Bridgestone targeting truck segment with airless technology

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LAS VEGAS — Bridgestone Corp. expects its “airless tire” technology to be commercially available soon — but probably not in the way auto makers assume.

The Japanese company wants to get its non-pneumatic tire technology into the hands of commercial truck owners rather than onto ordinary passenger vehicles.

The tires — shown for the first time recently at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas — use a recycled thermoplastic “web” as their core, replacing the pressurized air of traditional tires. Bridgestone said it has developed and is preparing to market large tires that can support 5,000 pounds of weight.

Read the source article at Tire Business

Evolution of all-season and winter tire technologies outlined in new report from Smithers

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Important trends and technologies in all-season and winter tires are detailed in a market report recently released by Smithers. All-Season vs Winter Tires to 2024: A State-of-the-Art Report (Members of TRAC receive 15 per cent discount on all rubber industry market reports produced by Smithers) assesses the key technologies, materials and market drivers that enable tire performance in these two critical product segments, including regulatory, end-use (passenger cars and light trucks) and regional outlooks. 

In terms of performance, several technologies account for the differences in all-season vs. winter tires, including materials, physical design, noise control technologies, processing, and modeling/simulation.

These technologies are ranked and detailed in the state-of-the-art report.

Region differences

The large temperate climate regions of the US and China make all-season tires a standard for most areas except for the northern most regions. Even in many of those areas, and in parts of southern Canada, all-season tires have a high market share, and season-specific tires are less important. This is in contrast to regulatory requirements in Europe and in severe winter weather provinces in Canada where laws or incentives have led to the market bifurcation between summer tires and winter tires.

The role of fuel economy standards

The most important regulatory driver for all-season tires is the OEM vehicle fuel economy standards. These standards are increasing for vehicle OEMs in the EU, Japan, China and North America. Targets for the EU and Japan in the 2025 time frame are rising to over 60 mpg. Originally, US CAFE standards were scheduled to increase to 54.5 mpg in 2025 for passenger cars and 47 mpg as a fleet average, but the standards have been revised downward to 44 mpg and 47 mpg as a fleet average.

The US vehicle market is moving dramatically toward fewer fuel-efficient SUVs/light trucks, which now make up 55% of light duty vehicle sales, even though the US has fuel economy improvements to make to reach new targets. Because tires contribute directly to vehicle fuel economy, automakers will prioritize low-rolling resistance all-season tires in the US for fuel economy gains. In other regions, higher fuel economy standards will drive toward super low-rolling resistance tires.

Winter tire regulation

Europe leads in winter tire regulation, with Germany’s winter tire mandate leading the way. Other EU countries have their own regulations, but because travel among countries is prolific, most consumers use winter tires. In North America, the US does not have a winter tire regulation, and demand for winter tires is concentrated in the northern states. Only in Quebec, Canada, are strict winter tire requirements mandated.

In Asia, Japan’s winter liability laws have encouraged extensive winter tire adoption, while no regulation exists in China. Winter tires are designated by the Alpine snowflake 3MPSF and M+S designations. Winter tire performance is segmented between Nordic/high snow and ice conditions and more moderate Central European winter conditions.  

All-weather tires

All-weather tires are a new market development gaining interest in Europe; they have also been introduced in North America. They offer winter tire labelling with the Alpine snowflake 3MPSF and year-round performance. Market potential exists to expand the all-weather/four-season tire category in south Central Europe, the northern US, Japan and eventually China.

Climate change

Climate patterns over the past 50 years have shown increasing temperatures. This is especially important for the future of winter tires and, to some extent, all-season tires. Increasing temperatures have been significant in northern climates, such as the northern US, where the average temperature has increased over 5° Fahrenheit, putting more cities in moderate winter vs. severe winter climates. The temperature change has generally led to decreases in snowfall and increases in rain; these trends are projected to accelerate over time.  

The overall long-term trends mean winter tires will need to focus more on wet grip, grip on black ice films, and wet snow performance around freezing instead of heavy and dry snow with thick ice conditions at temperatures significantly below freezing.

A brochure on the All-Season vs Winter Tires to 2024: A State-of-the-Art Report is available at: https://www.smithers.com/services/market-reports/transportation/all-season-vs-winter-tires-to-2024.

Read the source article at Smithers

Lehigh U., Michelin to study soft materials friction with NSF grant

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. — The National Science Foundation has granted Lehigh University nearly $2 million in funding over five years to work with Michelin North America and Cornell University to develop “novel” mechanisms to improve the friction of soft materials.

Read the source article at Tire Business

Tire Technology Expo Conference program: More speakers added!

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Tire Technology Expo Conference has just released an updated conference program, featuring even more new speakers. With over 170 presentations in total across 12 dedicated streams, leading organizations set to speak at the event include Bridgestone, Continental, Ducati, ExxonMobil, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Hankook, Jaguar Land Rover, Lamborghini, Michelin, Pirelli, and Yokohoma.

Read the source article at Tire Technology International

Capacity expansion drives up Triangle’s 2019 profits

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Weihai, Shandong – China’s tire maker Triangle estimates its unaudited net profit in 2019 will be €112 million (850 million yuan), up 76% from 2018.

Net profit less non-recurring items during the year will jump by 78% to €93 million, said a company announcement in January.

“New capacity and optimised product portfolio has generated good market results,” said the announcement.

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal

Sentury Tire Rebranding Landsail Tires

In 2010, Sentury Tire introduced the Landsail brand to the U.S. market with a focus on reaching trade customers. Sentury Tire is now revamping the Landsail messaging to emphasize the unique qualities of these particular tires and concentrate its brand strategy on addressing savvy consumers, the company says.

Read the source article at Tire Review

Discount Tire Partners With Multi-Platinum Artists, Walk Off The Earth, For 2020 “Let’s Get You Taken Care Of” Campaign

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Jan. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Discount Tire, the world’s largest retailer of tires and wheels, expanded its latest brand campaign with a partnership and jingle featuring the critically acclaimed, multi-platinum pop band, Walk Off the Earth. Discount Tire’s “Let’s Get…

Read the source article at PR Newswire

TRAC’s New Video Series Will Teach Drivers About All Things Tire

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TRAC and our consumer education initiative Be Tire Smart Canada launch a new video series that will continue to educate Canadian drivers about all things tire. We are creating these videos to guide drivers through the entire tire ownership and user journey, and underscoring the importance of tire maintenance and how it relates to safe driving.

Our goal is to encourage Canadian motorists to adopt good tire maintenance practices that will maximize the life span of tires, increase fuel efficiency, and keep our roads safer.

Our first two videos (available in English and French) educate drivers about tire options for winter driving, and the advantages of winter tires on cold Canadian roads.

Read the source article at Be Tire Smart

ITDG names Sullivan south region sales director

TEQUESTA, Fla. — Independent Tire Dealers Group LLC (ITDG) has named Micheal J. Sullivan its Southern Region Sales Director. Mr. Sullivan brings years of experience in both sales and as an independent tire retail owner to the position, the organization said

Read the source article at Tire Business

Pirelli’s Cyber Tire Leverages 5G for Safety

The idea of using technology to inform drivers about road conditions has been around for some time. Many major vehicle manufacturers have already designed lane assist and anti-slip systems within their vehicles. Tire manufacturer Pirelli is going on step further. By incorporating 5G technology in their tires, the company hopes to help drivers have more control over their vehicle’s grip on the asphalt.

Read the source article at CloudWedge