PPG receives DOE funding develop silica fillers non-tread tire components
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PPG receives DOE funding to develop silica fillers for non-tread tire components

9:08 AM, 10th February 2017
PPG's Agilon performance silica
PPG's Agilon performance silica platform, a chemically-modified precipitated silica that can improve the performance of products in which it is used.

PITTSBURGH, US: PPG Industries Inc said that the US Department of Energy (DOE) will provide funding to support a $1.14 million project to develop new silica-based performance fillers for non-tread components that improve the fuel efficiency and performance of tires.

Research and development work for the project will be completed at PPG’s Monroeville, Pennsylvania, facility.

Using proprietary Agilon performance silica technology, PPG will develop reinforcing fillers for non-tread tire compounds, which can account for up to 50 percent of the fuel-efficiency impact of a tire. The objective of the DOE project is to enable a 2 percent increase in the fuel efficiency of tires, with an initial focus on one non-tread component: the sidewall.

The goal is to reduce energy loss through the sidewall while maintaining or improving resistance to forces such as cracking, tearing and abrasion that degrades the tire. Another key objective will be to understand, maintain and potentially improve the ageing performance of tires as measured by crack growth resistance in an ozone environment.

Agilon performance silica is a high-value technology platform of chemically-modified precipitated silica that can improve product performance. When used in tire treads, it improves vehicle fuel efficiency, traction and treadwear by as much as 5 to 10 percent. Agilon performance silica also provides environmental and manufacturing benefits by improving throughput and reducing capital expenditures, energy usage and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.

DOE funding for the PPG project is provided through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office. This project is one of 35 that will collectively receive $57 million for the development and deployment of cutting-edge vehicle technologies, including several initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and petroleum consumption in passenger cars and light trucks.

“Our customers have made considerable progress in recent years using Agilon silica to improve the rolling resistance of tires, which helps increase vehicle fuel efficiency. This new project has the support of multiple major tire manufacturers. Based on their experiences with Agilon silica, they understand the potential this technology platform has for optimising the performance of sidewalls and other non-tread components,” explained Jim Faller, PPG commercial director, silica products.

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