Yildirim said the use of resorcinol and formaldehyde represents a major challenge to the tire industry. Kordsa seeks to find ways to make its tire manufacturing processes as environmentally friendly as possible.
Continental also is working to change the process.
"Employees in tire plants and end consumers don't get in contact with resorcinol and formaldehyde as they react to a network bound within the polymer matrix of the respective reinforcement material/tire part," said Boris Mergell, Conti senior vice president of research and development for passenger and light truck tires.
"If at all, exposure to the chemicals mentioned might only be possible at the converting process. This production step is done at the textile supplier and ensures adhesion of the textile reinforcing materials to rubber-based compounds. Therefore, the use of eco-friendly materials for the converting process is an important action with regard to environmental aspects and, of course, in the interests of our employees."
The resorcinol-formaldehyde system has been a standard for decades, with adhesion results that fill the increasing demand regarding endurance for tires in today's applications, Mergell said.
"In addition, tire plants and end consumers have no direct benefit if textile converters are using eco-friendly dip systems as the dipped and heat-treated fabric as delivered to the tire plant does not contain any free resorcinol or formaldehyde even with the current dip system," he added.