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Traction Summit 2023 will be taking place in May 2023 in Washington, D.C! View the previous 2022 event featured speakers from GM, Momentive, Bridgestone, Michelin, Pirelli, Tyrata, Smithers, Carbon X, Department of Toxic Substance Control, and many more!

Registration and Opening Remarks
Registration Open
Opening Remarks
Ashli Speed, Senior Conference Producer Josh Guilliams VP Consultancy Smithers MSE
Session I: Industry Insights Roadmap to Sustainability
Tire Sustainability: The Journey is Just Beginning Josh Guilliams VP Consultancy Smithers MSE
The path to a more sustainable product can take various directions depending on a number of key variables. In the tire industry, there have been progressive efforts over the past few decades to improve the overall environmental footprint of the industry. From recycling end-of-life tires to improving fuel efficiency through better rolling resistance, large strides have been made. However, the future of sustainability in the industry still has a long way to go. Material developments, tire recycling, and manufacturing processes provide opportunities for continued improvement. Testing and validation has a big part to play in order to reduce potentially negative unintended consequences. This presentation will kick off the 2022 conference by covering current sustainability trends in the industry and introduce some of the key topics that will be addressed during the Traction Summit.
Joshua Guilliams | Vice President,Consulting Materials Science and Engineering, Smithers
Emerging Sustainability Trends Affecting the Automotive and Tire Industries
This presentation will describe the sustainability context affecting the tire industry. From the rise of ESG investing and regulation, to supply chain sustainability expectations and trends, to heightened attention on environmental impacts, the tire industry is rapidly adapting to new sustainability priorities and opportunities.
Maureen Kline | Vice President Public Affairs & Sustainability, Pirelli Tire North America
Leveraging the Sustainability Development Goals and Collaboration for Impact
Critical to achieving sustainable solutions in the tire industry is collaboration. Recently, the Tire Industry Project released the “Tire Sector SDG Roadmap,” which links the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the industry’s core strengths and competencies to identify impactful pathways toward sustainability. The Roadmap’s framework identifies collaboration across the value chain as key to delivering impactful results. Learn about the SDG Roadmap and how Bridgestone and the tire industry are working with key players to utilize collaboration for scaled impact.
Andrew Thompson | Global General Manager, Strategic Sustainability, Bridgestone Americas
Networking Break
Session II: Manufacturing and Material Selection
Keynote: Collaborating for a More Sustainable Future
Customers are demanding reduced emissions, sustainable compounds, and circular economy solutions. This presentation will illustrate how Bolder Industries has advanced in these areas by collaborating with customers, partners in adjacent industries, and virgin carbon black manufacturers to create new pathways to delivering circular solutions for tire manufacturers.
Tony Wibbeler | Founder, CEO, Bolder Industries
Lehigh’s Micronized Rubber Powder Enhances Michelin’s Sustainability Vision
Introduction by: Russell Shepherd, Michelin North America Technical Communications Director

The world of mobility is changing, as is our environment, so Michelin is working with tires, around tires and beyond tires to enable Motion for Life. Michelin’s vision is to invest in society beyond tires. As part of this vision, Michelin is committed to making its tires 100% sustainable by 2050. To do so, the company is investing in the use of bio-based raw materials and recycled materials, including polymers and recycled tires.  To reach this goal, Michelin acquired Lehigh, a specialty chemicals company in Tucker, Georgia. Lehigh produces highly engineered, versatile raw materials called micronized rubber powder (MRP) that can replace oil- and rubber-based feedstocks in a wide range of applications. In 2017, Lehigh became part of the Michelin Group. Lehigh is an important part of implementing the recycling component of the sustainability commitments made by Michelin. MRP delivers product performance, lower production costs and reduced waste. By transforming waste materials into high-value products, Lehigh provides a sustainable solution to the important environmental challenge of end-of-life tires and other post-industrial rubber material.
