Jyco Sealing Technologies already has helped lead the shift from rubber to thermoplastics for automotive weather seals.
Even as company expands its existing business, it is looking to the next wave for thermoplastic vulcanizate seals using old tires in new cars and replacing metal cores with less expensive plastic.
Dexter, Mich.-based Jyco was founded eight years ago by rubber industry veteran Sam Jyawook and his son, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Shawn Jyawook. The firm first began using TPV in place of ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber seals on windshields, rear windows and other spots where the glass and doors did not move.
That business has continued to grow. The company extrudes seals in Montreal and Guaymas, Mexico, and has a new plant opening soon in the Czech Republic. It also operates joint ventures to make TPV seals in China, Belgium and Japan.
TPV gained converts in the auto industry because it can replace rubber for less money, is lighter weight and uses a simpler manufacturing process, but still provides the same performance.
In 2006, the firm was first to come up with a proprietary TPV blend that could be used in ``dynamic'' seals, including window runner channels, and on doors. Jyco's ``JyFlex'' was used on the Dodge Ram pickup truck door, making it to market before better-known competitors.
Now with its new ``JyGreen'' blend, Jyco aims to reduce prices and provide a new use for old rubber, spokesman James Mong said in an Aug. 6 interview.
``Everybody's trying to preach about green. Now we're showing how to do it,'' Mong said.
Jyco's JyGreen blend uses recycled rubber from post-industrial scrap, other seals and even old tires as the filler in new seals, and it can be used in any seal, Shawn Jyawook said.
``Tires have been a bulk contributor to landfills for many years,'' he said. ``By recycling them, we're helping our customers build more environmentally responsible vehicles than ever before.''
Jyco expects to launch full production soon, Mong said. The company also is working on other projects, he said, including replacing a roll-formed metal strip in a seal with extruded polypropylene for a part that is 46 percent lighter and recyclable.