Goodyear has announced that it is using next-generation silica in manufacturing tyres. According to the company, the products made up of this new silica will offer enhanced fuel efficiency. The tyre maker will use this new silica for the first time in its upcoming product, the EfficientGrip SUV tyre, which is set to be launched in the Latin American markets by the end of this month. The American tyre maker will also introduce tyres containing this silica in other regions by the next year.
Researchers at Goodyear have been working with PPG Industries, for more than a decade, to examine and understand the effects of chemically-treated silica on tyre performance. Their main target was to further enhance rolling resistance without having a detrimental effect on traction in wet conditions. In the EffcientGrip SUV tyre, the new silica will provide better rolling resistance along with enhanced wet traction as it is used in a new tread compound as well as a new tread pattern.
Apart from that, the new generation silica also comes with processing advantages that help protect the environment. This silica gets mixed into the compounds quite easily, so the tyre companies can consume less energy in overall production process and also reduce emissions.
David Zanzig, Director of Global Materials Science for Goodyear, said, “Our customers around the world are demanding more fuel-efficient tyres but they want us to minimize the typical trade-offs. Our materials scientists worked in cross-functional teams and, together with tire design and construction engineers, they derived an integrated solution that optimizes performance. This new silica plays a critical role in satisfying our customers’ needs.”
He added, “While no one source of these new sources of silica is able to fulfill our total demand, they each play an important part in our materials line-up as we strive to create more environment-friendly tires.”