TOKYO (Nov. 15, 2007) — Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. is set to release a tire in Japan next year that is made almost entirely of renewable materials.
The Enasave 97 will include modified natural rubber for the innerliner and sidewalls.
Sumitomo´s Dunlop Falken Tyres Ltd. subsidiary will launch the passenger tire in March, touting it as 97-percent petroleum free. It is the successor to the Enasave ES801, a 70-percent petroleum-free tire that was rolled out in March 2006.
By minimizing dependency on fossil resources including oil and coal, SRI said the new generation eco-tire will help reduce carbon dioxide in the three stages of the tire´s life: in production, use and disposal.
In addition to the tire´s reduced petroleum content, SRI claims the tire has 35-percent lower rolling resistance than its Digityre Eco EC201 tire. The tire also features leaf-shaped tread blocks in a directional pattern to emphasize its renewable content.
SRI claims to have developed an NR innerliner compound that rivals synthetic rubber for air tightness and is using silica and vegetable-derived processing oils to compound the sidewall and tread rubber compounds.
SRI did not specify what materials it is using for the casing and reinforcing belts.
The tire will be sold in three H-rated sizes and one V-rated size.