Synthetic rubber development could yield improved truck tires

Synthetic rubber development could yield improved truck tires

POTSDAM, Germany — Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied Polymer Research in Germany have developed a polyisoprene synthetic rubber they claim can exceed the treadwear performance of natural rubber in truck tires.

The discovery, dubbed “BISYKA,” achieves 30- to 50-percent less abrasion than natural rubber, Fraunhofer Institutes said, making it ideal for use in truck tire treads, for which SR up to now has been unsuitable.

“The treads of (truck) tires are manufactured primarily from natural rubber … and to date has demonstrated the best abrasion characteristics,” the research institute said.

However, the need to find alternative rubber sources has been increasing as the supply security of NR is doubtful, due to fungi that have decimated the Brazilian rubber industry and could, at some point, appear in Southeast Asia, where the vast majority of the world’s NR is cultivated.

Researchers at Fraunhofer Institutes began development of BISYKA — named for the German abbreviation for biometric synthetic rubber — a few years ago by studying dandelion rubber,

“Like the rubber from rubber trees, 95 percent of dandelion rubber consists of polyisoprene,” the institute said. Because dandelions generate a yield in three months compared with seven years for Hevea trees, it was ideal for research, it said.


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