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

Study finds no increased rate of cancer among soccer players

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An investigation into a suspected cancer cluster among soccer players in Washington state found fewer than expected cases in the 5 to 24 age group, casting doubt on a theory that playing on artificial turf fields could increase the risk for cancer.

Officials from the Washington State Department of Health and the University of Washington School of Public Health launched the study after a coach for the UW women’s soccer team compiled a list of some 30 soccer players in the state who had been diagnosed with cancer, primarily Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, from the mid-1990s to 2015. The coach was particularly concerned about the number of goalkeepers with cancer and floated a theory that exposure to bits of recycled rubber used as infill in synthetic fields might be the cause. The list was later expanded to include more than 50 individuals with cancer, including some nonsoccer players who exercised on synthetic fields.

“We found that the number of cancers among all soccer players reported by the coach was less than expected, given rates of cancer in Washington residents of similar age,” said Dr. Cathy Wasserman, state epidemiologist for non-infectious conditions and lead investigator for the study.

The analysis calculated that given the number of soccer players in the state and the rate of cancer in the 5- to 24-year-old age group in the state, some 1,384 soccer players would develop cancer if there were no increased risk from synthetic turfs.

The finding suggests that the cancers reported by the coach, on its own, does not support a link between playing soccer and cancer. That was also true for goalkeepers and for players competing at higher levels, known as select or premier players.

Read the source article at bendbulletin.com

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

IRMRA collaborates with CFCP to promote rubber research

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Indian Rubber Manufacturers Research Association (IRMRA) and French Rubber Polymers Centre (CFCP) have entered into an agreement to promote research and eduction in the rubber and tyre sector.

According to Dr Kasilingam Rajkumar, Director of IRMRA, and Christian CALECA, Managing Director of CFCP, this new cooperation will facilitate many business opportunities for European and Indian companies active on the General Rubber Goods and Tyres markets. They expect a significant growth of technical and sales projects during the coming years.

The joint collaboration programme between the two institutions will cover the following areas: academic sponsored research projects, simulation of rubber and polymeric composites subcontracting of testing activities, promotion and distribution of online courses (MOOC and SPOC), identify the potential opportunity for development of products for defence and aerospace research application using mutual expertise

Read the source article at Rubber Asia