Specialty tire maker GRI’s R&D team has developed an eco-friendly version of its high-performance Ultimate XT solid tire. Working in collaboration with a team of scientists from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, the team spent two-and-a-half years developing the eco-friendly newcomer by replacing petroleum-based oil with a natural oil that is carbon neutral and renewable.
Despite the challenge of dealing with the unsaturation of natural oils, test results have indicated that the replacement of petroleum oil with an environmentally friendly oil has resulted in superior tire performance. The oil used improves the heat aging properties of the tire, according to GRI.
The Ultimate XT was developed to perform on all surfaces and in harsh working conditions. The tire has the capability to run in all surface conditions including indoors, outdoors, low temperature, high temperature, wet and dry. With this success, GRI intends to enhance its strategy of manufacturing high-performance ‘green’ solid rubber tires that result in reduced environmental pollution and increased efficiency. The company told TTI that it plans to use the natural oil in pneumatic tires as well.
GRI adds that the Ultimate XT solid tire is made from top-grade Sri Lankan rubber and engineered to exacting standards, featuring a modern tread design that delivers on low rolling resistance and high run time, thus ensuring longer tire life and conservation of energy.
“All strategic and tactical decisions made by GRI are weighed against their impact on the environment,” said Dr Mahesha Ranasoma, GRI’s CEO. “GRI’s policy is to drive sustainability along with developing premium specialty tires. A key goal at GRI is to contribute to a sustainable world and by doing so, GRI takes into consideration the well-being not only of the current global community but also of generations to come.
“Our commitment to sustainability is found in every aspect of GRI,” he continued. “It is of the utmost importance and enforced through green policies on raw material, production processes, waste management and energy utilization. GRI’s responsibility to sustainability is evident through our solar panel power system, which covers the entire roof of our factory, utilization of biomass boilers and fully recyclable waste and water management systems. Our factory is a testament to the pioneering spirit and values embodied by everyone at GRI.”