New polymer improves tyre abrasion resistance, durability
A world first has been claimed by Bridgestone Corporation with the development of a polymer that bonds rubber and resins at the molecular level. Bridgestone believes this High Strength Rubber (HSR) polymer will lead to tyres that require fewer raw materials to deliver the performance expected from them.
Introducing HSR as a material that “combines the pliability of rubber with the toughness of resin,” Bridgestone says the new polymer “boasts unprecedented durability” with crack resistance over five times higher (based on tests using JIS K 6270), abrasion resistance more than 2.5 times higher (based on tests using JIS K 6264-2), and tensile strength at least 1.5 times higher (based on tests using JIS K 6251) than natural rubber, which itself has higher destruction resistance than common synthetic rubber.
HSR is a hybrid material for the molecular-level bonding of synthetic rubber components such as butadiene and isoprene with resin components such as ethylene. It utilises Bridgestone’s proprietary novel gadolinium (Gd) catalyst (via copolymerisation) and was developed by further evolving Gd catalyst technologies used to synthesise polyisoprene rubber (as announced by Bridgestone in December 2016).
“HSR boasts levels of durability and abrasion resistance that eclipse those of natural rubber,” reports Bridgestone Corporation. “For this reason, HSR is a promising next-generation tyre material with the potential to create tyres that achieve the required levels of performance while using less materials. Bridgestone therefore anticipate that HSR will be a powerful asset for the accomplishment of the goal of working towards 100 per cent sustainable materials set for 2050 in the Bridgestone Group’s Long-term Environmental Vision.” Bridgestone also intends to examine the possibility of utilising HSR in non-tyre products.