Researchers invent process to produce renewable car tires from trees, grass


A team of researchers, led by the University of Minnesota, has invented a new technology to produce automobile tires from trees and grasses in a process that could shift the tire production industry toward using renewable resources found right in our backyards.

The technology has been patented by the University of Minnesota and is available for licensing through the University of Minnesota Office of Technology Commercialization.

The new study is published by the American Chemical Society’s ACS Catalysis, a leading journal in the chemical and catalysis sciences. Authors of the study, include researchers from the University of Minnesota, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the Center for Sustainable Polymers, a National Science Foundation-funded center at the University of Minnesota.

“Our team created a new chemical process to make isoprene, the key molecule in car tires, from natural products like trees, grasses, or corn,” said Paul Dauenhauer, a University of Minnesota associate professor of chemical engineering and materials science and lead researcher of the study. “This research could have a major impact on the multi-billion dollar automobile tires industry.”

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Pirelli says F1 will see more overtaking, more passing in 2017


Pirelli tire officials are confident Formula 1 fans will see more overtaking, more speed and fewer pit stops in 2017.

Some are worried that, as downforce increases dramatically this year, the shorter braking distances could mean much less overtaking. But a key criticism of F1 in the past few years is that the overtaking aid Drag Reduction System has ramped up artificial passing to the point that it is hurting the show.

Pirelli racing manager Mario Isola told the Spanish sports daily Marca, “Logic says there will be fewer overtakes, but they will be real. There will be no discussions for hours about whether the move was real or assisted. But also the show is not only in overtaking.”

Indeed, some believe that a big step forward this year will be the simplicity of the racing, helped by tires that degrade less and are less prone to overheating.

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The Tires Of The Future Were Actually Invented In The 1930s


Airless tires have been getting lots of press over the last few years, with Michelin’s “Tweel” being touted as the most amazing bit of tire tech since the invention of the radial. Except that it really isn’t, because a very similar airless-tire concept was under development in the 1930s and ‘40s.

James Vernon Martin was a legendary aircraft and automobile inventor in the early 20th Century, developing everything from retractable aircraft landing gear, to cars with weird rubber cord suspensions to this: an elastic spoke tire.


Read the source article at Jalopnik

Bridgestone Showcases Concept Tire on Chrysler Portal


Bridgestone Americas, has created a new concept tire, which debuted on the new Chrysler Portal concept.

The Bridgestone concept tire was custom-molded to blend seamlessly with the Portal design, the tiremaker said.

As vehicles integrate technology to complement connected, on-demand lifestyles, tires are also being reimagined. Because of this, Bridgestone has designed a new concept tire to meet the emerging needs of both drivers and automakers. The tire delivers real-time monitoring of road and weather conditions, enhanced performance and increased fuel efficiency, Bridgestone said.

“Technology is rapidly changing the automotive industry and tire innovation is playing a key role in this revolution,” said Mike Martini, president of original equipment at Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “Tires are an important tuning knob for a vehicle. They play a vital role in delivering automakers’ desired vehicle performance, while also meeting the needs and expectations of the next-generation of drivers.”

Read the source article at Tire Review

Pirelli concerned over wider wet weather tyres | 2017 F1 season


Pirelli has warned that improving its much-criticised wet weather rubber will not be made easier by F1’s adoption of wider tyres in 2017.

The sport’s official tyre supplier is seeking a recent-specification F1 car to conduct further tests of its wet weather product. Last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix prompted further complaints from drivers about aquaplaning.

“You can imagine wet tyres, we’re going wider, and that’s not a direction you want to go in when you’re trying to do wet tyre performance,” Hembery admitted in an interview at the Autosport International show.

Pirelli conducted three wet weather tests for its 2017 compounds last year but Hembery says the development programme needs to go on.

“We’re working actually on an ongoing development during the season, which is something we’re allowed to do this time around, before we weren’t able to test at all,” he said.


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Graphene Wonder component for tyres?


Tyre companies are always scouting for new materials to give them an edge over their competitors. As with all business sectors, new potentially innovative developments emerge, a good number which never actually reaching the production stage for a variety of reasons. Only once in a while does a product or production process actually make the trip to become part of a tyre.

All the talk in Europe at the moment is about Graphene, a form of carbon that was discovered twelve years ago by Andre Geim (Russian-born Dutch-British Physicist) and Konstantin Novodelov (Russian-British Physicist) who in 2010 received the Nobel prize in Physics for their work on Graphene.

Graphene has already been acknowledged as being significantly stronger than steel and has the ability to carry electrical charges faster than materials currently being used which will make tyres not only lighter with less rolling resistance but also improve their puncture resistance and give even more grip which is not possible with the existing tyre compounds. Quite impressive claims for a product that is reputed to be the world’s thinnest material (between 2-8 atoms) in an industry that thrives on constant advance in efficiency and safety!

Read the source article at Rubber Asia

Goodyear’s Eagle-360 wins Good Design Award


Goodyear’s spherical concept tyre Eagle-360 has won the 2016 Good Design Award(Transportation category), instituted by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Eagle-360 has already been named one of Time magazine’s Best Inventions of the Year 2016.

Read the source article at Rubber Asia

A New Ford Bronco And Ford Ranger Are Officially Happening


It’s happening. It’s really happening. After years of speculation and customer demand, the Ford Bronco and Ford Ranger are back. Ford confirmed as much today at the Detroit Auto Show, saying both trucks are on the way in a few short years. Holy crap. Here’s what Ford said today during a press conference at the Joe Louis Arena: “We’ve heard our customers loud and clear.

Read the source article at Truck Yeah

Ford confirms Ranger, Bronco plans for North America


DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. confirmed its Ranger midsize pickup and Bronco SUV would return to North America. The Ranger will debut in 2019, while the Bronco will come in 2020, Production of the Ranger will begin in late 2018 at Michigan Assembly Plant next year. Ford did not specify when Bronco would return, but confirmed it will also come to Michigan Assembly Plant. They replace the Focus and CMax. Focus production is moving to Ford’s plant in Hermosillo.

Read the source article at Front Page

Canada Rolls Out Own Testing of Autonomous Cars


OTTAWA – A pilot test of automated vehicles is under way in the Canadian province of Ontario, aided by a groundbreaking regulatory system designed to encourage technology and automotive companies to increase R&D.

The experimental program, which began Nov. 28, takes advantage of a provincial law enacted Jan. 1 that allows companies to test self-driving vehicles on Ontario roads. Other Canadian provinces, which have jurisdiction over transport issues in the Canadian confederation, still are developing such rules.

Several U.S. states also are angling to become centers for autonomous-vehicle development in North America. Eight states, as well as the District of Columbia, have adopted legislation that to some extent allows autonomous vehicles to travel on public roads.

Read the source article at WardsAuto