Premium tire maker Pirelli has forayed into the world of guayule rubber with prototype UHP tires made of this material. The company recently tested the prototype tires that were fitted on a Maserati at its Balocco and Vizzola test tracks. The rigorous tests involved subjecting the tires made from guayule to extreme conditions consumers may face including rainy roads and dry conditions. The tires proved to be as good as those made of tires made of synthetic polymers derived from petroleum. Pirelli has been working on the guayule rubber tire project from 2013, when it signed an agreement for exclusive supply of guayule rubber with Versalis.Versalis had earlier carried out a research project on technologies to extract rubber from guayule plants, which had promising results.
Commenting on the tests Fabrizio Sanvito, head of testing for Pirelli Tyre who handles project management and technical benchmarks said that the track tests of the tires made of Pirelli’s were highly positive. The company deliberately chose a high performance car like the Maserati Ghibli to place the greatest possible dmand on the tires. Now that the first phase of testing has been successful, the prototype tires will be further tested in winter conditions.
Promoting sustainability by using alternative, renewable raw materials instead of petrochemical polymers is one of the stated goals of Pirelli’s research pision. Pirelli has already produced tires that use materials like silica derived from rice husks as part of attaining this objective.
“For Versalis, guayule is the perfect biomatter on which to develop a genuinely integrated biorefinery,” said Sergio Lombardini, Versalis’ R&D and technology innovation director. “Using a technological platform aimed at integral use of guayule, it’s going to be possible to produce tires and resins that have an application both in the automotive and construction industries, as well as making use of other constituents of this biomatter that can be used in the pharmaceutical and health care sectors. The collaboration with Pirelli can only increase the chances of success in this innovative project with massive potential.”
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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