Dunlop International UHP Tyres Benefit from Silica
Apollo Tyres’ owned Dunlop Tyres International has introduced a new silica compound into its 16 to 18-inch UHP passenger car tyre range. The company is confident that the silica compound will offer drivers a range of benefits, including better wet grip, superior cornering ability and overall improved handling from the W and Z speed rated tyres.
On-road tests of tyres made using the silica compound demonstrate an improvement to wet skid performance by as much as 15 per cent, and Dunlop International report that similar improvements in grip and braking distances were also experienced. However, the company’s technical director, Danie Langner believes the most significant benefit of this new compound will be felt in motorists’ pockets. “With fuel prices soaring any innovation that helps reduce a vehicle’s fuel consumption is valuable,” he commented. “The good news is that by replacing some of the traditional carbon black compound with silica we have substantially reduced the rolling resistance of our tyres. In fact, tests indicate that, provided the tyres are maintained at the correct pressure our silica compound will reduce rolling resistance by 20 per cent or more. This means that less fuel is required to propel the vehicle forward, with a 20 per reduction in rolling resistance translating into a 5% reduction in fuel consumption. That’s a significant saving; basically your Dunlop tyres will now pay for themselves over their lifespan.”
Mr. Langner adds that reduced fuel expenditure is not the only benefit of better rolling resistance. “Silica loaded tyres are more environmentally friendly for a number of reasons. Obviously the main one is the reduced carbon dioxide emissions produced by their fuel saving qualities. It’s been calculated that for every ton of CO2 produced in manufacturing silica compounded tyres, 250 tons of CO2 are saved in reduced fuel emissions that’s an excellent trade-off! In addition, the emission of other volatile organic compounds during silica tyre production is substantially reduced, by as much as 80 per cent, according to leading European manufacturers.”