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Yokohama develops liner for commercial tires

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The Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. has developed new inner liner technology that substantially improves the ability to maintain air pressure in commercial vehicle tires for trucks and buses.

The company says the new inner liner can reduce natural air leakage by about 30% compared with conventional liners, helping maintain tire pressure and allowing the design and manufacturing of lighter tires.

The technology is being applied to tires manufactured at domestic plants from April 2013. It will gradually be introduced at plants overseas.

Inner liners are rubber sheets covering the interior surfaces of tubeless tires to reduce air leakage from the tire. Yokohama’s new inner liner uses "flat talc” imbedded in the rubber in multiple layers. The company describes flat talc as particulate talc in planar shapes, a key characteristic of the mineral talc. The flat talc blocks the permeation of air through the rubber, substantially cutting the volume of air naturally escaping from the tire.

Underinflation of a tire reduces fuel efficiency due to increased rolling resistance and adversely affects wear and safety. For those reasons, Yokohama has been engaged in research and development of inner liner technology to reduce air leakage. In 2009, it released the Airtex Advanced Liner, created from new materials, to improve the fuel-saving performance of its eco-friendly consumer tires.

For more information, visit the company's website.

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