Linglong presents sustainable rubber tyre prototypes
Shandong Linglong Tire recently unveiled a new range of bio-based rubber tyres. Developed in joint collaboration with Beijing University of Chemical Technology over the past three years, the tyres utilise a number of sustainable rubber ingredients. The tyre maker reports that as part of the joint ‘Preparation Technology & Application Demonstration of New Bio-based Rubber Materials’ project, it produced winter tyres containing dandelion rubber, truck radials containing rubber from the Eucommia ulmoides tree as well as tyre rubber made using itaconate biosynthesis.
Eucommia ulmoides gum (EUG) is a natural polymer material extracted from Eucommia ulmoides, a small tree native to China that is also used in traditional medicine. Linglong comments that EUG can be used to reduce rolling resistance.
Key to addressing unsustainability & dependence on imports
Linglong considers the development of a new generation of bio-based rubbers key to solving the dual problems of unsustainable natural rubber procurement in China and the country’s heavy dependence upon imported natural rubber.
The Preparation Technology & Application Demonstration of New Bio-based Rubber Materials project commenced in November 2017, and over the past three years Linglong Tire has cooperated with the Beijing University of Chemical Technology along with other universities and companies to conduct a number of research programmes into the development of sustainably-sourced rubber for use in tyre production. All tyres developed within these projects have now completed third-party evaluation and have demonstrated superior performance to conventional natural rubber in specific pre-set criteria.
Linglong anticipates that its work in this field will lead to further breakthroughs that will result in better-performing and better-value tyres.