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New legislation in Brazil means the country’s tyre manufacturers are clamouring for low-PAH plasticisers – and soon the rest of Latin America will follow.
Following closely in the footsteps of similar changes in Europe, legislation No. 544 (Regulation regarding requirements for evaluation of conformity of new tyres) will see the introduction of new requirements concerning tyre manufacturing in Brazil.
From 2016, new uniform labelling will be introduced and all tyres for sale in Brazil will need to meet strict limits on polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) content. “We are already seeing many major tyre manufacturers phasing out aromatic extracts in favour of low-PAH alternatives, and once the legislation comes into force, we will see even more who will need to change quickly,” says Gutenberg Souza Oliveira, Americas Tyre and Polymer Sales Manager, Nynas.
The legislation is being introduced in an effort to improve standards in the local industry, and to ensure consumers are better informed when choosing tyres. However the environmental impact is expected to wide ranging and go beyond the tyres’ performances alone.
“Restricting the PAH content on tyre oils will benefit tyre plants workers since they will be dealing with more environmentally-friendly products,” adds Oliveira. “Also, it will have an impact on preserving the environment in the region, as as scrap tyres will pollute much less when properly disposed.”
Brazil is the biggest tyre market in Latin America, with more than 70 million tyres manufactured annually. In fact, the Brazilian market is so large that legislation No.544 will affect surrounding markets as well. “Brazil is very interconnected with other countries in the region, especially Argentina, so trends tend to spread quickly. It’s certainly our expectation that demand for low PAH oils will increase across Latin America in coming years.”
In recent years, Nynas has invested in new infrastructure in Brazil and Latin America, in order to better supply its customers with low-PAH naphthenic tyre oils.
Brazil’s legislation No. 544 follows in a global trend towards standardised tyre labelling. The purpose is to make it easier to compare different tyres and assess their impact on safety and the environment. It is hoped that this will encourage consumers to purchase tyres that are safer, more fuel efficient and better for the environment.
Since 2012, all manufacturers supplying or selling tyres in the EU must comply with new labelling requirements, which provide information on parameters such as tread resistance, break efficiency and noise level. The initiative is part of the EU’s Energy Efficiency Action Plan, which is designed to reduce the energy consumption of various products and services.
Japan introduced voluntary tyre labelling in 2010, which became mandatory in 2012. The labels feature ratings for rolling resistance and wet grip. In 2016, the requirements are expected to increase as the Japanese government attempts to reduce CO2 emissions from traffic.
In 2010 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) drafted a proposal for the introduction of tyre labels covering three factors; fuel efficiency, wet grip and durability. To date, the US government has not formally adopted the proposals however they continue to be debated and remain under consideration.
The ratings on tyre labels are set to have a significant impact on consumers’ choice in tyres, since it is now easier to compare different makes and models. Consequently, tyre manufacturers are looking at ways of improving their ratings.
By adding Nynas’ speciality oils, tyre manufacturers can reduce rolling resistance – and thus reduce fuel consumption - while maintaining wet grip. This would result in a higher rating on the tyre label.
Brazilian tyre market
Car fleet (2014): 84 million
Tyre market (total sales in 2014): 74.9 million tyres
Key segments: Replacement (58.7%), OEMs (24.8%), Exports (16.6%).
Local tyre manufacturers: 12
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