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The advanced materials in tire manufacturing

To address insufficient supply of natural rubber, domestic and foreign tire producers and research institutes started to develop advanced materials to be used in tire manufacturing.

Rubber made from plant

Over the past few years, with the advance of global tire development technology, guayule rubber, taraxacum rubber, and gutta-percha were produced one after another.

Guayule is an xerophytic shrub growing in the southwest of the U.S..

Currently, Bridgestone and Cooper have successfully developed guayule rubber tire.

Taraxacum rubber is the most similar raw material to hevea and is expected to replace it directly.

Wang Feng, board chairman of Shandong Linglong Tire Co., Ltd., said the company has established an R&D team for taraxacum rubber and is set to develop taraxacum rubber product, which will inherit 80% of natural rubber’s performance.

China possesses more than 95% of the world’s eucommia resources, so gutta-percha is more suitable for China’s tire industry, said Yuan Zhongxue, board chairman of MESNAC.

New gutta-percha greatly extends the lifecycle of existing tires and is capable of reducing the consumption of tires annually.

Innovation in synthetic rubber

There are increasing demands for radial tire, flat tire and tubeless tire, which need large amount of synthetic rubber.

But only a few producers obtain technology to produce such product with environmentally friendly means, so China has to import large amount of synthetic rubber each year.

Currently, a number of domestic universities, scientific research institutes and enterprises launched broad cooperation and received breakthroughs in the fields of high-tech styrene-butadiene rubber, butyronitrile rubber, and butadiene rubber.

Birth of new additives

Besides natural rubber and synthetic rubber, there are plenty of additives in tire.

Lately listed Jinneng Science and Technology Co., Ltd. has launched a high-performance carbon black program.

Doublestar Group established a central lab for graphene tire, as adding graphene in rubber tire will enhance its durability and braking performance.

As a superior material, carbon nanotube is another focus of the industry. Currently, Shandong Fengyuan Tire Co., Ltd. has produced carbon nanotube tires recognized by the market.

In addition, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. lately announced to roll out a tire model with advanced materials, and the core material – silicon dioxide - is extracted from rice husk.

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