Citrus instead of petroleum: That’s one way Japan-based Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. (YRC) is using technology to make better tires for consumers and the environment.
YRC has developed a process that combines citrus oil with natural rubber to form a new compound called "Super Nanopower Rubber (SNR)." It reduces the use of petroleum products in tires by 80 percent and is part of YRC’s global EcoMotion environmental program. The first SNR product is the Decibel Super E-Spec, an all-new consumer passenger tire.
According to Jim MacMaster, executive vice president, Business Division, of Yokohama Tire Corporation, YRC’s U.S. subsidiary, the fuel-saving E-Spec tire features an air permeation suppression film. "This new polymer inner lining is designed to reduce air from seeping out from the tire, which help maintain appropriate inflation levels. Underinflated tires consume more power, thus using more fuel.
"The E-Spec is also a lot lighter and conserves gasoline by reducing rolling resistance by 18 percent. Low rolling resistance tires improve fuel efficiency by minimizing the energy wasted (as heat) as the tire rolls down the road."
The E-Spec tire featuring the SNR compound will be available in Japan later in the year, but MacMaster said no date has been determined for release in the U.S. market.
Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation offers a complete line of tires, including high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, as well as off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama’s extensive product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.
Yokohama is a strong supporter of the tire care and safety guidelines established by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Details can be found at the "Taking Care of Your Tires" section at www.yokohamatire.com.