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Bridgestone claims 'novel' polymer advance under 'TechSyn' collaboration

Bridgestone Corp. is partnering with two of its key materials suppliers in the development of "novel" tire polymers that Bridgestone claims will allow it to improve tread life and cut rolling resistance without impacting other performance parameters.


The collaboration, which the partners are calling "TechSyn," involves Arlanxeo Performance Elastomers, the Dutch producer of synthetic polymers, and Solvay, the Belgian specialist in fillers for polymers, especially silica.


The new venture taps into Solvay's expertise in advanced silica materials and Arlanxeo's expertise in developing and producing novel tire polymers, combined with Bridgestone's "innovative" compound technology, executives of the three companies said today during a webinar organized by European Rubber Journal.


Working together over the past 24 months, the three companies crafted TechSyn as a "technology platform" designed to deliver "unrivaled" strength and environmental performance with no tradeoffs by combining "chemically optimized" synthetic rubber with "tailor-made" silica, interacting at a molecular level.


The partnership in effect allows the companies to enlarge the parameters of the classic performance trade-off triangle to make possible improvements in more than one area without compromising the others, according to Herman Dikland, chief technology officer with Arlanxeo.



In the presentation, Bridgestone claims it will be able to offer a tire that has up to 30% better wear efficiency and a 6% reduction in rolling resistance without performance tradeoffs in other areas, according to Emilio Tiberio, chief operating officer and chief technology officer, Bridgestone Europe/Middle East/India/Africa.


In essence, the collaboration has allowed the partners to understand what's happening at the molecular level when rubber interacts with silica and other agents, according to Nicolas Cudré-Mauroux, research and innovation group general manager, Solvay, who stressed that tire polymers are among the most complex composite materials in the industrial world.


Bridgestone already has begun employing knowledge gained from this partnership to enhance its Enliten reduced rolling-resistance technology, Mr. Tiberio said, and will allow the firm to "engage these benefits" in other cutting-edge technology projects.


As for when a tire using the TechSyn technology might be on the market, Mr. Tiberio said Bridgestone is "making the preliminaries" on that objective, but said the company will disclose more "in due time."