Dow Corning has announced a new process for making the organosilanes used in the tyre industry to allow silica to interact with rubber molecules. The new process is, according to Dow Corning, much cheaper and more environmentally friendly than existing processes.
"Our technology has helped to reduce the cost of producing green tyres, which will increase the availability of green tyres, they will become more affordable and available, leading to wider adoption," said Martin Harvey, Dow Corning global market leader, Materials Manufacturing Industries in a corporate news release.
The process relies on a technology called Phase Transfer Catalysis (PTC). Dow Corning said this process accelerates the reaction time needed for making silanes, reducing manufacturing costs and the amount of materials needed. In addition, the improved PTC technology requires no salt filtration, hazardous solvents, or solvent recovery. The company said this cost reduction wil bring "green tyre" technology within reach of all tyre makers; not just those aiming for original equipment fitments.
Dow Corning says it has been working with most of the major tyre makers for the last year or so and has seen some very positive results.
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Dow Corning website (no details of this product, as of 25 March)