Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence 2019 shortlist – as supplied by organisers UKI Media & Events. Winners to be announced at gala dinner event on 6 March.
Comerio Ercole – Variable Bias Cutting Unit
The global market requires tire manufactures to react immediately for additional productivity requests. Comerio Ercole has developed/realized a Variable Bias Cutting Unit directly into the calender line, granting the possibility to get an automatic transversal cut with an adjustable angle in the range of 90°-60° according to process needs. The unit’s ability to cut on the bias (which essentially means diagonally at a certain angle) is intended to improve the calendering process, reducing scraps on the following body plies cutting process and granting accuracy for a better qualification of the process.
Eastman Chemical – Crystex Cure Pro
Tire manufacturers have a strong mandate from customers and stakeholders to improve sustainability, and tire makers are expected to deliver strong environmental performance. Eastman Crystex Cure Pro insoluble sulfur is engineered to achieve substantial operational savings from increased productivity, while also enabling critical environmental benefits. Tire plants can explore reducing electricity consumption, considering Crystex Cure Pro has demonstrated 10-15% shorter mixing and calendering times in plant trials, significant decrease in process waste & solvent usage from potential avoidance of sulfur bloom, and a 12-30% drop in shipping volumes through higher product concentration and effectiveness.
FineLine Technologies – Pre-Cure RFID Bead Label
FineLine has been developing a range of solutions to help make tires smarter, including the Pre-Cure RFID Bead Label. A key aspect of this solution is the simplicity. Currently, almost all tire producers are using barcode bead labels to identify their tires within production logistics prior and after curing process. Using RFID bead labels offer a number of advantages: simple and gradual adoption of RFID technology with a backwards compatible pre-cure bead label utilizing existing barcode and RFID transponder; ability to automatically associate green tire to building machine to mold/press and beyond; this solution gives form and content to the industry 4.0 digital factory movement.
Fraunhofer ITWM – CDTire
CDTire is a fully 3D structural tire model that can be used in full MBS vehicle simulation. The special feature is that it can be used in the tire OE pre-development CAE process by speeding up the tire/vehicle development time. It allows resizing and constructional design of a virtual tire prototype.
Goodyear – DuraShield
DuraShield is a new Goodyear technology featuring an exclusive top belt for extra resistance to casing damage, which also improves retreadability. It is featured in the new line of Omnitrac mixed service truck tires.
Kordsa/Continental – RF-free system
Kordsa/Conti are offering this technology via free licensing concept without royalties or technology transfer fees. This will avoid approval of high numbers of variants or different adhesion solutions, reducing time and budgets called for when developing RF-free technology. According to the company’s news releases: “Because of the open source offering, the technology will be freely available in order to lay the foundation for a new, eco-friendly adhesion system. Adopting this approach would not only demonstrate the tire industry’s willingness to define new pathways for cooperation, but also showcase a strong sense of responsibility for ensuring a sustainable future. Kordsa and Continental are determined to make this a reality with responsible partners in the industry – for the benefits of all our stakeholders.”
Michelin – Acorus
Acorus technology involves a narrower wheel than normal, fitted with two rubber expanders. Under impact, these reduce the chance to damage to the wheel and the tire. Developed with Maxion Wheels (after Michelin patented it), the Acorus system reduces pinching between tire and wheel – and lowers the chance of puncture. This extends tire life, but also enables larger wheels to be used in conditions where poor road conditions might lead to more punctures and wheel/tire damage.
Nokian – Tractor King
Designed for the heaviest forestry, earthmoving and road maintenance work, Nokian’s Tractor King tire has strength seen before only in earthmoving tires. Its double lug pattern gives the tire 50% more tractive edges, making it possible to combine great traction with premium on-road qualities. Compared to a conventional lug pattern tire, Nokian Tractor King boasts 20% more contact surface and more evenly distributed surface pressure. This enables heavy loads with little soil damage and less vibration on road transports. With its Aramid Sidewall Technology, Nokian Tractor King is also exceptionally durable and puncture resistant.
Pirelli – Cyber Car
Cyber Car project adds static and vertical load data (to temperature, pressure and wear) to the info available to the vehicle ECU – unlike previous Pirelli tech, Cyber Car isn’t an aftermarket project and is formulated with original fitment in mind. Could play a role in range extension in electric vehicle design. Pirelli has also developed a proprietary system for installation of the sensor, which even includes its own battery power supply. Cyber Car is being trialed on the Ferrari FXXK.
PPG Silica/Bridgestone – Surface-modified silica
This was a three-and-a-half-year project to develop a surface-modified silica to increase fuel efficiency in truck and bus radial tires. This performance silica address some of the challenges of mixing silica with natural rubber (improving compound resistance and reducing rolling resistance). Led to a 15% improvement in tear strength. Funded by US Department of Energy and has generated interest from military R&D departments, and PPG has been awarded a number of other research projects off the back of it.
PRL – Instrumented Chip&Cut Analyzer
While traveling off-road, tires are subject to very strong impacts caused by gravel, stone, soil, sand and stubble. These have serious effects on tire lifespan. This effect is known as Chipping and Cutting (CC). A quantified evaluation of the CC resistance of tire tread material in lab conditions was not really possible in the past. It had to be reproduced via testing of wear on produced tires in field tests, incurring high costs and significant effort. A new fully instrumented test appliance has been developed, able to quantitatively analyze the CC resistance of tire tread material in the lab. As the costs and effort involved when using the ICCA (Instrumented C&C Analyser) are quite low, tests can be performed parallel to the development of compounds. The new ICCA significantly saves time and money in testing the CC phenomenon on tire tread material and thus leads to a fast and efficient tire development.
SRI – Sensing Core
The company’s Sensing Core technology can detect road conditions (useful for driver information and warnings, passed to other vehicles, and could be integral to autonomous functionality) but without direct sensors. Has important safety information possibilities – detecting black ice, hydroplaning risk etc. Unlike camera or radar sensors, it can calculate and detect friction. A number of vehicle OEMs are showing interest in widespread application.
Toyo Tires – aero simulation technologies
Development of new approaches to aero simulation – not just for tires, but has the potential for analysis of tire and vehicle combined. Can predict aero characteristics of the tire in motion taking into account deformation under use conditions. Enables engineers to simulate and visualise flow fields around a moving tire – estimated that it could lead to 1% improvement in fuel efficiency and 5% in rolling resistance.
Trinseo – functionalised S-SBR
New functionalised S-SBR – offers greater control of key polymer characteristics such as hysteresis (to reduce rolling resistance). Uses anionic polymerization technology, and Trinseo’s R&D team has been recognised for this material’s potential.