MILAN—Pirelli & C. S.p.A. and the University of Milan have extended their partnership for another three years, signing an agreement to work on developing innovative materials and technologies for sustainable tires.
The Italian tire maker said on Nov. 24 that within the context of the $1.78 million project, the two parties would work on use of nano charges to produce tires with low environmental impact.
The partners will also work on development areas for products and cyber technologies, including noise reduction, aquaplaning resistance and tire aerodynamics.
They will work on mathematical models for chips within 'cyber tires' to gather data for intelligent control of vehicles and development of other services that add extra value.
The research will also look into development of innovative materials that can protect tires from ageing, said Pirelli, which started its partnership with the university in 2011.
Commenting on the agreement, Marco Tronchetti Provera, executive vice chairman and CEO of Pirelli, said the challenges that the tire and automotive industries are going through are getting increasingly bigger.
"We are experiencing a period of unprecedented transformation where automation and connectivity are king," he said, explaining the reason for close cooperation with research bodies.
During the last three years, the partnership between the two concentrated mainly on production and functionality of carbon charges—including graphene and carbon black nanotubes—and preparation of modified silicon fiber.
The two Italian partners conducted studies on alternative sources of natural rubber as well as the creation of innovative polymers and self-repairing materials.
On the tire-road surface interaction, the two worked on noise reduction, which became known as "Silent Tyre" project. A "Tread Modelling Automation" project has also been studying of tire modelling and the characteristics of different summer, winter and all-season tread patterns.