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May 01, 2006

Co-development and Sale of New MIX-GT Gas for Tires ~Effective for longer tire life and fuel economy retension~

Iwatani International Corporation
Iwatani Industrial Gases Corporation
The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd.

Iwatani International Corporation (headquarters: Osaka & Tokyo, President: Akiji Makino, capital: 20,000 million yen), Iwatani Gas Co., Ltd. (headquarters: Osaka, President: Takenori Yamazaki, capital: 1,600 million yen), and the Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. (headquarters: Tokyo, President: Tadanobu Nagumo, capital: 38,900 million yen) have jointly developed MIX-GT (patent pending), a new type of charging gas for tires that replaces conventional air or nitrogen gas and maintains the tire’s normal inflation pressure for prolonged periods. The new product will be launched on May 1, 2006 mainly in Kanto and Kinki areas targeting general users as well as the transport sector by promoting features beneficial for automobile tires, such as longer life and fuel economy retention.
MIX-GT was developed by inter-industry collaboration designed to achieve the best fusion of the tire technology of Yokohama Rubber and the industrial gas technology of Iwatani Gas designed to reduce impact on the environment and improve safety. Iwatani Gas manufactures and supplies the product, and Iwatani International is responsible for marketing as the main distributor and for expanding the market, from car owners who care for the environment and value comfortable driving, to general users and the distribution sector, with a production target of 70,000m3/year and annual sales of over 100 million yen.
The most striking feature of MIX-GT is its superior leak resistance compared to existing gases for tires such as air and nitrogen. In leak tests, MIX-GT achieved a maximum 65 percent reduction in leakage compared with air charged tires, and a maximum of 30 percent reduction compared with nitrogen. This leak resistant feature is used to prevent uneven wear of tires and assures longer tire life and safer driving, as well as preventing the reduction in fuel economy caused by under inflated tires. The product also helps prevent the deterioration of tires and rims because it does not contain oxygen or water. Nor does it contain greenhouse gases such as CO2 or CFC, or flammable gases.
[Main features of MIX-GT]
1. Resists drops in tire pressure and maintains tire performance for longer periods.
2. Prevents reduction in fuel economy and shortened tire life due to under inflated tires.
3. Maintains required tire performance including driving stability.
4. Does not contain oxygen or water, which cause the deterioration of tires and rims.
5. Does not contain flammable or toxic gases.
6. Does not contain greenhouse gases.
[Note: Tire pressure]
The air or gas usually escapes from tires little by little over time, lowering the tire’s inflation pressure. Tire pressure has to be checked periodically, but according to research conducted by the Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association, most vehicle maintenance problems are due to under inflated tires, indicating that tire pressure does not receive the attention it deserves. When tire pressure drops below the normal pressure level, contact between tires and the road surface will change, affecting the vehicle's driving stability. This not only prevents tires performing at 100 percent capacity, but also reduces fuel economy and accelerates wear and tear, which shortens tire life.