While reports circulate about the possibility of another eruption of the Mt. St. Helens volcanic crater, engineers and scientists at The Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company continue to develop products that make positive use of the byproducts of such lava flows.

One of the key elements in the new Goodyear Assurance featuring TripleTred Technology(TM) is volcanic sand, used in the tyre's Ice Zone to create a rough surface on the treadface. As the tyre is used, the volcanic sand "grit" presents microscopic cavities that work as tiny traction edges for better grip on slick surfaces.

"The volcanic sand is added to the tyre as a ground pumice material in the rubber," said Michael Crawford, Goodyear's technical team leader for light tyre materials. "The pumice creates a constantly rough and textured surface that proves very effective in delivering the kind of grip that drivers demand."

The volcanic material used in Goodyear's TripleTred tyre actually comes from southeastern Idaho. The unique tyre ingredient is mined from an area near Malad City, where several volcanoes blasted away millions of years ago.

"The material we provide began as magma in the earth. When it erupted through the surface, it transformed from a liquid to a highly porous product known as Amorphous Aluminum Silicate," said Joe Thomas, of Hess Pumice Products, the world's largest supplier of finely ground processed pumice. "In effect, it is volcanic sand, non-crystalline in nature and with abrasive qualities."