Continental has reached an important milestone in its research into the industrialization of dandelion rubber in tire production with the manufacture of the first WinterContact TS 850 P tires with tread made entirely of natural rubber from dandelion roots, a material the company is calling Taraxagum. These will be tested at Continental’s proving ground in Arvidsjaur, Sweden.
Nikolai Setzer, Member of the Executive Board of Continental responsible for the tire division, said, “To get the most meaningful test results from the crop yield produced by our research project to date, we decided to build car winter tires, as they contain a particularly high proportion of natural rubber.”
Head of material and process development, and industrialization for tires, Andreas Topp, commented, “The development process of Taraxagum has been very promising so far and we are currently continuing the industrialization process together with our partners. We are very confident that the results achieved with the test tires to date will be confirmed, and that we will meet our performance targets.”
Meanwhile, the Conti.eContact (right), which is refined particularly for hybrid models, is the first tire from Continental to obtain an A rating on the EU tire label for both wet grip and rolling resistance. Conti will begin with low-volume production of the tire at its French tire plant in Sarreguemines.
The rolling resistance of the Conti.eContact for hybrid vehicles is around 20% lower than in a conventional tire, while its wet braking performance is similar to that of a normal car tire. Featuring the specially developed Green Chili compound, the silica compound of the Conti.eContact for hybrid vehicles is made up in such a way that the internal friction of the filler particles and the polymers is lower than in conventional rubber compounds.Special additives provide an additional boost in handling properties.
With this innovative compound, the chemists at Continental have achieved a marked reduction in rolling resistance, while maintaining a high level of performance in terms of handling and braking on dry roads.
July 27, 2015