Goodyear says it has started using a next-generation silica to increase the fuel-efficiency of its tyres.

The new silica will be used in the company’s EfficientGrip SUV tyre, which is being launched this month in Latin American markets, while products containing it also will be introduced in other regions within the next year.

For more than a decade, Goodyear researchers worked with PPG Industries to examine the effects of chemically treated silica on tyre performance, with the goal of improving rolling resistance without having a detrimental effect on traction in wet conditions. 

In Goodyear’s EffcientGrip tyre, this next generation silica was used in a new tread compound and tread pattern to provide both improved rolling resistance and better wet traction.

“Our customers around the world are demanding more fuel-efficient tyres, but they want us to minimise the typical trade-offs,” said Goodyear global materials science director, David Zanzig.

“Our materials scientists worked in cross-functional teams and, together with tyre design and construction engineers, they derived an integrated solution that optimises performance.

“This new silica plays a critical role in satisfying our customers’ needs.”