ERJ staff report (TB)
Boone, Iowa --- Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations is showing a Firestone-brand Radial Deep Tread agricultural concept tyre containing 10-percent soybean oil at the Farm Progress Show in Boone.
â€œThe soybean oil has replaced all the different petroleum-based processing oils used in the tyre's compounds,â€ said Tom Rodgers, director of sales and marketing at Bridgestone Americas. â€œEngineers and compounders from our Americas Technology Center, and also the company's Des Moines agricultural tyre plant, have been working on this concept tyre project for several months.
â€œBased on the progress of the project,â€ Mr. Rodgers said, â€œwe expect to begin incorporating soy oil into some of our agricultural tyres by early 2013. Our goal is to have soy oil as a component in all of our agriculture tyres by the end of 2013.â€
The 900-pound farm tyre contains nearly 90 pounds of soy oil. The typical use for the 800/70R38 Radial Deep Tread 23 tyre is on large four-wheel-drive tractors where eight tyres are used. Through the soybean processing, one bushel of soybeans yields around 11 pounds of soy oil.
â€œAny opportunity to enhance the value of the commodities our customers produce is a win for the industry. It's exciting to have the opportunity to be a customer of our customers, and we are confident that the innovation of using soy oil in our tyres is a positive for the global food market,â€ Mr. Rodgers added.
This innovation encompasses Firestone's desire for a more environmental-friendly business. In 2011, Bridgestone Corp. released an Environmental Mission Statement with one of the main points being to continually improve natural resource conservation through operational improvements and product design.
The Farm Progress Show is an outdoor tradeshow in Boone that runs through Aug. 30.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)