Several factors contribute to the fuel efficiency of automobiles and trucks. One important factor, often overlooked, is the rolling resistance of vehicle tires, which is defined as the force required to keep a vehicle moving at a given speed. Tire manufacturers continue to formulate rubber compounds that improve fuel economy, ownership costs and the environment.
Tire design can improve fuel efficiency of automobiles
An ideal instrument to study the behavior of formulation materials used in developing new rubber compound formulations is a torque rheometer. This instrument drives laboratory mixers and laboratory extruders, providing profiles of formulations. These instruments can efficiently simulate processing conditions in a small-scale testing environment as a precursor to manufacturing processes.
We recently used a torque rheometer to test rubber compound tire formulations based on a branched cobalt butadiene rubber and three different types of carbon black ingredients. Testing carbon black materials informs the extrusion process and affects the material’s structure, reinforcement, tensile strength, resistance to tear, chipping, and abrasion.