The Tyre Collective – winners of the James Dyson Awards 2020 – have designed a device to capture tyre particulate at source. According to the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ “Air Quality: Brake, Tyre and Road Surface Wear” report, tyre-wear accounts for nearly half of road transport particulate emissions. Furthermore, a reported half a million tonnes of tyre particles are produced annually in Europe alone, from vehicles accelerating, braking and cornering. As we move towards electric vehicles in the future, exhaust emissions will reduce but tyre particles will continue. The Tyre Collective estimate that tyre emissions may even increase, as electric vehicles become heavier due to the added battery weight. For both reasons, this year’s UK national James Dyson Award winners attempt to address this issue.
The 39th Tire Society Conference on tyre science and technology, which runs from 28 September to 2 October, will be held entirely
virtually for the first time this year, due to the Covid pandemic. However, it will still feature 27 original works of tyre technology presented by the authors and a special topic paper on the 40+ year history of the Tire Society as well as a keynote address, plenary address, invited lecture and panel discussion.
The University of Plymouth published government-funded research into what happens to particles released from vehicle tyres back in May. This comparatively recent report – as far as academic research is concerned – was launched with no-small media fanfare amid claims that tyres “could be a significant and previously largely unrecorded source of microplastics in the marine environment”. Be that as it may, the research also highlighted a number of significant knowledge gaps in this field of research.
Michelin is coordinating 7 industrial partners, 5 Research & Technological Organizations (RTOs) and an innovation cluster into a European consortium designing pioneering processes to produce new tyres from end-of-life tyres (ELTs). The project, called BlackCycle owing to its focus on developing a circular economy for tyres, is run across five countries.
Since October 2018, four researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in the USA have worked together with Bridgestone to develop a means for vehicles to automatically measure tyre wear. The result of this collaboration is Osprey, a mmWave sensing system that reportedly can provide accurate measurements of tyre wear in real-time.
Brake manufacturer Brembo has decided to donate 1 million euros to three centres of excellence in Bergamo, namely the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, the Fondazione per la Ricerca Ospedale di Bergamo (FROM) foundation and the Mario Negri Institute, which are working in the region hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, combining clinical and pharmacological research.
Recent funding grants given to LeHigh University mean the college’s friction and adhesion research department will continue to develop innovative solutions that could fuel tyre development. According to the University, Anand Jagota, professor and founding chair of Lehigh University’s bioengineering department, has arrived at a milestone in his 15 years of researching friction and adhesion.
Working together with a Japanese university, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. (SRI) has established a new technique for observing materials contained within tyre rubber. This process differs from existing methods as it enables an evaluation of the actual rubber used in mass-produced tyres rather than relying upon processed test samples. The company behind the Falken tyre brand foresees the technique facilitating the development of tyres with superior performance characteristics.
A team of chemists at Canada’s McMaster University claim to have discovered an innovative way to break down and dissolve the rubber used in tyres. They believe their process could lead to more efficient methods of recycling.
The European Commission has approved 3.2 billion euros of battery research and development support under EU State aid rules. The funding comes as the result of an Important Project of Common European interest (IPCEI) application jointly notified by Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden to support research and innovation in the common European priority area of batteries.
CEOs of 11 leading tyre manufacturers met to review progress and confirm the ongoing mandate of the leading global forum for tyre manufacturers on sustainability issues – the Tire Industry Project.
Founded in 2005, the Tire Industry Project (TIP) is a global CEO-led initiative undertaken by leading tyre manufacturing companies to research potential human health and environmental impacts of tyres throughout their lifecycle. TIP operates under the umbrella of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and is co-chaired by Bridgestone, Goodyear, and Michelin.
Research on graphene rubber composites, conducted by Linglong Tire and Beijing University of Chemical Technology has been audited by the Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission, according to the tyre company.
Professor Richard Thompson OBE, who leads the International Marine Research Unit at the University of Plymouth, has questioned claims made by the Marine Conservation Society relating the role played by tyre wear in marine microplastic pollution.
In December Hankook Tire USA released its latest quarterly Gauge Index Survey. Regarding tyre technology it found that 73 per cent of Americans would like to see future tyres self-inflate as part of a smart self-regulating Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Further, 44 per cent of respondents expressed interest in a self-repairing tyre.