Smithers breaks ground on laboratory expansion

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RAVENNA, Ohio — Independent, third-party laboratory Smithers Rapra broke ground recently on a new expansion at the Smithers Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna.

Read the source article at Tire Business

Michelin opens R&D laboratory in India

An inauguration ceremony was held yesterday for Michelin’s new R&D centre in India. Alexandre Ziegler, France’s Ambassador to India, formally inaugurated the Michelin India Research and Development Laboratory in Manesar, Haryana state. The 3,800-square metre centre provides support to the Michelin Technology Center in Gurugram (formerly Gurgaon), a facility that focuses on commercial vehicle tyre R&D and provides technical support to the company’s manufacturing facilities in India, China and Thailand.

Read the source article at Tyrepress

Industry expert: dandelion a “viable” NR source

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Hilton Head Island, South Carolina – Alternative sources of natural rubber are no longer in the realm of speculation but are now viable technologies for tire manufacturing, a pair of speakers claimed at the 33rd Clemson University Global Tire Industry Conference in Hilton Head, April 19-21.

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal

German bike tire company develops “new-generation” rubber compound

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REICHSHOF, Germany—Bicycle tire brand Schwalbe is launching a new generation of compounds for its MTB tires in the Evo line, which it claims will improve durability while offering high performance.

In an April 19 statement, the German company said the compound goes by the name of Addix and “solves the typical trade-off between grip, rolling resistance and wear across a much wider range than before.”

To develop the compound, Schwalbe said it used “a state-of-the-art and extremely precise mixing technology which is not generally used in the bicycle tire industry.”

In its statement, the German tire company said the new mixing process “allows for an almost infinite number of parameter variations and, with a new production hardware set up especially for Addix.”

“In terms of durability, our tires have become much more impressive across the board, and the low-temperature properties are now excellent, and not only in the soft compounds,” Markus Hachmeyer, senior product manager at Schwalbe and designer of MTB tires, said.

Read the source article at Rubber and Plastics News

Silicone rubber robots could vastly improve mobility for the infirm, say researchers

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These robotic muscle-like actuators could replace metal joints in exoskeletons. EPFL roboticists say the silicone rubber elastomer based parts are far more flexible. They could be used to help the infirm move around, while improving posture and reducing discomfort for lower back pain sufferers. SOUNDBITE (English) JAMIE PAIK, THE DIRECTOR OF EPFL’S RECONFIGURABLE ROBOTICS LAB (RRL), SAYING: “We can foresee a new type of technology being brought closer to our daily lives. When I say that, it’s not us trying to bring in Terminator for everyone’s home, but to bring in different types of technology that enable us to live healthier and live with more comfort, and that was not able to be done beforehand.” The robots are controlled by changing the air pressure in special soft balloons that serve as its body. A modular system, they can be moved around the body to where physical support is needed. The team has devised this belt for potential use on stroke patients. SOUNDBITE (English) MATTHEW ROBERTSON, EPFL RESEARCHER, SPEAKING ABOUT THE BELT, SAYING: “In stroke patients I know they have a common asymmetry where they lean to one side and it could be used to correct for that asymmetry and then focus on if you’re using it to restore gait the belt could do the task of providing the support for your upper body.” The belt’s hooked up to a system of external pumps. The team hopes to miniaturise these and place them directly on the belt.

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Silicone rubber robots could vastly improve mobility for the infirm, say researchers

Read the source article at uk.reuters.com

SRI uses bio-liquid rubber in winter tire for better ice-grip

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Tokyo – Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has developed a winter tire using Kuraray-supplied liquid farnesene rubber (LFR) as a performance enhancing additive, the Japanese synthetic rubber supplier announced 20 Feb.

Tokyo-based SRI has used the additive in the production of its latest studless tire Winter Maxx 02, according to Kuraray’s announcement.

LFR is a liquid rubber developed by Kuraray using farnesene, a new biologically derived diene monomer developed by US biotech company Amyris.

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal

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

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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.”

Read the source article at Phys.org

Study: Rubber turf doesn’t raise cancer risk

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (Feb. 10, 2017)— A newly issued analysis from the Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH) concluded there is no evidence that cancer rates among young athletes are increased by playing on crumb rubber athletic turf.

“We did not find the number of cancers among soccer players, select and premier players or goalkeepers reported to the project team to be higher than expected based on Washington cancer rates for people of the same ages,” said the executive summary of the analysis from the WSDOH.

A coalition of three synthetic turf associations — the Recycled Rubber Council (RRC), the Safe Fields Alliance and the Synthetic Turf Council — said they were pleased but not surprised by the results of the WSDOH analysis.

Read the source article at Tire Business

Bridgestone, Conti and SRI win at TTI Awards

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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 www.tiretechnology-expo.com.

Read the source article at Tire Technology International

ANRPC Releases Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics, January 2017

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The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) is happy to release its Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics, January 2017. Natural rubber (NR) prices have registered a good start in the beginning of 2017 with an average 10% growth across key NR markets, in spite of the price decline to US$1.00 per kilogram during early […]

The post ANRPC Releases Natural Rubber Trends & Statistics, January 2017 appeared first on Global Rubber Markets.

Read the source article at Global Rubber Markets News