By Jennifer Conn, Akron reporter, email@example.com
AKRON, Ohio - The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is introducing a tire technology using a new soybean oil-based rubber compound.A Goodyear team of scientists and engineers created a tread compound, or formulation, that enhances tire performance in dry, wet and winter conditions. Soybean oil, which is naturally derived, is cost-effective, carbon-neutral and renewable."Goodyear's legacy of innovation drives us to continue to apply new technology solutions, developing superior performing tires that meet consumer demands," said Eric Mizner, Goodyear's director of global materials science in a news release.Goodyear worked on the project with the United Soybean Board, a group of farmer-directors who work to find business opportunities that benefit all U.S. soybean farmers. The board provided partial funding for development of Goodyear's soybean oil application in tires.Soybean oil in tires helps keep the rubber compound pliable in changing temperatures, a key performance achievement in maintaining and enhancing the vehicle's grip on the road surface.In addition, Goodyear's tests have shown rubber made with soybean oil mixes more easily in the silica-reinforced compounds used in manufacturing certain tires. This also improves manufacturing efficiency and reduces energy consumption.Goodyear also has made technological breakthroughs using silica derived from rice husk ash in certain consumer tires, as well as carbon fiber, DuPont, Kevlar, volcanic sand and other materials.