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Goodyear Using Soybean Oil-Based Rubber In Tires

A Goodyear team of scientists and engineers created a tread compound, or formulation, using soybean oil, which the company says is naturally derived, cost-effective, carbon-neutral and renewable.

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The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. says it is “harvesting some unique ‘seeds’ of innovation” as it introduces a new tire technology with support from the United Soybean Board (USB).

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A Goodyear team of scientists and engineers created a tread compound, or formulation, using soybean oil, which the company says is naturally derived, cost-effective, carbon-neutral and renewable. This is the company’s first commercial use of a new soybean oil-based rubber compound. The tiremaker says it is helping Goodyear enhance tire performance in dry, wet and winter conditions.

“Goodyear’s legacy of innovation drives us to continue to apply new technology solutions, developing superior performing tires that meet consumer demands,” said Eric Mizner, Goodyear’s director of global materials science.

By employing soybean oil in tires, Goodyear found a new way to help keep the rubber compound pliable in changing temperatures, a key performance achievement in maintaining and enhancing the vehicle’s grip on the road surface.

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Goodyear’s tests have shown rubber made with soybean oil mixes more easily in the silica-reinforced compounds used in manufacturing certain tires. This also improves manufacturing efficiency and reduces energy consumption, the tiremaker says.

Goodyear cooperated on the project with the USB, a group of farmer-directors who oversee the investments of a checkoff program on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. The USB provided some funding support for the development of Goodyear’s soybean oil application in tires.

The commercialization of soybean oil in tires is the latest technology breakthrough by Goodyear, which builds on the company’s other recent innovations, such as the use of silica derived from rice husk ash, another component Goodyear is using in certain consumer tires, along with current and past uses of components such as carbon fiber, DuPont Kevlar, volcanic sand and more.

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