Michelin acquires recycled-content powder maker Lehigh Technologies

Michelin acquires recycled-content powder maker Lehigh Technologies

Company's North American subsidiary will help consume recycled-content rubber powders made by the Georgia-based firm.

Michelin has announced finalizing its acquisition of Lehigh Technologies, a Tucker, Georgia-based company that uses patented cryogenic turbo mill technology to convert rubber from scrap tires and industrial goods into materials for new tires and other products.

The Greenville, South Carolina-based Michelin North America subsidiary of the French tire maker says Lehigh’s efforts help reduce the amount of raw materials needed in tire production, such as elastomers and fillers from oil- and rubber-based sources.

“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.

He adds, “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,” says Christophe Rahier, senior vice president of strategic planning materials for the Michelin Group.

Lehigh Technologies employs about 100 people, mainly at its office and facility in the Atlanta area. The firm produces what it calls highly engineered, versatile raw materials called micronized rubber powder (MRP). It bills MRP as 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.

According to Lehigh Technologies, its customers include some of the largest tire companies in the world, as well as companies in construction materials, asphalt modification and other markets.

“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.”

France-based Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for automobiles, heavy equipment, farm equipment, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and airplanes.  Michelin North America employs about 22,700 and operates 19 manufacturing plants.