Creating a tyre tread by hand may seem old fashioned, but even the largest manufacturers rely upon skilled carvers when developing new patterns. We visited Continental in Germany to see how this is done and to learn why automation hasn’t consigned carving to the history books.
In addition to unveiling a demonstration tyre containing 90% sustainable materials, Goodyear announces it will begin selling tyres with up to 70% sustainable-material content during the course of this year. No details are available at present, but Goodyear invites “consumers interested in purchasing this tyre” to register for updates at a US market-focused site.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has taken a further step towards its aim of achieving material sustainability by producing a tyre with 70 per cent sustainable material content. While this Goodyear Assurance tyre is a demonstration model and won’t be offered for sale just now, innovations contained within will certainly appear in future ranges.
A new prototype wheel technology showcased at the Movin’On sustainable mobility summit this week promises to put an end to punctures, spare tyres (or that awful can of repair foam lurking in the bowels of your car’s boot) and regular tyre pressure checks. It’s called the Michelin Uptis Prototype – short for ‘Unique Punctureproof Tire System’. The tyre/rim combination builds upon the Michelin Tweel technology used in lawncare and industrial applications, and Michelin stresses it is more than merely a concept.
Goodyear’s new Super Fuelmax prototype truck tyres will be on show at the IAA commercial vehicle show 2016 in Hanover. The prototype steer and drive tyres, which are rated A in rolling resistance on the EU tyre label, will be fitted to one of the trucks on display at the DAF stand, which all stand out in highest fuel efficiency. The Super Fuelmax S steer tyre in size 385/55R22.5 and Super Fuelmax D drive tyre in size 315/70R22.5 are a further development of the low rolling resistance Goodyear Fuelmax range.
With support from the Swedish Energy Agency, Volvo Trucks has developed a new vehicle for evaluation purposes, the Volvo Concept Truck. It is the result of a five-year research project aimed at creating more energy-efficient vehicles. Volvo Trucks claims the concept vehicle cuts fuel consumption by more than 30 per cent through a 40 per cent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency and the use of low rolling resistance tyres. These tyres – prototype tyres, of course – have been provided by official project tyre supplier Continental. Size 315/70 R22.5 tyres were selected for both the steer and drive axles, while the concept truck’s trailer is equipped with 385/55 R22.5 tyres.
Around three and a half years ago, Bridgestone Corporation announced plans to develop the guayule plant into a commercially viable alternative to traditional sources of natural rubber. The company produced its first guayule-sourced natural rubber samples a year ago, and today shares it has reached another milestone on the path to guayule commercialisation – Bridgestone says it has produced passenger car tyres whose natural rubber content is 100 per cent sourced from the desert shrub.