TOKYO — Bridgestone Corp. is claiming it has discovered a way to bond rubber and resins at the molecular level into a hybrid polymer, a development that could lead to reducing the amount of polymeric materials needed in tires.
The new polymer is claimed to offer "unprecedented durability" with crack-resistance of over five times greater, abrasion resistance over 2.5 times greater and tensile strength more than 1.5 times greater than natural rubber, Bridgestone said.
The newly developed "high strength rubber" (HSR), is described as a hybrid material: bonding synthetic-rubber components such as butadiene and isoprene with resin components such as ethylene at the molecular level.
The production process uses Bridgestone's proprietary gadolinium (Gd) catalyst via copolymerization. The company said it developed the polymer by "further evolving" Gd catalyst technologies used to synthesize polyisoprene rubber.