By Alex Kapadia
A new generation of ‘green’ tyres that will boost fuel efficiency without affecting safety or durability is in the pipeline, according to a new study.
The tyres could help add an extra mile or two per gallon to a car’s fuel economy, reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases, which are leading to global warming, in the process.
The findings feature on the cover of the current issue of Chemical and Engineering News (CEN).
Alexander Tullo senior editor of the publication, explained that that rolling resistance, the friction that tyres encounter when rolling, in a major factor in a vehicle’s fuel economy.
For years, tyre makers and their raw material suppliers have been eyeing lower rolling resistance as a way to boost fuel economy and promote a cleaner environment.
But they have been thwarted by a principle called the “magic triangle of tyre technology”. It holds that an improvement to rolling resistance has to come at the expense of wet-road grip and durability.
That barrier is now falling, thanks to the development of new materials, including new forms of silica and nano materials.
These new materials include a nanogel that improves abrasion resistance, grip and rolling resistance of tyres as well as a newly-developed resin that helps tyres retain air longer, said a release of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
However, for the tyres to be effective, they must be properly inflated to take full advantage of the new technology, the article notes.