Citrus-flavored tires

Orange juice is not going to be just for breakfast anymore, thanks to a new tire compound developed by Japan-based Yokohama Rubber Co. (YRC)

Orange juice is not going to be just for breakfast anymore, thanks to a new tire compound developed by Japan-based Yokohama Rubber Co. (YRC)

The company said it’s developed a process that combines citrus oil with natural rubber to form a new compound called “Super Nanopower Rubber” (SNR) that reduces the use of petroleum products in tires by 80%.

Jim MacMaster, executive vp-business division of Yokohama Tire Corp., YRC’s U.S. subsidiary, said the company’s first SNR-based product is will appear first in the passenger-car tire market on the Decibel Super E-Spec.

“The fuel-saving E-Spec tire features an air permeation suppression film,” he said. “This new polymer inner lining is designed to reduce air from seeping out from the tire, helping maintain appropriate inflation levels as under-inflated tires consume more power, thus using more fuel.”

MacMaster added that the E-Spec is a lot lighter than Yokohoma’s current passenger-car tires and also conserves gasoline by reducing rolling resistance 18%. “Low rolling resistance tires improve fuel efficiency by minimizing the energy wasted as heat as the tire rolls down the road,” he said.

Though E-Spec tire featuring the SNR compound will be available in Japan later this year, MacMaster said no date has been determined for release to the U.S. market.

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