Chattanooga plant lands new name, future production
Also known as form fill, TyrFil can be pumped into any pneumatic tire to replace air with a resilient, synthetic rubber core that completely eliminates dangerous tire flats in commercial and industrial heavy equipment vehicles, according to Accella Tire Fill systems. TyrFil reduces tire replacement, defrays costs and keeps scrap tire wasts from landfills, the company said.
A Chattanooga plant that's a leading national maker of a tire fill product is taking on a new name and potentially more production.
"Chattanooga is definitely part of the overall plan to take advantage of the footprint we now have," said Joe Negrey, vice president of Accella Tire Fill Systems.
The Curtain Pole Road plant, formerly ArncoPathway, has consolidated with Zeus Tyre Fill. Both companies were earlier purchased by Accella Performance Materials.
Plans are to broaden manufacture of more polyurethane products at the Chattanooga Accella Tire Fill Systems factory that employs about 25 people, Negrey said.
"We continue to expand operations," he said.
For many years, the plant was known as Pathway Polymers, which billed itself as the inventor of the first polyurethane tire flat-proofing material in 1971. Its basic product, called TyrFil, is a synthetic mixture that can be pumped into large off-road tires and hardens into a polyurethane filler that prevents tires from going flat or rupturing.
Construction, farm, military and industrial environments were the most popular destinations for the filler. The company in 2013 merged with Arnco to become ArncoPathway.
Accella Performance Materials, which makes polyurethane systems and recycles rubber products, has its main office in Maryland Heights, Mo., outside of St. Louis, with production facilities across the country and overseas.
Accella has been backed by New York-based investment group Arsenal Capital Partners since 2012. The St. Louis Business Journal last year named Accella one of that area's fastest growing businesses with revenues of $260 million in 2014.
Al Restaino, Accella's vice president of marketing, said there's "no crystal clear timetable" for expansion in Chattanooga. Restaino said another part of Accella's polyurethane specialty business is carpet binder used for athletic tracks.
Negrey said some production was earlier moved to Chattanooga and future additions would be seen as "phase two."
"It has been tremendously successful," he said of the initial production growth. Negrey said the factory currently has excess production capacity.
"When Chattanooga was acquired, it had state-of-the-art manufacturing and the ability to branch out into other markets," he said.
The parent company also has an Accella Polyurethane Systems plant in Adairsville, Ga., near Calhoun.
Earlier this year, Accella Performance Materials acquired Quadrant Urethane Technologies Spray Foam, a manufacturer of spray foams for insulation based in McKinney, Texas.