Goodyear using soybean oil-based rubber in tires
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is harvesting some unique “seeds” of innovation as it introduces a new tire technology with support from the United Soybean Board (USB).
The first commercial use of a new soybean oil-based rubber compound is helping Goodyear enhance tire performance in dry, wet and winter conditions. A Goodyear team of scientists and engineers created a tread compound, or formulation, using soybean oil, which is naturally derived, cost-effective, carbon-neutral and renewable.
“Goodyear’s legacy of innovation drives us to continue to apply new technology solutions, developing superior performing tires that meet consumer demands,” said Eric Mizner, Goodyear’s director of global materials science.
By employing soybean oil in tires, Goodyear found a new way to help keep the rubber compound pliable in changing temperatures, a key performance achievement in maintaining and enhancing the vehicle’s grip on the road surface.
Goodyear’s tests have shown rubber made with soybean oil mixes more easily in the silica-reinforced compounds used in manufacturing certain tires. This also improves manufacturing efficiency and reduces energy consumption.
Goodyear cooperated on the project with the USB, a group of farmer-directors who oversee the investments of a checkoff program on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. The USB provided some funding support for the development of Goodyear’s soybean oil application in tires.
The commercialization of soybean oil in tires as the latest technology breakthrough by Goodyear builds on the company’s other recent innovations, such as the use of silica derived from rice husk ash, another component Goodyear is using in certain consumer tires, along with current and past uses of components such as carbon fiber, DuPont™ Kevlar®, volcanic sand and more.
Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs approximately 65,000 people and manufactures its products in 47 facilities in 21 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry.