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Evonik to Present Silica/Silane Technology for Wear Resistance in Tires

Published on 2017-02-08. Author : SpecialChem

Evonik will present Silica/Silane technology for lower rolling resistance, resulting in a reduction in fuel consumption by 5 % and thus lower CO2 emissions.

Green Tires with Silane Technology Reduce Fuel Consumption by 5 %


Tires are high-tech composites, and the components of the treads have a huge impact on a tire’s performance. In comparison to conventional tires made of E-SBR rubber grade solely filled with carbon black, Green tires with S-SBR rubber grades and Silica/Silane technology have proven to have significantly lower rolling resistance, resulting in a reduction in fuel consumption by 5 % and thus lower CO2 emissions. Additionally, they also have better grip – particularly in wet conditions – while offering comparable durability.

A Distinguished Combination

  • Evonik produces and supplies silica-silane reinforcing systems for the rubber industry.
  • The use of silica-silane reinforcing system is the key-solution enabling the production of low-rolling resistance tires, environmentally friendly “Green Tires”. 
  • Precipitated silica in combination with a silane coupling agent provides improved wet traction for better driving safety 
  • Provides reduce rolling resistance leading to lower fuel consumption caused by the tire, without deterioration of other properties, such as tread wear.
  • Evonik offers globally a broad range of conventional and highly dispersible rubber silica grades to the industry under the trade name ULTRASIL®.

The secret of success lies in the components’ interaction: Silica serves as active filler in the treads and ensure wear resistance in the tire, but is actually incompatible with S-SBR rubber grades. Evonik, one of the world’s leading producers of Silica and Silanes and the only company worldwide manufacturing and marketing both, solved this problem by adding Silane to chemically "couple" S-SBR rubber grades and Silica.

Next step: A Life Cycle Assessment

Green tires have already proven to have a significant impact on a vehicle’s total fuel consumption. The next logical step was to examine the potential environmental impact of tire treads based on Silica/Silane and S-SBR in Green tires in comparison to tire treads based on carbon black and E-SBR not only during the use phase, but from "Cradle to Grave". To examine the environmental effects throughout the whole life cycle, Evonik has conducted a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), extending from the production of raw material to end-of-life.

The study analyzed impact categories such as the Global Warming Potential, the Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential, and the Primary Energy Demands. The functional unit was defined as the use of Silica/Silane and S-SBR in treads of passenger car tires over a driving distance of 150,000 km. Additionally, a sensitivity analysis was conducted with gasoline consumption, fuel savings, and lifetime as parameters.

Use Phase is Key to Reduce Emissions

According to the study, Silica/Silane technology in Green tires is able to significantly reduce emissions and environmental impacts in the basic scenario in any analyzed impact category considered relevant. Consequently, the Global Warming Potential can be reduced by 4.9 % in total over the whole life cycle; by replacing carbon black and E-SBR with Silica/Silane and S-SBR, emissions of up to 1.4 metric tons of CO2 equivalents per 150,000 km driving distance are avoidable.

The study also shows that the use phase has a key impact on the overall lifecycle in all impact categories. As Green tires with Silica/Silane components can significantly reduce fuel consumption, this technology can have a key role in reducing emissions in general.

About Evonik

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals, operating in the Nutrition & Care, Resource Efficiency and Performance Materials segments. The company benefits from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. In 2015 more than 33,500 employees generated sales of around €13.5 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €2.47 Billion.

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Source: Evonik
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