Chinese Tyre Manufacturers are Going Green
Domestic Chinese tyre manufacturers are taking step to produce more environmentally friendly tyres, according to a China Economic report. “The occurrence of [the radial] in 1946 reduced the tyre’s rolling resistance by 20 per cent and the ‘green’ tyre emerging in the 1990s further reduced the rolling resistance,” Head of Rubber Tyre Expert Group of Planning and Economic Committee of China Rubber Industry Association Chen Zhihong said, adding: “although it just begins, the ‘green’ tyre represents the trend of further energy saving and emission reduction via tyre.”
According to Chen Zhihong’s analysis the main way to reduce the rolling resistance is to use SSBR in combination with “mainly white carbon” fillers. In this scenario the “green” tyre can reduce the rolling resistance by about 26 per cent, save fuel by between 3 and 8 per cent without losing out on other performance characteristics such as noise and wet grip. Nevertheless, the “green” tyre is currently said to mainly be used by top-grade automobiles in China “as a result of its high cost.”
According to China Economic, Michelin was the first manufacturer to launch green and energy-saving tyre for truck and coach in China. However, as the world’s leading tyre makers are making great efforts to develop and produce greener, so Chinese domestic players are beginning to follow suit. Several enterprises have now begun to develop and trial-produce green tyre, the newspaper reports adding: although the domestic tyre enterprises have had the technical level to produce green tyres, the question is which domestically owned companies are willing to go-ahead and produce these products.
“In the respect of energy saving and environmental protection, when compared with main international tyre manufacturers, there is still a great gap for the self-owned tyre enterprises in China.” Zhihong says that of the many tyre enterprises in China, there are only about 300 enterprises with 3C environmental certification, of which 30 enterprises produce radial tyres.