THE Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is harvesting some unique “seeds” of innovation in new tyre technology.
The company is pioneering commercial use of a new soybean oil-based rubber compound to improve tyre performance in dry, wet and winter conditions. A Goodyear team of scientists and engineers created a tread compound, or formulation, using soybean oil.
The new formula is natural, cost effective, carbon-neutral and renewable.
“Goodyear’s legacy of innovation drives us to continue to apply new technology solutions, developing superior performing tires that meet consumer demands,” said Eric Mizner, Goodyear’s Director of Global Material Science.
The soybean oil keeps the rubber compound pliable in changing temperatures, a key performance achievement in maintaining and enhancing the vehicle’s grip on road surfaces.
Tests have shown that rubber made with the new soybean oil formula mixes more easily in the silica-reinforced compounds used in manufacturing certain tyres. This also improves manufacturing efficiency and reduces energy consumption.
The commercialisation of soybean oil in their tyres is the company’s latest technological breakthrough.
It builds on the company’s other recent innovations, such as the use of silica derived from rice husk ash, another component Goodyear is using in certain consumer tyres, along with current and past uses of components such as carbon fibre, DuPont Kevlar®, volcanic sand and more.