TOKYO — Bridgestone Corp. has developed a material it's describing as the "world's first" polymer that bonds rubbers and resins on the molecular level.
Named Susym — a combination of the words "sustain," "symphony" and "symbiosis" — the "next-generation" polymer material is expected to find applications in various fields that exceed the scope of use as a tire material, the Japanese tire make disclosed recently.
The product, Bridgestone said, is the next step in the evolution of the company's "high-strength rubber," unveiled in May 2018.
The material boasts the high levels of durability and resistance found in conventional rubber coupled with "substantially" higher levels of performance associated with resins.
Bridgestone claims the material 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's being used for various applications other than high-strength rubber and tire materials.
The product is also claimed to offer "fixability", i.e. recyclability and repairability features.
Even if the material is punctured, holes can be easily repaired by applying heat, according to Bridgestone.
The tire maker expects Susym to be used as a new rubber material that can be recycled multiple times even if damaged.
It also is resistant to low temperatures, as opposed to conventional rubber which hardens and becomes brittle at low temperatures.
The material, according to Bridgestone, maintains the flexibility of rubber even at low temperatures, creating resistance to impacts and making it suitable for low-temperature applications.
Susym, according to Bridgestone, is capable of enhancing performance in the above-mentioned areas while maintaining the flexibility of rubber and durability of resin.
"These features make Susym highly applicable to various fields other than tires, and it is thus, a revolutionary new material capable of achieving 'symbiosis' with our society," the Bridgestone statement said.
Due to its higher durability and resistance compared to conventional rubber, the material is claimed to provide the various types of performance required in tires while using fewer resources.
Bridgestone said it would move forward with research and development on the application of the technology in various fields through collaborating with a range of companies and organizations.
The company also exhibited a concept tire utilizing "numerous Susym functions and materials" during the recent Tokyo Motor Show 2019.
The company has posted a brief video on its corporate website that shows some highlights of the material's characteristics.