Tire performance requirements are changing in line with the development of next-generation vehicles including electric, connected and autonomous cars. In addition to improved fuel efficiency, tires must also exhibit high strength, wear resistance, and durability.
To meet these needs, JSR Corporation has implemented its proprietary synthesis technology to develop a new styrene-butadiene copolymer rubber (SBR) for tires, which has greatly improved mechanical strength compared with conventional SBR.
The material combines JSR’s polymerization and hydrogenation technologies to control the number of unsaturated bonds in the material. Through this process, it is possible to optimize the interactions among polymer molecules and minimize the stress produced in cross-linking. As a result, this new SBR has, not only approximately two times the mechanical strength of conventional SBR, but also exceeds the strength of natural rubber.
Tires featuring the new SBR in the tread compound rubber are said to demonstrate more than 50% better wear resistance along with low fuel consumption and better grip performance compared with conventional SBR-equipped tires.