GURGAON, India — The Indian government has granted Apollo Tyres Ltd. and the Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) a patent on a grade of epoxide natural rubber (ENR) designed for use in tires that they co-developed.
Apollo said this ENR grade will replace the more-expensive styrene butadiene rubber widely used in high-performance car tires, including winter tires. Apollo added that it provides a sustainable solution to its future high-performance tires.
The research and development team at Apollo was led by Arup Kr Chandra.
"As a company, Apollo Tyres has always been proactive in its approach towards technology, sustainability and other environmental issues," Daniele Lorenzetti, chief technology officer, said.
"This innovation is a result of our commitment to replace synthetic materials with green and more environment friendly naturally occurring materials. I would like to congratulate the entire team involved in this, including the scientists from Rubber Research Institute of India, for this invention."
Apollo did not say whether the ENR grade is commercially available yet or how it compares in price with specialty SR grades.
The company did say its increased focus on R&D, along with the need to develop environment friendly raw materials, led it to collaborating with the RRII to develop such a special grade material.
Up to now, Indian tire makers have relied on the imported solution SBR — which Apollo said is more expensive and not environment friendly — for their high-performance car tires.