In May 2018, Bridgestone Corporation announced the development of the world’s first polymer to bond rubber and resins at the molecular level. The new polymer features unprecedented durability with crack resistance that is more than five times higher, abrasion resistance that is more than 2.5 times higher, and tensile strength that is more than 1.5 times higher than natural rubber, which itself has higher destruction resistance than common synthetic rubber.
Bridgestone Corporation has now named its novel polymer SUSYM. With this new name, the company aims to increase recognition of SUSYM and to encourage its use as a next-generation polymer material in order to make contributions in various fields that exceed the scope of use as a tire material.
SUSYM is the next step in the evolution of the High Strength Rubber announced in May 2018. HSR is a hybrid material to bond synthetic rubber components such as butadiene and isoprene, with resin components such as ethylene, at the molecular level by using Bridgestone’s proprietary novel gadolinium (Gd) catalyst (via copolymerization.
SUSYM features the high levels of durability and resistance found in conventional rubber coupled with substantially higher levels of performance with regard to (1) difficulty of opening holes (puncture resistance), (2) fixability (recyclability, repairability), and (3) resistance to low temperatures (low-temperature impact resistance).
SUSYM is capable of enhancing performance in these areas while maintaining the flexibility of rubber and durability of resin. These features make SUSYM highly applicable to various fields other than tires, Bridgestone said. Furthermore, SUSYM boasts the high levels of durability and resistance of conventional rubber and is therefore capable of realizing the various types of performance required in tires while using fewer resources. This material is also recyclable.
Bridgestone will move forward with research and development of applying the benefits of this proprietary technology to various fields while collaborating with a range of companies and organizations.
A concept tire utilizing numerous SUSYM functions and materials was exhibited at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show 2019.
Proprietary characteristics of SUSYM:
Puncture resistance. SUSYM is resistant to punctures when strong forces are applied to a single point, although it may change shape. The company anticipates this feature will result in SUSYM being used for various applications other than high-strength rubber and tire materials.
Fixability (recyclability, repairability). Even if SUSYM materials are punctured, holes can be easily repaired by applying heat. Therefore, the company expects SUSYM will be used as a new rubber material that can be recycled multiple times even if damaged.
Low-temperature impact resistance. Conventional rubber hardens and becomes brittle at low temperatures, making it easy to break through impacts. SUSYM maintains the flexibility of rubber even at low temperatures, creating resistance to impacts and giving this material the potential to be used under low temperatures.