Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has introduced a tread compound using soybean oil. The company says it is the first commercial use of a soybean oil-based rubber compound.
The new tire technology was developed with support from the United Soybean Board (USB).
A Goodyear team of scientists and engineers created a tread compound, or formulation, using soybean oil, which is naturally derived, 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,” says Eric Mizner, Goodyear’s director of global materials science.
By employing soybean oil in tires, Goodyear says it 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.
Goodyear’s tests have shown rubber made with soybean oil mixes more easily in the silica-reinforced compounds used in manufacturing certain tires. This also improves manufacturing efficiency and reduces energy consumption.
Goodyear cooperated on the project with the USB, a group of farmer-directors. The USB provided some funding support for the development of Goodyear’s soybean oil application in tires.
The commercialization of soybean oil in tires 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 tires, along with current and past uses of components such as carbon fiber, DuPont Kevlar, volcanic sand
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