New tires coming from Goodyear this fall will feature a rubber compound derived from soybeans.
Not only is there a sustainability story to using a plant-based ingredient, but engineers with Goodyear found a performance advantage when using tread compounds made with soybean oil: they remained pliable or soft at lower temperatures, while increasing tread life.
“Businesses looking to use soy, even if for sustainable purposes, want to see not only a price-competitive product, but one that functions the same or better than their original product,” notes John Motter, chair of the United Soybean Board.
The U.S. soybean grower organization provided funding for Goodyear scientists through its soybean checkoff program, and celebrated the release of the soy-containing tires at the 2017 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois.
“It’s also a great opportunity, a touch point, for farmers to say ‘I have tires on my car or truck and my soybeans could potentially be there with that tire,'” notes Lynn Rohrscheib, USB director and chair of the Illinois Soybean Association, in the interview below.
Farmers will have to wait to see if Goodyear uses the soy compound in farm equipment tires.
New Assurance WeatherReady passenger vehicle tires containing the soy-oil compound will be released in September, with 40 sizes covering almost 80 percent of cars, vans and SUVs on the road.
Listen to Rohrscheib’s conversation with Kelvin Heppner, as aired on RealAg Radio:
Find more from the 2017 Farm Progress Show here.