A silicone-based tire sealant that can be more easily recycled and promotes circular use of tire materials has been developed by Bridgestone and Dow.
The sealant, called B-Seals, can be efficiently removed after application, which helps with tire reparability and can possibly extend the life of the tire. Because the sealant is removable, it also doesn’t impact the actual tire from being recycled when it can no longer be used.
Bridgestone will initially offer tires with the B-Seals technology to equipment manufacturers looking to reduce vehicle weight and improve overall efficiency, especially as more electric vehicles come to market.
Silicone is considered a sustainable product and is made from sand and doesn’t need fossil fuels to be produced. It is recyclable but not biodegradable. It is being used in a range of products to increase sustainable manufacturing, and Dow has produced other silicone offerings, such as structural glazing, insulating glass, and weather sealing designed to help the building industry reduce emissions.
Companies throughout the tire industry have also been working to make more sustainable products, as well as increase recycling capabilities. Michelin, for example, is building a recycling facility that has the capacity of 30,000 tons of tires each year.
Earlier in 2022 Bridgestone partnered with LanzaTech to convert used tires into new materials, including ethanol, while also studying ways to make synthetic rubber that does not rely on chemicals made from oil. The company also is designing tires specifically for electric buses, which are intended to increase the vehicles’ efficiency.
Bridgestone plans to increase the natural rubber supply and is working to commercialize the use of guayule in its tires by 2030. The company has a target of using tires made from all renewable materials by 2050.
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