Green Tires have proven particularly resource-efficient for cars, where Evonik's Silica/Silane technology can achieve fuel savings of up to eight percent. By developing ULTRASIL® 7800 GR, a silica with a customized surface area that meets the extreme demands of SUV and all-season tires, Evonik has now taken the next step in the innovation. “The challenge for SUV tires is to give the tires sufficient stiffness in spite of their size,” explains Dr. Hark-Oluf Asbahr, Marketing of Rubber Silica. “With ULTRASIL® 7800 GR, we managed to find the right mix to combine joy of driving, road safety, and resource efficiency in a single product.”
The new ULTRASIL® 7800 GR achieves a perfect balance of maximum grip and minimal rolling resistance in large-surface tires as well as tires with high mileage requirements, such as all-season tires. This is due to the specific surface area of ULTRASIL® 7800 GR, which was increased compared to ULTRASIL® 7000 with extensive development efforts. Using the new ULTRASIL® 7800 GR reinforces the tread compound and gives tires sufficient stiffness. “The direct feedback between the tire and the steering system results in significantly greater safety – including in the case of short and wet braking paths,” explains Asbahr. Improved abrasion resistance also contributes to an extended service life, which has a positive effect on the lifecycle assessment. In this manner, a high level of traffic safety can be combined with lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions, even in sporty tires.
In spite of the high specific surface area, the product is relatively easy to process and permits an efficient, quick production process in tire manufacturing. “The demand for SUVs is consistently on the rise worldwide,” says Dr. Bernhard Schäfer, Head of Rubber Silica. “That's why it was particularly important to respond to market impulses and to develop a new product that is meeting tomorrow’s requirements now.”
Since the United States are the largest sales market for SUVs, ULTRASIL® 7800 GR will be produced there as of now.” Evonik has responded to the rising demand for silica by building a new production facility in South Carolina in the southeastern United States. The new world-scale silica plant is expected to become operational in mid-2018. From that time, ULTRASIL® 7800 GR will then also be produced in Charleston, South Carolina.
Evonik at the Tire Technology Expo in Hanover (Germany)
More information about the Silica/Silane technology of Evonik will be available at the stand of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH (Stand C 240) at the Tire Technology Expo in Hanover from February 20-22, 2018 or online at www.evonik.com/ultrasil and www.rubber-silanes.com.