TECHSYN: developed by Solvay, Bridgestone, and Arlanxeo for more fuel-efficient tires
Developing a new type of tire is a lengthy and complex process. Which makes it all the more impressive that TECHSYN was co-created by Bridgestone, Solvay and Arlanxeo in only 24 months. The three companies, respectively one of the world’s major tire manufacturers, the global leader in highly dispersible silica and the leading producer of synthetic rubber, put together their expertise with one shared objective: to create a tire that helps accelerate the transition to more sustainable mobility.
Better wear & rolling resistance for lower emissions
TECHSYN is not a product, but a technology platform. It’s a new compound of elastomers and silica that enables the manufacturing of tires for all categories of vehicles, with a highly improved sustainability profile. These tires will last 30% longer while offering 6% less rolling resistance. In other words, TECHSYN creates “a tire that can go further for longer,” as the official motto says.
As reduced rolling resistance has a direct impact on diminishing a vehicle’s fuel consumption and emissions, TECHSYN provides an additional tool for mobility to become more sustainable. And since these more resistant tires last longer, it also enables a reduction in raw material consumption. But the key is to offer these benefits without compromising on other aspects of the tire’s performance.
“We need to transition to sustainable mobility faster, and collaboration provides more efficiency and therefore rapidity.”
The chemistry between silica, rubber and people
Herein lies TECHSYN’s real breakthrough. By optimizing the interactions between the synthetic rubber and tailor-made silica and improving the compound design in which they are combined, TECHSYN enables the redistribution of the tire’s main benefits – rolling resistance, wet grip and wear resistance. Plus, it can be used in combination with other tire technologies.
In a world where mobility urgently needs to come up with solutions that have a positive impact on sustainability, TECHSYN demonstrates that companies collaborating together can achieve what would be impossible alone. “We need to transition to sustainable mobility faster, and collaboration provides more efficiency, and therefore, rapidity,” sums up Nicolas Cudre-Mauroux, Solvay’s CTO. “All three companies brought something unique here, because each one is an expert in its field. The first step is to align on an objective: there must be a reason to collaborate. Then, the special chemistry can happen, not just between silica and rubber, but also between people.”
Only the beginning for enhanced sustainability
Today, all the final adjustments have been made and the mass production of TECHSYN tires for various categories is ready to take off. What’s more, TECHSYN was recently recognized as one of Solvay’s prime breakthroughs at the Group’s 2022 Innovation Awards, where it took the prize in the “Customer Partnership Innovation” category. But that doesn’t mean the story is over.
The three companies share a joint technology roadmap to continue exploring the full potential of this platform and take it to the next level. “Sustainability is a key driver for our three companies, and we need to do more,” says Emilio. “Developing TECHSYN is a great step but not the end of our collaboration: it’s going to enable us to continue enhancing our sustainability agenda.”
“It would be unthinkable not to pursue our work together into a snowball effect for more applications,” adds Nicolas. “This is only the beginning.”