The Goodyear brand name is moulded into the sidewall of a tire at a Goodyear Auto Service Centre. File picture: Steven Senne/AP

Hanover, Germany - The Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company recently added a feather to its cap after it won an innovation award at the 2018 Tyre Technology Expo. 

Goodyear was recently presented with the prestigious Tyre Technology International Award for Innovation and Excellence in the category of "Environmental Achievement of the Year" at the expo in Hanover. 

Over the past few years, the company worked with the United Soybean Board to develop soy-based technology to enhance tyre performance. Following extensive analysis and road testing, this new technology is now being used in new Goodyear tyres.

Goodyear discovered that soybean oil could improve tyre flexibility at low temperatures, helping the rubber to remain pliable in cold weather and enhancing traction in rain and snow. 

Breakthrough

Goodyear also found that soybean oil mixes more easily with rubber compounds and reduces energy consumption, therefore improving tyre manufacturing efficiency.

Goodyear chief technology officer Chris Helsel said the award represented a breakthrough by Goodyear in applying soybean oil in the tread compound of tyres, as a replacement for traditional petroleum oil.

"Our work with the United Soybean Board presented a unique challenge and opportunity for our material scientists and tyre engineers to employ soybean oil in the development of superior performing tyres," Helsel said. "It's exciting to see that work pay off with commercially successful products, and an honour to be recognised by the industry for the environmental achievement."

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