(TNS) -- Goodyear has developed a way to make a greener tire -- using soybeans.
Some five years after announcing it was exploring soybean oil as a way to reduce petroleum use in tires, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. on Tuesday said it is ready to roll out the first commercial use of the new technology.
Goodyear scientists and engineers, using support from the United Soybean Board, have created a tread compound, or formulation, using soybean oil. The compound helps enhance tire performance in dry, wet and winter conditions, the Akron tire maker said.
"Goodyear's legacy of innovation drives us to continue to apply new technology solutions, developing superior performing tires that meet consumer demands," said Eric Mizner, Goodyear's director of global materials science.
Soybean oil can be used to help keep a tire's rubber compound pliable in changing temperatures -- a key performance achievement in maintaining and enhancing vehicle grip on roadways, Goodyear said.
Tests have shown rubber made with soybean oil mixes more easily in the silica-reinforced compounds used in manufacturing certain tires, the company said. Soybean oil will improve manufacturing efficiency and reduce energy consumption, the company said.
The soybean board, which helped fund the Goodyear soybean oil project, promotes efforts on behalf of U.S. soybean farmers.
©2017 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.