New forms of mobility (autonomous, electrical, shared vehicles), digitalization, geographical imbalances, legislation, social and sustainability considerations and consequential changes to the Magic Triangle of tire performance, were the main topics of conversation at this year’s Global Synthetic Rubber and Tyre Market Conference.
Organized by ChemCourier, the conference focused on the regional outlook of feedstocks and styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), with discussions around future challenges to the so far relatively slow-moving global tire industry, as it enters an era of fast, disruptive trends.
During a presentation to attendees, Anamaria Cioanca, Senior Strategic Global Marketing Leader for Trinseo Synthetic Rubber Business, discussed potential changes to the Magic Triangle, likely to be brought about by evolving environmental, political, social, demographic and purchasing trends.
With the global population forecast to increase by two billion through 2050 and more middle-income households entering the car market, cost is likely to enter the Magic Triangle's parameters. Furthermore, the drive for high fuel efficiency, as well as CO2 emissions reduction will keep low rolling resistance high on the agenda, together with sustainability.
As a result, it is likely the Magic Triangle will evolve depending on the segment and specification of tire application. For example, developed geographies will tend to focus on low rolling resistance, tread-wear and sustainability, with niche segments such as enthusiast passionate drivers adding handling as key, whereas more mainstream segments in developing countries will instead consider low rolling resistance, cost and grip.
To meet specific performance needs, synthetic rubber producers need to have a closer understanding of the challenges the customer is confronted with and develop a profusion of solutions. While highly functional S-SBR is generally a must - have solution to guarantee necessary performance advantages, the industry is aware this is more difficult to be processed than other solutions.
This is why Trinseo invests in the right people, expertise and capabilities, to develop innovative new synthetic rubber solutions that mitigate industry challenges. An example of this is Trinseo’s response to mitigating higher CO2 emissions generated by a rise in the SUV market. The company’s recently launched SPRINTAN™ 918S is an innovative, easy-to-process, multifunctionalized S-SBR polymer that provides substantial improvements in low rolling resistance for SUVs, with outstanding physical stability at uncompromised safety.
By working in partnership with customers and staying ahead of global market changes, Trinseo is positioning itself to better understand market needs, develop and deliver tailored synthetic rubber solutions and help tire manufacturers overcome future industry challenges.