A new era dawning, says Lanxess
One thing made clear for Lanxess at this year’s Reifen show is that a new era is dawning upon the tyre sector. The specialty chemicals manufacturer noted the high profile enjoyed by green tyres, particularly those aimed at meeting the requirements of the European tyre label.
“Tyre labelling is green mobility,” commented Christoph Kalla, head of marketing and R&D for Lanxess’ Performance Butadiene Rubbers business unit at a Reifen show press conference. “A while ago we went down the road of moving away from mass products towards high quality materials. And that’s paid off. Here at the Reifen fair in Essen, we have seen a clear trend towards higher quality tyres. These higher quality tyres need our materials.”
In Lanxess’ opinion, ultimately a tyre can only obtain top marks in the required areas – for the label or otherwise –through the use of the kind of high-tech it supplies to all the leading tyre manufacturers. The specialty chemicals manufacturer says the special functionality of its SSBR rubber or neodymium polybutadiene rubber (Nd-PBR) “sets itself apart with its particularly tight molecular weight distribution.” The result, in plain English, is that using these rubbers allows for a significant reduction in rolling resistance without detriment to driving and safety features.
Although a rolling resistance optimised tyre is estimated to cost on average £15 to £40 more than its standard equivalent, Lanxess points out that selecting the right tyre saves fuel. To demonstrate this, the company showed off its free fuel-saving app during the Reifen show. The app shows the consumption and cost advantage of using green tyres, and Lanxess show hostess Henriette Völker commented that feedback from show visitors was very positive. “On occasions we’ve seen the app been downloaded directly to iPhones and visitors were excited about the functions offered by this app,” she said.