Mixing Together:
What will be the future requirements
on CO
emissions and what does this mean for rubber
products such as tyres?
Michael F. Ableson:
Tyre production – as well as other
industries – will have to move away from the high-energy
industry. Consumption of raw materials must be mini­
mised. We can achieve this through the use of alternative
materials, energy recovery and the reintroduction of
recylced materials into finished products.
Mixing Together:
In general, how will the demands on
tyres change (rolling resistance, wear, traction and brak-
ing performance, use of renewable resources as a sub-
stitute, use of aromatic plasticisers)?
Michael F. Ableson:
The rolling resistance will remain an
important issue. But especially the overall energy balance
will play a more important role. Since fewer and fewer
people are able to realise the full potential of a vehicle
and further speed limits are expected to rise, features
important today such as handling, traction and braking
performance will in future no longer be the only dominat-
ing factors. The braking distance, for example, could
also be positively influenced through intelligent, predictive
traffic systems. Renewable resources are already being
tested and will be gradually introduced.
Mixing Together:
What does this mean for the develop-
ment of materials and for tyre constructions (wider and
larger with respectively higher rubber consumption)?
Michael F. Ableson:
The tyre of the future will by trend
be narrower and the tyre outside diameter will be rather
larger. Therefore, it is likely that rubber consumption will
remain rather neutral. New materials are to be tested and
used but however not within a short term and only if an
improved spectrum of features for tyres would arise.
Mixing Together:
Is it possible to replace the rubber in
Michael F. Ableson:
Possible, yes, but that will certainly
take a while. Currently, rubber is still the material with the
best all-round properties. The share of synthetic rubber
in tyres has risen to around 50%, in so far the natural
rubber has already been replaced to some extent.
‘The tyre of the future will by trend be
narrower and the tyre outside diameter
will be rather larger.’
| MIXING know-how
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