Jason Stravinski | North America Lead of Michelin Sustainable Materials Recovery, Michelin
CarbonX: A New Spin on CO2 Reduction in PCR Tires
CarbonX will discuss the advantages of its unique carbon material and compare the performance and carbon footprint of a commercial summer PCR tire with one using CarbonX to partially replace silica as well as carbon black. --- In this formulation, CarbonX® was able to expand the conventional tire performance triangle by improving rolling resistance, abrasion resistance, and wet grip simultaneously. --- Key findings include a reduction of 24 kgCO2 per tire over its lifetime based on a 13% improvement in rolling resistance, which could ultimately help car manufacturers meet the current EU mandate for CO2 emissions for new cars by bringing them 20% closer to their target. --- CarbonX can help tiremakers fulfil their short- and long-term strategies for performance, safety, and sustainability. --- ABOUT CARBONX: Founded in 2014, CarbonX is an advanced materials company that produces and supplies a revolutionary new carbon material worldwide. CarbonX® has a unique structure that brings significant in terms of light weight, durability, processability, and recyclability. The ability to improve performance as well as sustainability makes it an ideal alternative to conventional fillers for a wide range of applications.
Zhen Liu | Head of Elastomers & Thermoplastics, CarbonX
Networking Lunch
Advanced silanes, a key link between Performance and Sustainability
NXT™ and NXT Z™ 45 silanes from Momentive contribute to tire circularity. After explaining Momentive’s corporate sustainability strategy, the presentation will focus on the effects of these advanced silanes during the different phases of the tire lifecycle. Advanced silanes, even though they are a small percentage in the tire, can have a big impact, especially during the tire use phase. But with NXT™ silane, contributions to reducing the footprint during tire production are possible as well. Lastly, Momentive’s silanes are partly renewable and opportunities to use more green resources are assessed.
Luc ter Bogt | Business Development Lead EMEA India, Momentive
High Performance Silicas for Hybrid and Electrical Vehicle Tires
Acceleration of car electrification and autonomous vehicles will drastically change the design of tires in the coming years. Tire manufacturers will need to take into account higher torque, hence different wear, different weight distribution (stiffness) and higher demand for low rolling resistance tires to enhance the number of kilometers driven. New paradigms of performance are appearing for which Solvay can offer a wide range of silica adapted to those new directions.
Laurent Guy | Global Technical Marketing Manager R&I Fellows Scientist, Solvay Silica
Session III: Case Studies and Research
Off-the-Road (OTR) retread applications: Improving sustainability and delivering performance
Improving the sustainability of tires is critical to the future of the transportation industry. This presentation will review Cabot's approach and progress on innovations to improve the sustainability of our customers' products. One such innovation is the use of our E2C™ (Engineered Elastomer Composites) solutions in off-the-road retread applications. We will explore the benefits of using E2C to extend the life cycle of tires in these challenging applications.
Jeff Silveria | Global Segment Manager for Tire, Cabot Corporation
Case Study on Sustainability Using Tyrata’s Drive-Over System for Tread Wear Monitoring
Safely extending the usage life of tires has major implications for environmental sustainability and requires regular monitoring of tire health. In this talk, we report on a study that was conducted at the Durham (North Carolina) City Transit Company (DCTC, doing business as GoDurham) to determine the impact of careful, ongoing monitoring of bus tire tread using an automated tire tread measurement system – in this case, the Tyrata IntelliTread® Drive-Over System (DOS™). The DOS is a low-cost, rugged, easily installed solution for capturing and tracking the tread depth for vehicles driving over the speed bump-like unit. What’s more, the DOS is backed by powerful data analytics through that make it possible to monitor and predict tire health rather than only occasionally measuring single data points. In this study, data was analyzed for two back-to-back three-month periods, before and after the installation of the DOS system. Data before the installation represented tire maintenance and replacement behavior based on periodic manual tire measurements; data after the installation represented a shift in methodology, using daily monitoring data to provide more accurate and actionable alerts. Results of the study show that fleet tire management with DOS achieved significant efficiency gains, extending average tire use by 12% without compromising safety, leading to an estimated net annual savings for GoDurham’s 60-bus fleet of $60,000 and a 21,000 kg reduction in CO2e emissions.
