Electric vehicles and low emission hybrid cars are driving the transformation of mobility as we know it. This means it’s time to learn more about new materials, which can help target the rolling of high-tech tyres into carbon neutrality and ultimately into a CO2-emission-free future. However, matching sustainability with tyre performances will be the new challenge that both polymer producers and tyre makers will have to jointly face. In fact, electric engine torque has a positive and negative side. On the one hand, it means instant acceleration. On the other hand, this high instant torque places additional strain on the tires. To face such a demanding requirement, high molecular weight polymers are used, together with next generation fn-SSBR for a stronger filler-polymer interaction. High-cis BR with optimized architecture is also taken into account in order to improve compound extrudability, coming from the development of tread formulations with high silica load and polymers with enhanced elastic properties.
An investigation is then presented for providing tyre tread compounds for hybrid and electric vehicles, containing specially designed SSBR grades produced through batch and continuous technology. Targeted key properties for the compounds are low hysteresis (lower rolling resistance) together with high grip and improved abrasion resistance. The sustainability of elastomers comes from the use of bio-attributed styrene/butadiene monomers through bio-naphtha and mass balance approach.