Bridgestone exhibits ‘100% sustainable’ concept tyre
A particular tyre on display at the 2012 Paris Motor Show represents Bridgestone’s vision of its tyre manufacturing for 2050 and beyond. The “100% sustainable materials” concept tyre on show at the Bridgestone stand in Paris exclusively utilises sustainable raw materials and was developed through a collaborative effort involving a number of resources, including academia.
Reaching the goal of 100 per cent raw material utilisation requires a tyre maker to adopt a new approach to raw materials, and Bridgestone says it needs to diversify the regions where it produces natural rubber in order to meet the 100 per cent target. It is also expanding the range of reinforced plant fibres it uses, and for the concept tyre used synthesised biomass-sourced substitutes for synthetic rubber, carbon black and rubber compounding agents – ingredients traditionally produced from fossil resources.
Bridgestone intends to supplement the para rubber tree-sourced natural rubber it uses with rubber from the guayule plant, while cellulosic fibre will supplement or replace rayon as a reinforcing fibre. As mentioned above, petroleum-based synthetic rubber, curing agents, anti-aging chemicals and reinforcing fillers will be substituted by equivalent materials made from biomass, vegetable fats and oils.
The next step in Bridgestone’s journey to 100 per cent renewable material tyre production is to establish a framework of research and development and initiate the necessary core technologies to begin mass production. Bridgestone has set 2020 as a target for the commercial sale of “certain sustainable materials used in the manufacturing process.”