The overriding theme from the IAA for Transportation across the spectrum from the tyre manufacturers was one of sustainability, whether that be in the form of a plethora of digital services that deliver fuel savings for fleets, product advancements that reduce rolling resistance offers or, as is the case of Goodyear, presenting a demonstration truck tyre that is comprised of 63% sustainable materials.
Glesener Speaks to Commercial Tyre Business on its Demonstration Truck Tyre
The 63% sustainable-material demonstration truck tyre included 15 featured ingredients across 20 tyre components with the demonstration tyre being labelled “A” in fuel efficiency, meaning it can offer the same fuel saving as the most efficient Goodyear truck tyres currently offered.
Ben Glesener, the Director for Tyre Technology Commercial EMEA for Goodyear explained, “This tyre is a showcase of where we are on that journey. Our ambition is to have a 100% tyre as soon as we can. In this demonstration tyre, the biggest portion of materials is renewable, and the smaller portion is recycled.
“One thing that is important to stress is that it is not just about the percentage. We do all of that without any trade off in performance. We only opt for any material if it is equal in performance or better.”
In terms of materials, carbon black is included in the tyres for compound reinforcement and to help increase their tread life. This has traditionally been made by burning various types of petroleum or coal tar-based products. Goodyear’s demonstration tyre features four different carbon blacks that are produced from plant-based oil, end-of-life tyre pyrolysis oil, carbon dioxide capture and conversion, and a low-carbon methane pyrolysis process.
Meanwhile, some of the petroleum-based oils in the tyre were replaced by the use of rapeseed oil. The use of bio-based rapeseed oil is in line with the company's goal of fully replacing petroleum-derived oils in its products by 2040. In relation to silica, this is currently an ingredient often used in tyres to help improve grip and reduce fuel consumption. The demonstration tyre at the IAA contained a variety of silica produced from rice husk ash, a by-product of rice processing that is often discarded and put into landfills.
The polyester in the tyre is recycled from plastic bottles and other plastic waste by reverting the polyester into its base chemicals and reforming them into technical grade polyester feasible for tyre cords, which enables better retreadability. Glesener added, “In general, we use polyester in our mixed service lines to protect casings, and this really helps retreadability. What we did here was use recycled polyester and put it on the road tyre as it really has the potential to improve retreadability.”
In the future, this demonstration tyre can be connected and monitor a variety of tyre health parameters. This has the potential to reduce waste and increase efficiency by maintaining ideal pressure and tyre condition. Monitoring the health of the tyre is an important factor in determining whether or when a tyre can be renewed, thus potentially contributing to circularity and increasing efficiency.
The demonstration product is in line with Goodyear's commitment to increase the use of sustainable materials. Additionally, a tyre made of sustainable materials, providing low rolling resistance and being fully retreadable, with the possibility of connecting to tyre health monitoring with the Goodyear Total Mobility solution, has the potential to positively affect circularity and climate impact.
Grégory Boucharlat, Vice President Commercial Europe: “Development of our integrated offering of products and mobility solutions under the Goodyear Total Mobility umbrella can further support our customers in the demanding transport market and help them in achieving their own sustainability goals. Goodyear is committed to the development of products and solutions that help support the ambitions and aspirations of our business partners to be more competitive, more efficient and more sustainable.”