Scientists from DuPont have helped The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company by taking DuPont technology for high-strength Kevlar products and applying it to Goodyear tires. Goodyear-produced tires with Kevlar fiber are targeted for use in conditions ranging from tough, rocky terrain to everyday highway driving, and can help provide stability, toughness and comfort.
"DuPont has been working with Goodyear for years to help develop tires that are high-performing," said Thomas G. Powell, vice president and general manager, DuPont Protection Technologies. "For more than 40 years, DuPont Kevlar has been recognized worldwide for its proven performance in a wide variety of safety and high performance applications, including automotive and tires; body armor and protective apparel; aerospace and airplane components; and energy solutions. We continue to focus on reinventing our offering with new technologies that make a difference in everyday life."
"In recent years, we have been using components such as DuPont Kevlar to develop tires that provide relevant benefits to consumers," said Jon Bellissimo, Goodyear's North American director of consumer tire technology. "In our extreme off-road tires, the reinforced sidewalls with Kevlar help increase sidewall puncture resistance. I believe the Kevlar name also strikes a responsive chord among off-road enthusiasts because of the inferred toughness and the tire's ability to maneuver on and in many different surfaces."
Tire reinforcement was the initial application for Kevlar more than 40 years ago. Using DuPont's knowledge of material properties, the Kevlar yarns are designed and developed into cords to meet Goodyear's tire performance needs for passenger cars, trucks and airplanes. The material property advantages of Kevlar are extensively used globally in developing new tire concepts that help deal with the challenges of the road, ride and comfort, handling, thermal and flame resistance, reduced tire weight and road noise, among others. In addition, development compounds are processed globally each year with Kevlar Engineered Elastomer (EE) to optimize the mixing process and reinforcements of the different rubber parts of a tire to meet performance goals.
In 2005, Goodyear introduced Wrangler and Fortera tires with SilentArmor Technology, featuring a layer of Kevlar under the tread to deliver toughness and a smooth and quiet ride. In 2006, Goodyear introduced the Eagle with ResponsEdge Technology, which has a sound- and shock-absorbing InsuLayer made with DuPont Kevlar.
Among the latest innovations:
- The new Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar is the first off-road tire in the U.S. built with the rugged toughness of Kevlar for enhanced sidewall puncture resistance. The use of Kevlar helps provide sidewall cut- and puncture-resistance to an area of the tire that demands extra toughness when driving off-road. It also helps reinforce the sidewall for when drivers return to the pavement for the drive home. Sidewalls reinforced with Kevlar in the new tire help increase sidewall puncture resistance by approximately 35 percent, compared to the original Wrangler MT/R, a tire already well-known for its toughness.
- Goodyear subsidiary Dunlop, working with designer Pininfarina, unveiled a future concept tire technology in Europe ý an ultra-lightweight concept tire featuring the latest Kevlar technology to replace traditional steel components. At 20 percent less weight, Dunlop is aiming for better fuel economy, combined with excellent performance and increased driving pleasure. "Such an enormous weight reduction would lead to significant lower levels of rolling resistance and fuel consumption," said Bernd Loewenhaupt, Dunlop Director Consumer Tire Technology.
- The Dunlop SP Sport Maxx TT, featuring lower sidewalls reinforced with DuPontTM Kevlar, is a new tire that helps empower drivers by enhancing driver feedback and precision. A motorsports-inspired tread and Dunlop's exclusive Touch Technology combine to help deliver strong grip and steering response. "The SP Sport Maxx TT helps deliver great road feel, which is important for those who really love to drive. The timely feedback from these tires allows the driver to react to turns and contours in the road," said Razvan Bosomoiu, Dunlop general manager. The SP Sport Maxx TT is available to North American consumers in 35 initial sizes, ranging from 16-22" rim diameters, and also is being launched this summer in Europe.