Back in May 2018, Bridgestone had announced that it had developed the first polymer in the world to bond rubber and resins at the molecular level. The most notable characteristic about the new polymer is its unprecedented durability. When compared to natural rubber, the new polymer exhibits a crack resistance that is over five times higher, abrasion resistance that is more than 2.5 times higher, and tensile strength that is more than 1.5 times higher. Natural rubber is significantly more durable than synthetic rubber.
Bridgestone has chosen to name this new polymer SUSYM and plans to promote usage of the new moniker as part of its efforts to promote the use of the new material as a next-generation polymer material. It could even possibly be used for advances in several fields in addition to its use as a material for tire production.
SUSYM marks the next advance after Bridgestone developed High Strength Rubber, a hybrid material that the company used to bond synthetic rubber components like butadiene and isoprene, with resin components such as ethylene, at the molecular level. For this process, Bridgestone used its proprietary novel gadolinium (Gd) catalyst via copolymerization.
SUSYM offers the combined benefits of the high levels of durability and resistance that natural rubber provides as well as considerably higher levels of performance in terms of puncture resistance, recyclability, repairability and resistance to low temperatures.
SUSYM has the ability to improve performance in these areas while helping to retain the flexibility of rubber and the durability of resin. This makes the material suitable for use in different fields. According to Bridgestone, SUSYM boasts the high levels of durability and resistance of conventional rubber and is therefore capable of realizing the various types of performance required in tires while using fewer resources. The material can also be recycled. Bridgestone plans to collaborate with a wide range of companies and organizations to proceed with further research and development of applying the benefits of this proprietary technology.
Bridgestone had showcased a concept tire utilizing numerous SUSYM functions and materials at the recent Tokyo Motor Show.
Proprietary characteristics of SUSYM:
1. Puncture resistance. SUSYM is resistant to punctures when strong forces are applied to a single point, although it may change shape. The company anticipates this feature will result in SUSYM being used for various applications other than high-strength rubber and tire materials.
2. Fixability (recyclability, repairability). Even if SUSYM materials are punctured, holes can be easily repaired by applying heat. Therefore, the company expects SUSYM will be used as a new rubber material that can be recycled multiple times even if damaged.
3. Low-temperature impact resistance. Conventional rubber hardens and becomes brittle at low temperatures, making it easy to break through impacts. SUSYM maintains the flexibility of rubber even at low temperatures, creating resistance to impacts and giving this material the potential to be used under low temperatures.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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