Michelin has acquired Lehigh Technologies, a specialty materials company that uses patented cryogenic turbo mill technology to transform rubber from end-of-life tires and industrial goods into materials for new tires and other products, reducing the amount of raw materials initially needed, such as elastomers and fillers from oil- and rubber-based sources.
Michelin completed the acquisition on Oct. 13.
“We are always looking for ways to achieve safer and more sustainable mobility, including by using high-technology recycled materials, without compromising safety or other performances, while consuming less of the natural resources that are available in finite stocks,” says Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America. “Lehigh Technologies, the technological leader in this area, is a natural fit, as it will equip Michelin with tools to reduce the amount of raw materials that we need to produce new products for all of our current and future customers in the tire and non-tire industries.”
“This acquisition demonstrates Michelin’s strategic intent to bring its expertise in materials to markets that extend beyond tires, and in particular, to foster the use of advanced rubber recycled materials in the tire and non-tire industries,” adds Christophe Rahier, senior vice president of strategic planning materials for the Michelin Group.
Lehigh Technologies, based in Tucker, Ga., near Atlanta, employs about 100 people. The firm produces highly engineered, versatile raw materials called micronized rubber powder (MRP). MRP is a low-cost, high-performance, sustainable material that substitutes for other oil- and rubber-based materials used in manufacturing tires, plastics, asphalt and construction materials. Its customers include some of the largest tire companies in the world, as well as companies in construction materials, asphalt modification and other markets, the company says.
“This deal provides Lehigh Technologies with an incredible opportunity to continue our growth,” says Alan Barton, CEO of Lehigh Technologies. “With the full backing of Michelin, we can continue to expand our capabilities, execute our global growth strategy and pursue new market opportunities.”