The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has introduces new tyre technology with support from the United Soybean Board (USB), using a new soybean oil-based rubber compound in its tyres.
The first commercial use of this new rubber compound is helping Goodyear enhance tyre performance in dry, wet and winter conditions.
The soybean oil used in the creation of this new tread compound, or formulation, is naturally derived, cost-effective, carbon-neutral and renewable.
The company said by employing soybean oil in tyres, it has found a new way to help keep the rubber compound pliable in changing temperatures, a key performance achievement in maintaining and enhancing the vehicle’s grip on the road surface.
Its tests have shown rubber made with soybean oil mixes more easily in the silica-reinforced compounds used in manufacturing certain tyres, which also improves manufacturing efficiency and reduces energy consumption.
Goodyear cooperated on the project with the USB, a group of farmer-directors who oversee the investments of a checkoff program on behalf of all US soybean farmers.
The USB provided some funding support for the development of Goodyear’s soybean oil application in tyres.
The commercialisation of soybean oil in tyres as the latest technology breakthrough by Goodyear 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.
Goodyear, one of the world’s largest tyre companies, currently manufactures its products in 47 facilities in 21 countries around the world and has two Innovation Centres in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg.