Museum unveils Yokohama green tyre exhibit
On October 4, Boston’s Museum of Science officially opened its “Making a Greener Tire” display, which highlight’s Yokohama Tire Corporation’s use of orange oil as a raw material. The tyre maker is represented in the display by one of its orange oil-infused tyres, the Yokohama BluEarth-1, and its Airtex inner liner, a product aimed at reducing air seepage from the tyre.
“Yokohama is the first – and only – tyre manufacturer in the world to employ orange oil technology,” said Yasushi Tanaka, Yokohama president and CEO. “It’s very rewarding to see it highlighted in a leading educational and cultural institution like the Museum of Science, Boston. The exhibit validates our commitment to advanced technologies that will protect earth.”
The display, located in the museum’s Transportation, Renewable Energy and Nanotechnology area, utilises tactile, visual and video elements to explain the technology behind the BluEarth-1, such as the combination of oil extracted from orange peels, fine silica and a blend polymer – these come together to form a nano-blend compound. This Yokohama technology, initially used in its dB Super E-spec tyre, eliminates a significant amount of the petroleum-based products normally used in tyre manufacturing. Nano-blend compounding, Yokohama explains, allows for less petroleum use during the manufacturing process and conserves fuel by reducing rolling resistance up to 20 per cent.
“Yokohama’s display is especially timely because it shows an innovative, green approach to manufacturing,” said Paul Fontaine, the Museum’s vice-president of education. “We welcome the opportunity to bring this cutting-edge technology to our visitors. The BluEarth exhibit reflects the Museum’s commitment to highlighting environmental issues and enhancing technological literacy.”
“Technologies such as orange oil and the AIRTEX Advanced Inner Liner are part of Yokohama’s global mandate to protect the environment,” Tanaka added. “Our new overall global environmental initiative is called ‘BluEarth,’ which includes the BluEarth-1 tyre. We thank the museum for presenting it to the public via this special exhibit.”
The Yokohama BluEarth-1, is currently available in Japan and Europe, and will launch in the US next year.