The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has been presented the Tire Technology International Award for Innovation and Excellence in the category of “Environmental Achievement of the Year” during the 2018 Tire Technology Expo in Hannover, Germany. The awarded technology represents a breakthrough by Goodyear in applying soybean oil in the tread compound of tires, as a replacement for traditional petroleum oil.
Over the past few years, Goodyear worked with the United Soybean Board to develop soy-based technology to enhance tire performance. Following extensive analysis and road testing, this new technology is now being used in two new Goodyear tires – the Assurance WeatherReady and the Eagle Enforcer All Weather.
“Our work with the United Soybean Board presented a unique challenge and opportunity for our material scientists and tire engineers to employ soybean oil in the development of superior performing tires,” said Chris Helsel, Goodyear’s chief technology officer. “It is exciting to see that work pay off with commercially successful products, and an honor to be recognized by the industry for the environmental achievement.”
Goodyear found that soybean oil could improve tire flexibility at low temperatures, helping the rubber to remain pliable in cold weather and enhancing traction in rain and snow simultaneously. In addition, Goodyear discovered that soybean oil mixes more easily with rubber compounds and reduces energy consumption, therefore improving tire manufacturing efficiency.
“Goodyear’s innovative industrialization of soybean oil technology proves that research and development in sustainable materials can benefit not only the environment, but also tire performance. I believe that this type of ‘win-win’ innovation will increasingly become the norm, rather than the exception, in the tire industry of the future,” said Graham Heeps, editor, Tire Technology International and chairman of the judging panel.
The Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence were chosen from nominations received from the readers of Tire Technology International (published by UKi Media & Events, of the U.K.), and with the input of the magazine’s editorial team. Winners are selected by an independent panel of international tire industry experts.