Developing Sustainable Tyres and Protecting the Environment
Tyres comprise and form the literal foundation of every vehicle and ensure that people reach their destinations safely. In return, tyres should be both designed and tailored in a sustainable and environmentally conscious manner.
Australian tyre recycler and founder of Branigans Tyres, Chris Lett, explains the key principles of developing sustainable tyres and protecting the environment. In addition, Lett highlights the need to reduce the environmental footprint for tyre companies.
The goal to become more environmentally sustainable has led designers to integrate more bio-based or repurposed materials within their designs. These include: natural rubber, silica, dandelion rubber and recycled plastic, among other materials. “The imperatives of the global environment should be at the top of the list when designing or re-purposing tyres and their respective materials” says Lett.
Materials such as Synthetic rubber, stand as one of the initial tools of benefit in the aim to design sustainable tyres. Synthetic rubber proves to be superior to natural rubber in three major aspects: Ageing Resistance, Temperature Resistance and Abrasion Resistance. Additionally, Synthetic Rubber is a cheaper option to produce. Though a formidable substitute, Synthetic rubber cannot replace all the natural rubber in a tyre.
Natural rubber in fact, presents multiple technological benefits including elasticity and shape retention after being stretched. It is possible to sculpt natural rubber by heating, then cooling it to maintain its shape. Natural Rubber is sourced from the highly commercial Pará rubber tree originally from Brazil, and is sourced primarily for its elasticity properties. “Both Natural and Synthetic tyres are a great starting point for companies to embark on a more greener approach” says Lett. Lett adds “Natural Rubber has minimal, to no impact on the environment, and Synthetic Rubber saves energy when produced, as well as reduces vibration and noise. Both types of rubber compliment each other’s flaws, however they both share the same goal, to enhance a greener and more sustainable future”.
Traditional rubber compound mixing and testing has proven to be complex and resource consuming with over 1500 different materials used to make thousands of samples annually. The current dilemma however is that between 5 and 10 gallons of petroleum oil is used on average to produce a single tyre, to which the industry has worked tirelessly on reducing. Including eco-friendly materials like Silica acts a as decent substitute for rubber, and reduces road friction. In addition, plant-derived replacements are at the forefront, replacing petroleum with sunflower oil, as well as oils from orange peels to substitute toxic materials. “Tyre companies are constantly conceptualising and practicing new and environmentally friendly options to reduce the tedious tyre process as well as protect nature at all costs” says Lett.
When tyres are designed, the cardinal properties are safety and performance, however resource conservation and fuel economy are equally as decisive. A large-scale production of Dandelion root natural latex provides an additional alternative to rubber tree plantations. Intriguingly, dandelions thrive in industrial areas. In time, tyre manufacturers may see dandelion plantations farmed to provide dandelion root natural latex, developed in alignment with tyre manufacturing plants. Minimising distances between material growth, harvesting, and processing are ecologically and economically advantageous. Thus, this portion of the tyre manufacturing and production process will use less petroleum and emit less Carbon Dioxide (CO2). “With a wide range of alternatives and materials that work, companies can best assure that their commitment to the environment is met” says Lett.
At Branigans Tyres, Southport and Burleigh Heads, you can go green by purchasing second hand tyres for your vehicle. Some of these tyres have only been driven for a few thousand kilometres! All tyres at Branigans Tyres go through a thorough safety check. So for safety, quality, and expertise at your fingertips, Branigans Tyres workshops at Burleigh Heads and Southport offer a greener option, cost savings, and a one-stop shop for all things wheel and tyre-related.
Vehicle owners are encouraged to drive in at their convenience as no pre-bookings or appointments are required. Also, check out their full range of services or current featured promotions. Branigans award-winning affordable tyre subscriptions package starts at $7.97 and helps motorists budget for their ongoing tyre needs. Branigan Tyres are situated at 13 Flagstone Drive, Burleigh Heads – (07) 5535 2660 and 1/277 Southport-Nerang Road, Southport – (07) 5591 8633.
Written and syndicated by YDMA News.