Two Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. employees recently received "Commendations for Science and Technology" by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. They were honored in the "Development" category for their work on tire inner liner technology.
Yokohama's new material combines the characteristics of rubber and resin. The technology makes possible an inner liner that it says "substantially reduces air leakage from tires," which contributes to the improvement of vehicle fuel efficiency.
The 2011 award winners are:
1. Yuichi Hara, manager, R&D Group No.2, R&D Dept., Research & Development Center;
2. Yoshiaki Hashimura, manager, R&D Group No.3, R&D Dept., Research & Development Center.
An inner liner is affixed inside a tire to mitigate air leakage. Air naturally leaks from any tire, by which the air pressure decreases and rolling resistance increases, with an adverse effect on fuel efficiency.
The inner liner developed by Yokohama uses a new material with a high level of balance between the low permeability of resin and the flexibility of rubber. The result is substantially reduced tire leakage.
In addition, the thickness of the liner is only one-fifth that of a conventional one, which reduces tire weight. Yet it can mitigate tire leakage better, according to the company.
The inner liner was released in 2009 under the name "Advanced" inner liner.