Green tyres, fuel savings, CO2 emission - Green tyres: squaring the circle for manufacturers
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Green tyres: squaring the circle for manufacturers

Environment Published the 18/05/2011

Safety, fuel economy, and longevity: for fifteen years, tyre makers have been trying to combine these conflicting performances in order to reach a satisfactory balance. With silica-based rubbers and innovative manufacturing processes, they are now able to offer efficient green tyres.

Pneu vert : la quadrature du cercle Copyright © : rezulteo

The green tyre is a real headache for engineers. On one hand, energy losses and heating of the rubber need to be reduced to act on the rolling resistance; on the other hand, tyre surface in contact with the soil needs to be able to rise rapidly in temperature to manage very short braking distances. This is a difficult equation, which involves assembling rubbers with different properties!

No compromise on quality

Jean-Pierre Jeusette, director of tyre technology at GoodyearCopyright © : All Rights Reserved
Since the first green tyre, launched by Michelin in the early 1990s, considerable progress has been made to achieve a satisfactory balance of performances. "Green tyres should under no circumstances mean a compromise in terms of product quality and integrity", underlines Jean-Pierre Jeusette, director of car tyre technology at Goodyear for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Rolling resistance, handling on dry and wet roads, mileage: these are the four characteristics we are working on."

Silica-based rubbers

To reconcile the irreconcilable, a lot of work has been done in laboratories on the rubbers and on the manufacturing processes. Engineers have invented new silica-based materials and are using nanotechnology. The result is that the new generation of green tyres now offer performances comparable to standard tires. In addition, they are also more resistant (25% more mileage on average).