AKRON—Erick Sharp, CEO of Ace Products and Consulting, is one of the nearly 50 presenters set to speak at the International Tire Exhibition & Conference, planned for Sept. 11-13 at the John S. Knight Center in Akron.
His presentation, set for 4 p.m. Sept. 11, details a study that was intended to investigate the use of functionalized aluminosilicate ceramic microspheres in SBR-NR blends and natural rubber compounds.
In preparation for the program, Rubber & Plastics News asked Sharp to consider a few tire industry-related questions.
Q. What's the biggest challenge your customers are asking you to tackle today?
A. The largest tire challenge I am being asked to help with is silica dispersion and processing. Many times this goes hand in hand. Silica is providing great advantages in fuel economy but causing processing struggles when compounding the tread stock.
What trends are pushing your company to innovate?
The push for fuel economy, green raw materials and alternative polymer sources are pushing us as an independent laboratory to find solutions for our customers. Tires with higher silica content, green oil and plant based polymer is the wave of the future.
How will the supply chain for tire manufacturing differ in five years from what it is today?
As technology changes the supply base players will change. In tire, I expect to see more clean technology based companies playing a heavy role in the future.
When it comes to the future of the tire industry, what opportunities are you most excited to embrace?
It's exciting to see so much innovation and development taking place in an industry that has been around for decades. As an independent laboratory it is exciting to utilize our sandbox of capabilities to evaluate new technical approaches. I am passionate about innovation so the push towards green tires is very exciting to me.
The International Tire Exhibition & Conference, set for Sept. 11-13 in Akron, is dedicated to exploring the latest technology and innovations behind tire design and manufacturing. Learn more at itec-tireshow.com.