CLERMONT-FERRAND, France—Michelin will be leaving an old industry standard behind with some of its lines of tires later this year.
After more than nine years of research and development, the company is launching a new high-performance resin adhesive designed for bonding textiles, Michelin's Industrial Director Olivier Furnon said.
"We have been using in the industry, for textile to rubber, a traditional model that has not been changed for more than 80 years," he said. An adhesive of resorcinol, formaldehyde and latex is usually used to bond textiles to rubber in tire production.
"We will be producing and delivering tires made with this new glue, which is based on a new formula that eliminates completely the resorcinol and formaldehyde," Furnon said.
The new resin, which is currently unnamed, will avoid regulatory constraints in industrial settings where the RFL glue would be produced, as resorcinol and formaldehyde are subjected to regulatory limits, Furnon said.
"Eliminating these two products in the raw materials is a smart solution for the safety of the people," he said.
Replacing the RFL adhesive hasn't been easy for Michelin, he said. The first few years of the R&D process were dedicated to working on new concepts which would work seemingly as well as an RFL adhesive. Michelin then tested the glue with multiple types of fibers in tire applications, such as polyester, nylon and aramids. The company also tested across various sizes and types of tires, from passenger to agricultural, to find a product that could be used across the board as a replacement for RFL.