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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Bridgestone, Conti and SRI win at TTI Awards


Sustainable innovation, and next-generation information and communication technologies were championed at this year’s Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence.

The awards are decided by the votes of a 27-strong panel of experts from the tire industry and academia, with the winners announced last night (Wednesday, February 15) during Tire Technology Expo, at a Gala Dinner at the Hannover Congress Centrum.

This year’s winners are testament to how the latest consumer electronics and cutting-edge information communication technology are being successfully adopted into tire design and manufacturing, yielding great results.

Graham Heeps, editor, Tire Technology International & chairman of the judging panel said: “Cutting-edge sustainability and information technology is more prominent than ever among this year’s winners, showing that the tire industry is at the forefront of high-tech research, development and manufacturing. The judging panel was impressed by the strength in depth among this year’s finalists. Picking the winners gets harder every year!”

Bridgestone was awarded Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year with judges overwhelmingly voting for the brand’s Examation tire assembly system. Examation combines revolutionary artificial intelligence with information and communication technologies, for improved quality and enhanced factory productivity.

Versalis/Genomatica won the Environmental Achievement of the Year award for their long-term project to create renewable butadiene. The companies embarked on the joint venture in a bid to address concerns around potential butadiene shortages and price increases. In a demonstration run in 2016, several kilograms of renewable butadiene were prepared starting from commercial sugars, with polymerization tests showing no differences between the polybutadiene prepared from fossil or renewable feedstock.

Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI, producers of Falken tires) won the Tire Technology of the Year category for a record third time with its Advanced 4D Nano Design, which makes is possible to perform highly realistic simulations of the complex internal structures and behaviours of rubber materials at the nanoscale. The technology is being used to develop next-generation tire materials, including a new tread rubber that doubled the wear performance of SRI’s standard tread rubber from 2011.

The Tire Industry Supplier of the Year award was presented to Harm Voortman, president and CEO, VMI Group. Judges recognized the launch of VMI’s Milexx truck-tire building machine, along with further debuts including its Retrax automated pre-cure tread applicator, Pixxel vision system, and its new manufacturing facility in Leszno, Poland, operational from Q2 2017.

In the hotly contested Tire Manufacturer of the Year category it was Continental who scooped the prize, beating off stiff competition from Hankook, Michelin and Yokohama.

A raft of major R&D and production investments were unveiled by Continental in 2016, with German projects including a new high-performance technical center and a dedicated dandelion-rubber research center. In September, the first truck test tires containing dandelion rubber were revealed, with production expected to follow in 5-10 years.

Two specialist awards were also presented. TU Dresden PhD candidate, Pavel Sarkisov took home the Young Scientist Prize after delivering an impressive conference paper entitled “Optical measurement of tire deformation focused on transient handling properties”. Meanwhile tire materials expert, Gert Heinrich, director of the Institute of Polymer Materials at the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research in Dresden, and Continental’s former head of materials research, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

For more on all the winners, head to

Read the source article at Tire Technology International

‘Tire Manufacturing Innovation’ award for Bridgestone & Examation


The Examation tyre assembly system is said to have resulted in a “landslide victory” for Bridgestone at the 2017 TTX Awards. The company was named Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year award at a ceremony in Hannover, Germany this week.

Bridgestone’s Hikone passenger car tyre plant in Japan was the first of the company’s facilities to utilise Examation. The system combines specially developed ICT with artificial intelligence to greatly improve quality and enhance productivity in the factory.

Examation incorporates more advanced versions of the information and communication technologies utilised in the BIRD (Bridgestone Innovative and Rational Development) production system and also employs new proprietary technologies based on the concepts of Bridgestone Intelligent Office (BIO) and Bridgestone Intelligent Device (BID). BIO and BID refer to new technologies that incorporate data analysis utilising Bridgestone’s core expertise in the processing of high polymer rubber complex materials, which represents a core technology area. These technologies also employ proprietary algorithms that are made by combining analysis of big data collected from manufacturing processes with the techniques and know-how of Bridgestone’s experts in manufacturing process.

