Continental to show dandelion rubber truck tyres, components at IAA
Natural rubber derived from dandelion roots is making its debut in truck and bus tyres and components produced by Continental. The German manufacturer will unveil a number of products that contain this raw material at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show this month, including Conti EcoPlus HD3 tyres made during the summer. These items merely offer a taste of things to come, however, as Continental states that production of Taraxagum – the name given to its dandelion rubber – will commence sometime within the next five to ten years.
The Taraxagum Conti EcoPlus HD3 will be joined at the IAA by a prototype for an engine mount that links the powertrain with the chassis and the first example of an intermediate propeller shaft bearing made from the new material. According to Continental, tests on the truck tyres and vibration elements made from Taraxagum were “extremely promising” and demonstrate that this Hevea rubber alternative “is ideal for the commercial vehicle sector” and “fulfils the strictest requirements in the challenging field of freight haulage.”
Continental is working on the industrialisation of dandelion rubber in a joint research project with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, the Federal Research Center for Cultivated Plants, Julius Kuehn-Institute, and the plant breeder ESKUSA.