Application has begun of a proprietary rubber compound design system that utilizes AI-based compound generation technology. The new system was developed by Yokohama with the cooperation of Hamagomu Aicom, a Yokohama Rubber subsidiary specializing in information system development. The new system’s use of AI to propose a compound with targeted rubber physical property values enables investigation of compounds which humans may not have conceived independently. Yokohama Rubber expects this new system will speed up product development and result in higher-performance products.
The new system is the latest development promoting the use of Yokohama Rubber’s HAICoLab (Humans and AI Collaborate, which was shortlisted for a Tire Technology International Award for Innovation and Excellence earlier this year) AI utilization concept. The previous system that was used to predict the physical properties of rubber compounds used AI to predict compound property values based on compound design parameters input by humans. This new compound design system takes the process one step further, with AI generating candidate compounds based on specific desired compound property values. HAICoLab’s AI has learned tens of thousands of rubber compounds and can generate candidate compounds that combine more than 100 types of compounding agents. The new system compares the predicted physical property values of the generated candidate compounds with the targeted physical property values and proposes the compounds that meet the targeted values. In addition to specifying the basic compound and compounding agents to be used, the new system makes it possible to search for data that is close to the specific selected compound, facilitating further investigations which may lead to new developments.
HAICoLab was established in 2020 as a new concept aimed at fostering digital innovations by facilitating collaborative efforts that merge human inspiration and creativity with the enormous data processing capability of AI. Yokohama Rubber aims to acquire new knowledge by creating and collecting data based on hypothetical conditions set by humans and then applying AI to predict, analyze and search for optimized results. Since establishing the HAICoLab concept, Yokohama Rubber has been advancing technological developments by using AI in its material and tire design and development processes. In 2020, for example, the tire maker developed a system that utilizes AI to predict the physical properties of rubber compounds used in its tires, and in 2021 began using a system developed to predict the values of specific tire characteristics.