TOKYO (Oct. 21)—Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. has developed an environmentally friendly tire it claims cuts the use of petroleum-based materials by nearly 60 percent and rolling resistance 30 percent.
Sumitomo's Dunlop Falken Tyres Ltd. unit will sell the tire, the Enasave ES801, in Japan's replacement market. It replaces a large percentage of the synthetic rubber with epoxidized natural rubber, the carbon black with silica, petroleum-based processing oils with vegetable-based ones and the synthetic casing fibers with vegetable fiber-based materials.
Sumitomo introduced the tire at the Tokyo Motor Show and said these changes have reduced the tire's makeup to 30 percent petroleum-based materials from 56 percent. Sumitomo claims the use of silica-reinforced epoxidized NR cuts the tire's rolling resistance 30 percent vs. its conventional tires.
In addition, the firm has designed the tire with no lettering in the area between the tread shoulder and sidewall, a change Sumitomo claims reduces a vehicle's aerodynamic drag by the equivalent of removing one side view mirror.
Epoxidized NR is a development that Sumitomo claims allows it to use a higher percentage of NR without sacrificing gripping power, a performance problem associated with NR.
The tire will come in three sizes, 185/65R15, 195/65R15 and 195/55R16