The US Department of Energy is funding a partnership between PPG and Bridgestone Americas to develop more fuel-efficient tires for trucks and buses using specialized silica developed by PPG, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
PPG said the DOE is providing about $1.2 million for the project through which the two companies aim to improve the fuel efficiency of large tires by 4-6% and improve traction and durability.
The product at the core of the research is Agilon, a high-performance silica that PPG says reduces tire rolling resistance, improves traction and extends tread life. Other silicas are used as filler in tires for passenger vehicles, but are not as effective for tractor trailer and bus tires, PPG said.
R&D for the project is based at PPG’s research center in Monroeville, PA, while Agilon is manufactured by the chemicals company in the Netherlands. PPG is increasing its capacity to make the product, the Post-Gazette said.
PPG is collaborating on the project with Bridgestone’s technical facility in Akron, OH, according to Jim Faller, commercial director for precipitated silica in PPG’s specialty coatings and materials segment.
The DOE-funded research is PPG’s first collaboration with Bridgestone involving the Agilon technology for trucks and buses, said the Post-Gazette. PPG estimates prototype tires will be ready in about three years.
PPG announced in 2015 that it would supply Goodyear Tire and Rubber with Agilon for use in tires for sport utility vehicles.
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [www.post-gazette.com] - Pittsburgh, PA)
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