Rhodia claims labelling improvements with latest Zeosil silica
With EU tyre labelling legislation due to come into effect on 1 November, silica supplier Rhodia believes its Zeosil branded ranges of highly dispersible silica (HDS) will continue to develop as key components in providing better performing, safer and fuel-efficient tyres worldwide. “The new tyre labelling [legislation] draws attention to three basic criteria, two of which are directly linked and influenced by silica,” says Christian Léger, silica global business director for Rhodia.
“Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions economy, which is high on the agenda of today’s cost and environment conscious consumers, and safety, equally top-of-mind and which concerns handling, breaking precision in both wet and wintry conditions.”
At the Tire Technology Expo in Cologne on 14-16 February, Rhodia delivered a paper highlighting the benefits of its newest Zeosil Premium and Zeosil 1085GR products, which meet and surpass the specific criteria and additional challenges imposed by the legislation. Zeosil Premium is today the only HDS to achieve both the best performance in rolling resistance and the best wear resistance, according to Rhodia. In addition, the company says the handling performance achieved with the product makes it possible to use full silica compounds in sport and high performance tyres.
Soline de Cayeux, business development manager at Rhodia says: “The new Zeosil 1085GR is a very low surface area (VLSA) HDS technology. The use of this new silica in passenger car tyre tread improves traction in wet conditions and contributes to providing up to 10 per cent shorter braking distance on wet surfaces; a key safety factor underlined by the new legislation. It also enables new levels of snow grip in wintry driving conditions while guaranteeing wear resistance and handling performance.”
Zeosil 1085GR can also be used as a drop-in replacement for carbon black in some non-tread parts (like sidewall and bead area) of tyres, leading to even higher fuel efficiency,” de Cayeux added. Zeosil HDS products can reduce rolling resistance by up to 25 per cent and consequently fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 7 per cent.
Léger says, “An additional criteria concerns the tyre manufacturers themselves and Rhodia does help here. The EU expects manufacturers of consumer goods, tyres included, to make products which reduce energy consumption. The unique morphology of Zeosil achieves this while offering benchmark processing performance.
“Rhodia has recently increased production capacity for highly dispersible silica by more than 40 per cent which clearly demonstrates that we are prepared to support our customers to meet the long-term growth expectations associated with demand for safer, fuel-saving tyres,” Léger concluded.