Lanxess Voices Support for Tyre Labelling Decision
The European Parliament’s decision on tyre labelling has been welcomed by specialty chemicals manufacturer Lanxess AG as a means of significantly reducing road generated CO2 reductions. The resolution requiring information about fuel efficiency, wet grip and rolling noise from 2012 onwards will, Lanxess believes, play a significant role for the tyre industry and its suppliers, as around 75 per cent of all tyres sold in Europe are replacement market products.
“With our modern high-performance rubber products, we can enable the tyre industry to comply already with the EU’s strict requirements on safer, environmentally friendlier tyres,” said Lanxess chairman of the Board of Management Axel C. Heitmann. “Because the number of vehicles worldwide will double within the next 25 years, the widespread use of innovative tyre technologies is essential if we are to use fuels more efficiently and slow down climate change.”
Lanxess supplies rubber used in the production of low rolling resistance tyres, and the company notes that if all vehicles were equipped with such tyres, around six billion litres of fuel could be saved every year in Europe alone, leading to some 15 million fewer tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. “Our innovative technologies also help to make these energy-saving tyres safer and longer-lasting,” commented Lanxess Board of Management member Werner Breuers. Further Lanxess product advantages highlighted by Breuers include combining low rolling resistance with good wet grip – in other words a shorter braking distance – and a longer service life.
Lanxess reports that, as the leading supplier of innovative high-tech rubber, it attaches major importance to research and development. Functionalised rubber grades play a key role in environmentally friendly tyres. One possibility for optimisation is a more ‘intelligent’ use of silica in tyre treads, specifically an improved distribution of the silica throughout the compound.
In the latest generation of solution styrene-butadiene rubber (SSBR), which is currently at the development stage at Lanxess, further significant improvements have been made in the incorporation of the silica filler into the rubber network. As a result, service life can be increased, adherence to the road improved, rolling resistance reduced and tyre abrasion lowered. In addition, Lanxess claims it can already offer rubber grades containing environmentally friendly processing fluids, making it one of the first producers to comply with the European Union’s environmental regulations due to come into force in 2010.