ERJ staff report (PR)
Kobe, Japan – Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd (SRI) has recently launched a new flagship product within its Enasave range of fuel-efficient tires.
Branded Enasave Next, the tire has achieved an "AAA-a" rating under Japan's tire labelling system - the top rating for fuel efficiency and wet grip.
The launch is the latest output from Sumitomo’s ‘tire with 50% less rolling resistance’ development programme, which was initiated in 2008.
The tire features the use of ‘ultra-pure natural rubber’ (UPNR) and ‘new functionalized polymer’- both products of SRI’s proprietary 4D Nano Design materials development technology – as well as a newly developed wet grip powder and advanced coupling agents.
The compound is said to reduce rolling resistance by suppressing heat-generation in tire sidewall and tread parts. Energy efficiency is further enhanced by UPNR, which creates stronger bonds with carbon by eliminating impurities found in natural rubber.
The functionalised polymer technology, meanwhile, lengthens the polymer chains and reduces the number of terminals per unit volume. It also increases the dispersion of styrene to prevent clustering, all of which work to suppress the generation of waste heat.
The wet grip powder increases the contact area between the tire and the microscopic dimples and bumps in the road, improving wet grip performance by 10 percent, SRI added.