Performance testing in real tyres

Nynas is stepping up its commitment to sustainability by bringing its tyre testing from the lab to the field – testing the performance of its biobased NYTEX® BIO 6200 oil in real tyres.

Dr Kamyar Alavi is a Senior Technical Advisor and Senior Specialist at Technical Development and Market Support, Nynas Naphthenics. He joined Nynas in 2010.

Having made it its mission to make the most of oil and to proactively contribute to sustainable development, Nynas recently devised a study to confirm the performance of the company's biobased tyre oil with tests in real tyres.

“Collaborating with various partners, we were able to establish the performance of tyres made with our new biobased oil set against a baseline observed for tyres made with TDAE,” says Dr Kamyar Alavi, Senior Specialist, Tyre and Rubber Oils, Nynas Naphthenics, who outlined and oversaw the study together with the Nynas Tyre and Rubber Team.

Produced with renewable feedstock, Nynas’ biobased tyre oil NYTEX® BIO 6200 has been ranked as one of the most important sustainability projects by the European Rubber Journal (ERJ). Extensive studies at Nynas’ Rubber Compounding Lab have provided promising results for the performance of key properties, confirming that the biobased oil will perform at least as well as conventional mineral tyre oils, while adding significant value with regard to raw material sustainability.

With performance targets for the biobased oil equalling those of conventional tyre oils in various lab studies, the natural next step was to test the new oil in real tyres. Hence, tyres were produced with European winter tyre tread compound formulated with either NYTEX BIO 6200 or TDAE, which was used as a reference. The performance of the tyres was then tested in accordance with standard test methods. In addition, the test results were also compared with the results of similar real tyre tests carried out in 2016 on tyre tread compound based on NYTEX® 4700, again using TDAE as a baseline reference.

“To take our testing from the lab scale to reality, we first made some adjustments to formulations in lab trials to reach target values for, for instance, the curing behaviour, the compound viscosity, as well as tensile and DMA properties,” says Kamyar Alavi.

Tests of the real tyres, carried out according to the ECE R.117 regulation for measuring wet grip and rolling resistance, showed that NYTEX BIO 6200 had the same wet traction properties as TDAE but displayed advantages for rolling resistance. Ice and snow traction were evaluated separately on a test track for winter tyre testing, where the biobased oil also performed better than TDAE on snow and significantly better on ice.

“This gives us the confidence to state that we have proven the performance of NYTEX BIO 6200 in real tyres,” he adds.

Apart from performing well in real tyres, the biobased oil also got top marks for good behaviour in the production process, both in mixing and in extrusion, which is valuable information from a handling viewpoint.

“These real tyre tests show that NYTEX BIO 6200 not only adds sustainability, but also, based on our results, widens the window of performance of the tyre,” says Kamyar Alavi.

Further reading

Assisting an agent

Compatible with all sorts of rubber, naphthenic oil facilitates the dispersion of insoluble sulfur, the vulcanising agent used in the production of tyre rubber. Anna Eriksson explains how this helps improve the quality of the final rubber.

Connecting the dots

Pär Wedin at Nynas proposes a shift from one point to another one, from aniline point to turbidity point. Now, standardisation bodies SIS and ISO are mulling over his proposal.

Increased Sustainability: Tyre Rubbers with Raw Materials from Renewable Resources

Tyre industry’s strive to reach higher levels of sustainability has been gaining strength in the past recent years, which among other things is reflected in the explicit sustainability targets communicated from several producers. The solution is multifaceted, one of the routes to stand up to the challenge has been the introduction of alternative raw materials for the production of tyres.