SEOUL, South Korea (Jan. 3) — Kumho Tire Co. Inc. is launching a range of ultra-high-performance tires in Europe this year that use Lyocell, a less environmentally intrusive fiber, as a replacement for cellulose-based rayon.
Kumho said using Lyocell — a fiber made from wood pulp cellulose like rayon but in a less environmentally-damaging manufacturing process — reflects its commitment to becoming an environmentally aware manufacturer.
Lenzing A.G. of Austria markets Lyocell under the trademarked brand name Tencel, though other companies convert the material into yarns and fabrics. Lenzing claims Lyocell-based cord has performance equal to or better than that of rayon cord.
Kumho did not specify which tire line or lines would use the new material first, but it emphasized they would be UHP products.
The company plans to apply Lyocell cords to other tires in mass production, "thus further strengthening its commitment as an environmentally-aware manufacturer."