Dr. Aaron Franklin | Chief Technology Officer (& Addy Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Duke University), Tyrata
Networking Break
Engineering at the Nanoscale: A Strategy for Developing High Performance Functional Bio-Materials from Waste
Green chemistry started for the search of benign methods for the development of nanoparticles from nature and their use in the field of antibacterial, antioxidant, and antitumor applications. Bio wastes are eco-friendly starting materials to produce typical nanoparticles with well-defined chemical composition, size, and morphology. Cellulose, starch, chitin and chitosan are the most abundant biopolymers around the world. All are under the polysaccharides family in which cellulose is one of the important structural components of the primary cell wall of green plants. Cellulose nanoparticles(fibers, crystals and whiskers) can be extracted from agrowaste resources such as jute, coir, bamboo, pineapple leafs, coir etc. Chitin is the second most abundant biopolymer after cellulose, it is a characteristic component of the cell walls of fungi, the exoskeletons of arthropods and nanoparticles of chitin (fibers, whiskers) can be extracted from shrimp and crab shells. Chitosan is the derivative of chitin, prepared by the removal of acetyl group from chitin (Deacetylation). Starch nano particles can be extracted from tapioca and potato wastes. These nanoparticles can be converted into smart and functional biomaterials by functionalisation through chemical modifications (esterification, etherification, TEMPO oxidation, carboxylation and hydroxylation etc) due to presence of large amount of hydroxyl group on the surface. The preparation of these nanoparticles include both series of chemical as well as mechanical treatments; crushing, grinding, alkali, bleaching and acid treatments. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) are used to investigate the morphology of nanoscale biopolymers. Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR) and x ray diffraction (XRD) are being used to study the functional group changes, crystallographic texture of nanoscale biopolymers respectively. Since large quantities of bio wastes are produced annually, further utilization of cellulose, starch and chitins as functionalized materials is very much desired. The cellulose, starch and chitin nano particles are currently obtained as aqueous suspensions which are used as reinforcing additives for high performance environment-friendly biodegradable polymer materials. These nanocomposites are being used as biomedical composites for drug/gene delivery, nano scaffolds in tissue engineering and cosmetic orthodontics. The reinforcing effect of these nanoparticles results from the formation of a percolating network based on hydrogen bonding forces. The incorporation of these nano particles in several bio-based polymers have been discussed. The role of nano particle dispersion, distribution, interfacial adhesion and orientation on the properties of the eco friendly bio nanocomposites have been carefully evaluated.
Sabu Thomas | Vice-Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi University
Recent advances in rubber modification of asphalt mixtures
Asphalt pavements represent a large potential recycling destination for a million or more scrap tires annually in most states. Over the past decade, various technology developers have clearly demonstrated through field and laboratory data that the addition of ground tire rubber in asphalt mixtures enhances the pavement performance and that rubber-modified asphalt (RMA) mixtures can compete in a market currently dominated by polymer-modified asphalt mixtures.  A summary of findings from the current state of knowledge of RMA will be presented including the identified gaps, addressing which would aid the wide-spread adoption of RMA across the US. Finally, data from some recent projects that successfully used RMA and have shown good performance will be discussed.
Punyaslok Rath Ph.D., A.M. ASCE | Research Scientist Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Missouri
Networking Reception
Registration & Opening Remarks
Morning Refreshments
Opening Remarks
Session IV: Future Industry Insights for Environmental Efforts
GM’s Supply Chain Sustainability Program
Sustainability within a firm’s supply chain is often key to its overall corporate sustainability strategy. This presentation will focus on GM’s program that drives supply chain sustainability, and its link to the company’s vision and priorities. A sample of GM’s supply chain initiatives, tools, and partnerships will be shared to create a discussion with the broader community on these important topics. Focus will be given to sustainability in the tire supply chain.