“We are very proud that the Examation tyre assembly system has been recognised with this prestigious award,” comments Emilio Tiberio, vice-president of research and development at the Bridgestone Technical Centre Europe. “We believe that the application of our ICT and AI to our production systems will provide great benefits.”

Read the source article at Tyrepress

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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Hankook’s Growth Strategy Based on the New Factory


SAN JOSE DEL CABO, Mexico (Feb. 13, 2017) — Hankook Tire America Corp. plans to step up its North American marketing efforts in 2017 as part of a strategy to grow in a marketplace that looks to remain relatively flat.

One important reason for the 40-percent increase to the marketing budget is the opening in 2017 of the company’s first U.S. tire plant, but also from a global perspective the U.S. market is becoming more and more important to Hankook, according to Hankook Tire America President and Chief Operating Officer Hee Se Ahn.

“So we made a decision to increase our overall funding for the U.S.A. market,” he told Tire Business Feb. 11 during an interview at the company’s 2017 U.S./Canada Partner’s Day in San Jose del Cabo.

Hankook has aspirations to grow 15 percent globally in 2017, Mr. Ahn said, and the U.S. subsidiary is looking to achieve that same goal.

Read the source article at Tire Business

Cortina Capital Corp. announces proposed Qualifying Transaction with Ecolomondo Corporation Inc.

Montreal, QC / TheNewswire / January 20, 2017 – Cortina Capital Corp. (TMXV: CCN.P) (Cortina” or the “Company”) is announcing that on January 14, 2017 it has entered into a definitive binding letter of intent (the “LOI”) with Ecolomondo Corporation Inc. (“Ecolomondo”), a private company incorporated under the Canada Business Corporation Act. According to such LOI, Cortina and Ecolomondo will complete a share purchase agreement whereby Cortina will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Ecolomondo for a price of $21,746,031 by issuing to Ecolomondo’s current shareholders, 155,328,790 Cortina common shares at a price of $0.14 per Cortina common share (the “Transaction”). This Transaction will constitute Cortina’s Qualifying Transaction (the “Qualifying Transaction”), as per Policy 2.4 of the TMX Venture Exchange (the “Exchange” or “TMX”).

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Apollo researcher honored at India Rubber Expo


CHENNAI, India (Jan. 26, 2017) — The All India Rubber Industries Association has awarded Apollo Tyres Ltd.’s P.K. Mohamed, chief research adviser – research and development, with this year’s K.M. Philip Award, honoring his professional achievements in the fields of rubber and tires.

According to Apollo, Mr. Mohamed has more than 49 years’ experience in the fields of tire manufacturing and technology and has played a pivotal role working with organizations that help to establish standards for tire and rubber products.


Read the source article at Tire Business

Synthetic Rubber Market to Exceed US$ 45 Billion by 2023

Press release from: Market Research Engine (MRE) Reports New York, January 12: Market Research Engine has published a new report titled as “Synthetic Rubber Market by Product Type (Nitrile Butadiene Rubber, Ethylenean Propylene, Polybutadiene, Styrene Butadiene Rubber), by End-Users and by Geography – Global Industry Analysis and Forecast 2015 – 2023”How Big is the Global Synthetic Rubber Market? The global synthetic rubber market is expected to exceed more than US$ 45 Billion by 2023; Growing at a CAGR of more than 5% in the given forecast period.

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Thailand building auto test center to support tire, NR sectors

BANGKOK—The Thailand Board of Investment plans to invest $100 million to build an automotive testing center that the government views as a “top priority” for supporting the nation’s growing tire and natural rubber industries.

The center, to be built in the Sanam Chai Khet district east of Bangkok, will comprise a tire testing track and six car testing tracks. Construction is expected to start in 2018, with the center operational by early 2020, according to the investment board, which facilitates promotion of foreign direct investment in Thailand.

“The R&D unit for tires is a top priority for the government because it aims to upgrade the country’s rubber industry and increase rubber prices,” Suthon Nikomkate, director of the Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI), said.

Thailand is considered the world’s No. 1 supplier of natural rubber, accounting for roughly 35 percent of the supply with a market value of $25 billion a year, the investment board said. At present, there are 6 million farmers in the Thai rubber sector.

Read the source article at Rubber and Plastics News

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