WILMINGTON, Del. — Leading elastomers-industry suppliers including Bayer, CK Witco Corp., DSM Elastomers, DuPont Dow Elastomers L.L.C., Flexsys, M.A. Hanna Rubber Compounding, and Zeon Chemicals L.P., have signed a letter of intent to create www.ElastomerSolutions.com. This global, neutral marketplace, and customer-focused, Web-based community will be devoted solely to the elastomers and associated-products industry. The marketplace will bring together rubber processors; materials, ingredient and equipment suppliers; service providers; and other parties.

ElastomerSolutions.com will improve the efficiency of existing channels and business processes while incorporating the speed of electronic commerce. Customers will benefit from improved information availability, access to a broad spectrum of products and services, and opportunities to collaborate on-line. The site is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2000.

Speaking on behalf of the initial equity investors, Theo G. Krapels, president and CEO of DuPont Dow Elastomers, said, “Elastomer-Solutions.com will improve and expedite existing ways of doing business along the industry’s entire value chain. Its broad functionality as well as transaction capabilities will facilitate relationships between customers and suppliers. This e-marketplace offers exciting opportunities for community building and for working more efficiently with customers.”

Elastomers are synthetic polymers distinguished by their elastic and flex characteristics. The global market for elastomers and associated products is estimated at $40 billion. It encompasses materials such as synthetic rubber, thermoplastic elastomers and latex/coatings, chemicals and additives, equipment, and services. Elastomeric materials are used in a number of industries and applications, such as automotive, construction, wire and cable, chemical processing, and consumer durable goods.