Frederick Gersdorff | Manager, Socially Responsible & Sustainable Supply Chains, General Motors
California’s Approach to 6PPD in Automotive Tires; the Safer Consumer Products Regulations
This presentation  will focus in on California’s Safer Consumer Products (SCP) regulations framework and how the Department of Toxic Substances Control is using this regulatory authority to work with tire manufacturers to identify and evaluate potential safer alternatives to the use of 6PPD in tires.  The talk will provide basic information on how the SCP regulations work, the basis for regulation and the steps manufacturers selling tires in CA will need to take in conducting the SCP “Alternatives Analysis” requirements.
Dr. Karl Palmer | Deputy Director, Safer Consumer Products Program, DTSC (Department of Toxic Substances Control)
Trends in Environmental Policy: Tire Materials and Tire and Road Wear Particles
This presentation will focus on key environmental policy trends impacting tire materials and tire and road wear particles and provide an overview of the U.S. Tire Manufacturers engagement on these issues.  USTMA members are committed to sustainable practices in every aspect of their businesses. As global leaders in manufacturing, USTMA members embrace a shared responsibility of helping to achieve a more sustainable society. From engineering innovations that reduce CO2 emissions to enhancing tire safety and performance, driving progress in workplace safety and preserving the environment throughout the life cycle of a tire, our members are continually looking for new ways to improve the societal contributions of their products and operations.  As part of this, we remain committed to understanding any potential impacts of our tires on human health and the environment.  This commitment to sustainability drives our industry’s response and engagement on environmental issues, including our proactive positioning on tire materials and tire and road wear particles.
Sarah Amick | Vice President EHS&S and Senior Counsel, USTMA
Tire market prospects and trends amidst unprecedented disruptions
From 2020 on, the entire global economy, not least the tire industry and its suppliers and end users, has been subjected to ongoing pressures and shocks: lingering effects of COVID-19 and mitigation attempts, global and national supply chain disruptions, commodity price volatility and shortages, general inflationary pressures, and war in Eastern Europe. All these aspects of the current “new normal” are evolving and continuing to complicate tire production, distribution and sale. Amidst this uncertainty, key underlying tire trends remain intact, or are accelerating, particularly in the areas of sustainable sourcing and manufacture, and adoption of green/EV tire technologies.  This presentation will explore the outlook for these trends and overall tire market forecast in this increasingly challenging environment.
Art Mayer | Zephyr Research/ Smithers
Networking Break
Session V: Tire Performance and Sustainability
Compliance Testing
Presentation that will focus on the history of compliance testing and associated gaps with compliance testing. 
Joshua Guilliams | Vice President,Consulting Materials Science and Engineering, Smithers
Innovation, Sustainability and Tire Performance
Tire manufacturers embrace the opportunity to develop new, innovative technologies to enhance tire and vehicle safety, performance and reliability. USTMA embraces tire performance in their sustainability programs, recognizing that safety is at the core of everything tire manufacturers do and that product innovation drives progress towards sustainability. USTMA’s first sustainability vision is that USTMA members strive to improve the longevity and driving performance of the tire we design, make and sell. USTMA celebrates the advanced technologies their members develop produce and recognize the key role these advancements play in the tire industry’s sustainability journey. Regulations that once would have been considered technology neutral are now viewed as technology limiting. USTMA supports developing regulations that can be updated over time with minimal regulatory process to assure the regulations remain relevant as tire technology and performance advance. Governments should consider potential disparate impacts on new and existing tire technologies as they develop new regulations or updates existing ones and focus their regulatory efforts on performance, rather than specific technologies and incorporate regulatory provisions that require periodic product benchmarking, evaluation and adjustment of requirements to reflect the performance of current tires in North America to assure that the regulations do not become technology limiting as technology advances. Tracey Norberg, U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association
Tracey Norberg | Senior Vice President & General Counsel, U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association
Regulatory Barriers to Innovation: Plunger energy and bead unseating tests
Current NHTSA Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) such as FMVSS 139 include tire testing standards that were promulgated in 1967, over 50 years ago (tests for bead unseating resistance and plunger energy). These tests were designed for bias ply tires, yet today nearly all passenger and light truck tires sold in the U.S. are radial tires. The bead unseating and plunger energy tests are outdated, obsolete test methods that do not provide a commensurate safety benefit for modern tires, which were designed to assure the performance of tubeless bias ply tires when tubes were eliminated from use. These standards are obsolete and are not necessary to assure the performance of today’s modern tires. This presentation will discuss how these tests stifle innovation and inhibit advancements in tire performance and sustainability and why they should be eliminated from FMVSS.
