering in a collaboration targeted at making tires more sustainable.
Lehigh Technologies and the Dow Chemical Co. are partnering in a collaboration targeted at making tires more sustainable.

The two firms will merge their respective proprietary products to modify micronized rubber powders as the program combines Dow’s polymer chemistry with Lehigh’s sustainable rubber compound development and testing.

“This collaboration is a great opportunity to continue leveraging our latex polymer technology for a sustainable cause,” says Colin Gouveia, general manager at Dow Construction Chemicals.

“Dow’s 2015 Sustainability Goals include a focus on technologies that are advantaged by sustainable chemistry, and this project is anchored in that same commitment,” he continues. “Further, we’re excited to work with Lehigh’s unique market understanding and application expertise to develop solutions that bring value to the marketplace.”

Lehigh’s proprietary manufacturing process takes tire and other post-industrial rubber material and “upcycles” it into micron-scale, high quality, sustainable powders that are compatible with customers’ existing formulations, making it easy to integrate into new or existing products, according to Dr. Alan Barton, Lehigh’s CEO.

The sustainable powders assist companies in achieving sustainability goals while helping manage the high cost of non-renewable raw materials, he says. Currently, there are more than 100 million tires containing the micronized rubber powder.



In June the company launched an industry-wide “Road to One Billion Campaign” to put a billion tires on the road manufactured with sustainable materials to further reduce the carbon footprint of a tire.

“Our primary customer base, the world’s leading tire companies, has been requesting advanced technologies to enable increased sustainable content in tires,” Barton reports.

“The Dow-Lehigh research program is part of a broader technology program at Lehigh aimed at providing sustainable solutions without compromise,” he asserts.

“Our objective is to have 1 billion tires on the road manufactured with our alternative material,” adds Barton, “our collaboration with Dow is a critical step in realizing this significant milestone.”

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