Bridgestone & Dow debut sustainable tyre sealant technology
Following more than four years of joint research and development, Bridgestone Americas and Dow are presenting their recyclable, silicone-based tyre sealant technology this week. The partners are introducing the solution at the 2022 Silicone Expo in Detroit, USA.
The technology is known as B-Seals, and Bridgestone says it provides “excellent sealant performance in the event of a puncture without compromising sustainability.” Unlike conventional sealants that are difficult to separate from the tyre after application, this silicone-based sealant can be efficiently removed, promoting tyre repairability and potentially extending the length of time a tyre is in service. The removable and recyclable nature of B-Seals also supports end-of-life tyre recycling and enables tyre material circularity.
Noting that a third of all new passenger vehicles sold in the USA are delivered without a spare tyre (this figure is closer to two-thirds in the UK), Bridgestone Americas says it will initially offer tyres with B-Seals to original equipment manufacturers looking to reduce vehicle weight and improve overall efficiency. It sees the proliferation of electric models as a ready market for the sealant technology.
“We envision a future where tyres are the ultimate enablers of sustainable mobility,” says Nizar Trigui, chief technology officer and group president, Solutions Businesses, Bridgestone Americas. “Not only will tyres be able to self-seal following a puncture, but we are also developing technologies that will relay real-time tyre health information to a driver or fleet manager so that they can make more informed vehicle maintenance decisions. Our collaboration with Dow demonstrates how we’re using innovation and collaboration to make mobility safer, more efficient and more sustainable.”
“Dow is delighted to commercialise the world’s first silicone self-sealing tyre solution to better provide passengers with safety, durability, comfort, and sustainability benefits,” adds Charlie Zimmer, global business director of Dow Performance Silicones & Specialty Materials. “As a global materials science leader, we look forward to a strong collaboration with Bridgestone to enable sustainable mobility through our novel tyre solution – advancing our collective journey to a carbon-neutral world.”
Delivering on sustainability commitments
The introduction of B-Seals silicone-based tyre sealant is the latest example of how Bridgestone is working to deliver its 2050 sustainability commitments of carbon neutrality and tyres made from 100 per cent renewable materials. In April, Bridgestone Americas announced a partnership with LanzaTech to convert end-of-life tyres into new materials, including sustainable ethanol, while also exploring processes to create sustainable synthetic rubber that does not rely on chemicals derived from oil. The tyre maker’s operation in the Americas is also working towards commercialising use of guayule natural rubber in tyres by 2030.
Furthermore, Bridgestone says its collaboration with Dow to develop B-Seals sealant technology aligns with the Bridgestone E8 Commitment, supporting in particular the ‘Extension’, ‘Ease’ and ‘Ecology’ values.