By Katherine Clarkson
Chinese tyres manufacturers are taking steps to join the race to produce more environmentally friendly tyres, according to a China Economic report.
The Chinese domestic tyres makers have discovered the growing need and demand for ‘greener’ tyres and are eager to enter the market.
The report states: ‘On many forums and exhibitions on tyre, main domestic and foreign tyre brands have spoken with a common voice: tyre can also save fuel and reduce emission.’
It goes on: ‘Despite of many advantages, the “green” tyre is mainly used by top-grade automobiles in a period of time as a result of its high cost. But as the number of automobiles in the world increases, the oil resources are to be exhausted and the influence of car emission on the environment enhances, the requirement on energy saving and emission reduction of automobile is becoming more and more urgent.
‘With rapid development in recent years, the automobile industry in our country also encounters the critical problem of energy saving and emission reduction. These factors have created an opportunity for the popularization of “green” tyre. Presently, main tyre manufacturers in the world are making great efforts to develop and produce “green” tyre and the international giants are increasingly distributing their “green” tyres in China.’
Chen Zhihong, head of Rubber Tyre Expert G of Planning and Economic Committee of chinaeRubber Industry Association, said: ‘”The occurrence of meridian tyre in 1946 reduced the tyre’s rolling resistance by 20 percent and the ‘green’ tyre emerging in the 1990s further reduced the rolling resistance on the basis of meridian tyre.
‘Although it just begins, the ‘green’ tyre represents the trend of further energy saving and emission reduction via tyre.’
According to Mr Zihong’s analysis the main way to reduce the rolling resistance is to use SSBR in combination with ‘mainly white carbon’ fillers. In this scenario the ‘green’ tyre can reduce the rolling resistance by about 26 per cent, save fuel by between 3 and 8 per cent without losing out on other performance characteristics such as noise and wet grip.