Pneumatic tire treads intended for severe service are traditionally comprised of carbon black compounds containing natural rubber as a major component. As
working areas have expanded, tires have to deal with fuel consumption and wear that accompanies increased transport use for vehicles capable of being driven both off and on the road. It is known that the use of silica/silane systems is beneficial to many properties and the partial replacement of carbon black is becoming a useful strategy to achieve a convenient property trade-off.
To optimize dual filler formulations, low Tg S-SBR are recommended, together with the presence of functional groups for improved filler-polymer interaction. However, the use of high performance S-SBR increases compound stiffness and reduces hysteresis, with a detrimental effect on other important properties, such as tear, and chip and chunk resistance.
The tuning of hysteresis and stiffness may be achieved with a proper design of S-SBR blends, combining high performance grades with partial block materials, able to increase hardness, processability and energy dissipation. Furthermore, current trends require enhanced carbon footprint through the introduction of materials from renewable resources. Sustainability in OTR tires is addressed by replacing fossil process oil with a highly sustainable bio-sourced plasticizer, characterized by very low Tg and negligible interaction with the cure package.
The proposed green plasticizer, produced in a highly sustainable bio-refinery frame, offers several benefits, including enhanced environmental footprint and improved performance. This proposed novel plasticizer provides opportunities to extend the idea of green tires to OTR, including farm tires.