Goodyear Tires Sport Carbon Fiber Reinforcement

Consumer tires have been added to the list of applications for carbon fiber with the introduction of the Goodyear Eagle(R) featuring ResponsEdge Technology(TM), a tire available in May for drivers of high-performance touring automobiles.

Carbon fiber is a substance that is strong and lightweight, is used to help dampen vibrations, and it resists abrasion. As a woven composite fabric, it is increasingly used in high-tech race cars and jet planes, even in rockets and satellites.

In the new Eagle featuring ResponsEdge Technology, the outboard sidewall of the tire is reinforced with a high-tech carbon fiber insert that helps provide stiffness for responsive handling and steering precision. Combined with conventional tire construction on the inboard sidewall, the Eagle featuring ResponsEdge Technology helps deliver a smooth, comfortable ride.

By definition, carbon fiber is composed of threadlike strands of pure carbon that are extremely strong in tension and are reasonably flexible. These carbon products are processed into a fibrous state through heat-treating.

According to the Japan Carbon Fiber Manufacturers Association (JCFMA), the use of carbon fiber in commercial aircraft began in 1940. Since then, the substance has been used in various forms of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) to reduce total aircraft weight. Aircraft manufacturers plan to expand the use of CFRP, with the new Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner as state- of-the-art examples.

Sporting goods manufacturers began to use carbon fiber in the 1970s, because of its high tensile strength. Consumers don't have to search far to find sports items such as fishing rods, tennis rackets, golf club shafts, skis and surfboards that contain some form of carbon fiber.

In the automotive industry, carbon fiber has been a key material in racing cars and concept vehicle designs. There now is a tendency to use it for regular production vehicles, although the usage is still confined to exotic sports cars.

"Among performance-oriented consumers, carbon fiber is recognized as a substance that raises the product to a higher status," said Bob Toth, Goodyear's marketing manager for auto tires.

"The integration of carbon fiber in the new Eagle featuring ResponsEdge Technology tire not only helps stiffen the sidewall, but its use resonates with knowledgeable, performance-savvy consumers."

According to Toth, the new Eagle featuring ResponsEdge Technology tire is the latest example of Goodyear's leadership in tire technology and product development.

Two years ago, Goodyear introduced its popular Assurance(R) line of auto tires, with a ComforTred Technology(R) and TripleTred Technology(R) version. Using innovative materials such as volcanic sand and glass fibers in the rubber compound, the tires have won numerous awards and high praise from both consumers and the media.

Last year, SilentArmor Technology(TM) was unveiled by Goodyear in its Wrangler(R) and Fortera(R) product lines. New tires for pickups and SUVs were rolled out, with a key component in the SilentArmor tires being a layer made with DuPont(TM) KEVLAR(R).

Goodyear introduced the famous Aquatred tire in 1992, with its unique, deep-groove aquachannel, effectively creating a new product segment that industry followers labeled as "rain tires."

In the same year, Goodyear introduced the world's first original-equipment run-flat tire on the Chevrolet Corvette. Even after
losing all air pressure, the Goodyear GS-C EMT (Extended Mobility Tire) was capable of being driven up to 200 miles at speeds up to 55 mph. Goodyear continues to develop new run- flat tire choices, and has sold more run-flat tires than any other tire manufacturer.

Further back, Goodyear offered the first all-season radial tire, the Tiempo, in 1977.

Goodyear even made history by developing the first tires on the moon, when Apollo 14's MET (Modularized Equipment Transporter) was shod with Goodyear's XLT tires in 1970.

"For more than 100 years, Goodyear has focused on providing the best tires possible. That objective continues today, with the application of the latest tire design and development tools, and state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. For consumers looking for innovative products that provide relevant benefits to them and their families, Goodyear's technologically advanced new products are the answer," said Toth.

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