The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is using a new soybean oil-based rubber compound to enhance tire performance in dry, wet and winter conditions. By employing soybean oil in tires, Goodyear found a new way to help keep the rubber compound pliable in changing temperatures, a key performance achievement in maintaining and enhancing the vehicle's grip on the road surface.
Goodyear’s tests have shown rubber made with soybean oil mixes more easily in the silica-reinforced compounds used in manufacturing certain tires. This also improves manufacturing efficiency and reduces energy consumption.
Goodyear cooperated on the project with the United Soybean Board (USB), a group of farmer-directors who oversee the investments of a checkoff program on behalf of all US soybean farmers. The USB provided some funding support for the development of Goodyear’s soybean oil application in tires.
The commercialization of soybean oil in tires as the latest technology breakthrough by Goodyear builds on the company’s other recent innovations, such as the use of silica derived from rice husk ash, another component Goodyear is using in certain consumer tires, along with current and past uses of components such as carbon fiber, DuPont Kevlar, volcanic sand and more.