Brad Rump | Brad Rump, Global Regulations, Standards, & Compliance, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Regulatory Barriers to Innovation: Parasitic tread block chunking and FMVSS 139 endurance test
Additional Presenter: Jean Antol, Bridgestone Americas

Based on industry testing experience over the last fifteen years, USTMA has identified two kinds of tread chunking that occur during FMVSS 139 endurance/low pressure testing. One type is a parasitic condition that does not occur during field testing or in service and is due to portions of a tire’s tread sticking to the test wheel and is an unintended result of the laboratory test itself. Since PTBC does not occur in real world operating conditions, it should not be a criterion for determining whether a tire passes or fails the test. In contrast, tread chunking that exposes reinforcing material (e.g., nylon overlay or steel belts) would be an endurance concern and should be retained as a failure mode.  Elimination of PTBC as a pass/fail criterion would also eliminate the need for testing tires marked with the Alpine symbol (i.e., 3PMSF) at a reduced speed of 110 km/h. This presentation will discuss the challenges associated with PTBC and why NHTSA should remove PTBC as a pass/fail criteria, all tires subject to FMVSS 139 could be tested at the same test speed of 120 km/h, which would enhance tire innovation and sustainability.
Dominique Josson | Manager – Standards and Regulations, Michelin North America
Session Panel and Q&A
Networking Lunch
Session VI: Aftermarket Solutions
Asphalt Rubber as a Sustainable Solution to the Global ELT Management
Scrap tires have been a global problem for over 30 years. In the early years, an initial solution was to landfill them. However, due to the shape and high rate of decomposition, landfills soon stopped accepting scrap tires. Typically, municipal waste decomposes in 50 years versus 500 years for scrap tires. As a result, scrap tire generators were then forced to stockpile tires above ground. These stockpiles, however, brought on more problems of their own. Once ignited, tire pile fires burn very hot, are very difficult to extinguish and are a major source of air pollution and ground water contamination around the world. Because of the shape, scrap tires also hold water creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes which can then transfer diseases like the Zika virus. Governments around the world started enacting legislations to manage scrap tires and eliminate tire stockpiles. In recent years, most landfills in the U.S. have banned tires and over forty-nine states have enacted regulations. In the U.S. and Canada, over one billion dollars are collected from consumers annually as environmental and disposal fees to manage scrap tires. Globally there are three primary types of ELT management programs:
Dr. Barry Takallou | President and CEO, CRM Company
Sustainability: Holistic Approach from Raw Material to Final Product Usage
CEAT Limited Presentation

Sustainability is a holistic approach that considers ecological, social and economic dimensions. It aims to reduce the negative impact of all three components. Most of the tyre companies have already started working on sustainable products, but are we all really moving in right direction towards sustainability is still a question mark. To understand the real answer, it entail us to deepen and widen our thought process, viz. offering a low rolling resistance or low weight tyre can be related to sustainability? May or may not be. What if the energy consumed is much higher in preparing raw materials used in low RR tyre, on the other hand what if the tyre weight is reduced by compromising the tyre life! Eventually in both the cases the carbon footprint either remains same or increases. These examples fairly explain that sustainability cannot be related to final outcome rather it is a holistic approach at each stage from cradle to grave of the product. However today it is very difficult to adopt the real essence of sustainability due to non-availability of systems (certification, compliance and energy labelling etc.) which can rate and evaluate the sustainability index based on energy consumption in a product starting from raw material, processing and final product usage. As a tyre developer, it’s critical to deeply look into four buckets i.e. energy consumption, material reduction, operational behavior & industrial etiquette to adopt sustainability as a holistic approach.Let us discuss this in detail.
CEAT Limited Representative | CEAT Limited
Advisory Board Panel
More information coming soon
End of Conference