ZAVENTEM, Belgium—Experts in the carbon black, silica-silane and carbon nanotube industries—all additives intended to improve performance, particularly in tires—have hinted at its existence, and now Bridgestone has announced it: Techsyn.
Raffaele Di Ronza, a research and development technician in Open Innovation for Bridgestone Europe, Russia, Middle East, India and Africa, said the platform has the potential to be a game-changer in the tire industry from both a sustainability and operational perspective.
At its core, Techsyn is an innovative tire technology that combines optimized synthetic rubber (specifically an SSBR compound) with highly engineered silica. The two entities meet and interact at the molecular level, Di Ronza said, and the result is a tire that "delivers unrivaled strength and environmental performance with no tradeoffs."
"The result is a tire that can go farther for longer, reduces overall fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, enhances tread mileage to extend the tire's designed life and cuts raw material consumption in the long term—overall providing a more sustainable driving experience," Di Ronza said.
To be marketed initially by Bridgestone EMIA in those regions, the technology is the result of a three-firm partnership, a triumvirate of big names in their respective fields—Bridgestone; Maastricht, Netherlands-based Arlanxeo; and Brussels, Belgium-based Solvay S.A.
While the chemical production giant Solvay provided unique silica developments for the polymer, the world's largest synthetic rubber producer, Arlanxeo, added its expertise in developing the solution-styrene butadiene rubber used in Techsyn's formation.
Silica (silicon dioxide) allows a studded tire to achieve low rolling resistance, thereby reducing fuel consumption and harmful emissions. Earlier, combining a high amount of natural rubber (hence the use of synthetic rubber in Techsyn's case) with a high amount of silica has been difficult. Silica often is used as a bonding agent in tires instead of carbon black, though Di Ronza noted that a small amount of carbon black was used in this development.
Synthetic rubber and silica are just two of the ingredients used in Techsyn, as additional materials also were engineered into the polymer.