Soybean oil could be a key ingredient to making tyres last longer
By Denna Bowman
The development is also good news for the environment, because it could lead to a reduction in the amount of petroleum-based oil used in tyres.
And Goodyear researchers at the company’s Innovation Center discovered that using soybean showed improved mixing capabilities in the manufacturing process.
The company found that rubber compounds made with soybean oil blend more easily with the silica used in building tyres which can improve plant efficiency and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear’s chief technical officer, said: “Goodyear is committed to caring for the environment and communities, and use of soybean oil is proving to be another way to accomplish this goal.
“Consumers benefit through improved tread life, Goodyear gains with increased efficiency and energy savings and we all win whenever there is a positive impact on the environment.”
Prototype tyres will be tested at Goodyear’s Proving Grounds in San Angelo, Texas in the coming months.
If indicators remain positive, Goodyear expects consumers will be able to purchase tyres made with soybean oil as early as 2015.