TOKYO (April 5, 2011)—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.'s use of an oil derived from cashew shells in rubber compounds used in tire making has earned the company a prestigious award from the firm that supplies the oil.
Cardolite Corp., a leading processor of cashew nutshell liquid products, honored Yokohama recently with its Mortimer T. Harvey Award 2010, in recognition of the tire maker's use of cashew shell liquids in the production of bead fillers.
Yokohama has been using the cashew byproducts for 20 years. It patented the technology in 1991 in Japan and in 1993 in the U.S.
Rubber compounded with the cashew shell material is processed more easily into tires because it has low levels of rigidity prior to vulcanization, Cardolite said. After vulcanization, the tire exhibits high levels of elasticity that improve driving stability.
Harvey is credited with recognizing that the substance's unique chemical structure (a meta substituted alkenyl phenol) could have commercial use and with commercializing its use in the 1920s and 1930s. His original research company, Harvel Corp., is considered a predecessor company to Cardolite.