Chemtura has entered into a joint development agreement with Caterpillar for novel applications of Chemtura's Duracast hot-cast urethane pre-polymer technology for construction and mining equipment.
"Duracast technology is an ideal material for this type of innovative program with varied end-use possibilities. Its versatility and superior abrasion characteristics lend it to a wide range of potential new applications," said Matthew Hellstern, general manager and president of Chemtura's Urethanes business. "Its ease of use, low-waste characteristics, and adaptability to automation yield higher productivity, and efficiency, providing significant added value to end-use customers in niche segments. The multiyear joint development program supports Chemtura's philosophy to bring greater value to our customers through product and application innovation."
The joint development agreement focuses on several novel applications in construction and mining equipment where urethanes have not previously been used, with the objective of providing significant value through productivity and efficiency gains. Initial products to be jointly developed include non-pneumatic tires for certain Cat machines. Prototype development is under way with field evaluation expected to begin by early 2013.
"Caterpillar is constantly looking for ways to differentiate our products and provide solutions that help make our customers more successful, and this partnership with Chemtura is an example of that commitment," said Greg Folley, vice president of Caterpillar's Remanufacturing and Components Division. "We're focusing first on tires for applications in some of the harshest operating environments. Non-pneumatic tires have proven durable in job sites like underground mining, where there is a high risk of cuts and punctures. If we can give our customers another choice that is both durable and sustainable - because urethane tires have high re-usability potential - then we're delivering value to our customers."
Under the agreement, other potential applications of Duracast technology may include debris guards for use behind tires, ground-engagement accessories and wear-reduction coatings.