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With the right combination of rubber additives, tires are a convenient way to save fuel.
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Evonik's researchers have developed a new silane, an additive for rubber compounds that reduces rolling resistance by up to 40 percent compared with conventional tires. This reduces fuel consumption, and therefore CO2 emissions, without compromising driving comfort and mileage. And the "green" tire doesn't skid, even on wet roads. Drivers get fuel savings of up to 8 percent, which, at current gas prices, is a significant amount. For a car doing about 30,000 kilometers a year, the cost of a set of the fuel-saving tires is recovered within one year—to say nothing of the benefit to the environment.
Silanes are essential components in tire production. Tire compounds normally contain about 30 percent reinforcing filler, which imparts the desired properties—grip, abrasion resistance, and tear resistance—to the rubber compounds. These properties are adjusted as required by the use of carbon blacks and silica, an additional component. Evonik silanes such as Si 363® and Si 69® are used to bind rubber and silica in the manufacture of tires.
The company's chemists, physicists, and engineers are working on optimizing carbon black and silica particles for continuous improvements to the green tire.