Dunlop Falken introduces environmentally friendly tire in Japan

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Dunlop Falken Tyres Ltd. introduced its environmentally friendly ENASAVE ES801 tires at Tokyo Motor Show yesterday. Seventy percent of the tire is made of non-petroleum materials.

"It helps us to utilize limited petroleum and reduce CO2 to warm the globe," says the company.

Dunlop Falken will begin selling the replacement tire in Japan on March 1, 2006. It will be available in three sizes: 185/65R15, 195/65HR15 and 195/55VR16.

"We have succeeded to decrease the use of synthetic rubber, which is a petro-related material, and increase the use of natural rubber, which helps lower (a) tire's rolling resistance. We also adopted other non-petroleum materials for filler, oil and casing. In this way, we have raised the percentage of non-petroleum materials from 44% for conventional tires to 70% for ENASAVE ES801."

The company replaces polymer synthetic rubber with epoxidized natural rubber; carbon black in the filler with silica; and synthetic fiber in the casing with vegetable fiber. Some of the oil used is vegatable oil instead of petroleum oil.

Dunlop Falken says the use of more natural rubber improves rolling resistance by 30%.

The epoxidized natural rubber is a new material, according to the company. "The natural rubber loses its gripping power for braking and cornering when it is used much as it is. In order to overcome this problem, we developed epoxidized natural rubber and succeeded in decreasing the amount of use of petro-originated synthetic rubber, which used to take an important role in increasing the grip of the tire."

The tire also utilizes aerodynamic technology. "In order to reduce air resistance against tires in motion, we have adopted 'Aerodynamic Design,' an original design to eliminate letterings that usually appear in the area between tread shoulder and sidewall.

"With this new development, we have succeeded in reducing air resistance by degree... and lowering the tire's rolling resistance further."

The ENASAVE ES801's tread pattern also helps lower rolling resistance with its optimumized lateral groove angles. Its straight grooves improve wet performance and block stiffness distribution improves dry performance, adds Dunlop Falken, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Rubber Industries.

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