QINGDAO, China — Sailun Group Co. Ltd. has developed a liquid-phase rubber-mixing process that it claims can yield tire performance improvements in multiple parameters that previously were not possible.
Sailun claims that its testing shows tires made with rubber compounded with its proprietary "EcoPoint3" liquid-phase mixing "matched or exceeded" tire performance across the three key functional attributes of rolling resistance, wear resistance and wet grip — characteristics that traditionally could be improved individually only by compromising one or more of the others.
The technology allows rubber compounding materials to be mixed "fully uniformly" under continuous liquid-phase conditions and provides a consistent rubber compound mix, Sailun claims.
"EcoPoint3 is a game changer for the tire industry both for the quality of tires it will produce but also in the way tires are made moving forward," Ron Dolan, president of Sailun Tire Americas, said.
The technology will debut in Sailun's Erange EV line of tires designed for electric vehicles, which are scheduled to be launched commercially later this year.
Sailun said the breakthrough came from "years of painstaking research and development" on high-performance rubber materials.
Sailun did not say at which of its factories the new technology is being employed, but only recently Sailun subsidiary Maxam Tire said it was planning to launch a premium tire line later this year that incorporates EcoPoint3 technology in place at Sailun's plant in Tay Ninh Province, Vietnam.
Sailun claims the technology can deliver "the right rubber balance for exceptional performance" regardless of the tire type of tire — e.g. high performance, touring, all-season, winter, etc.
"[This] will change the way that tires are manufactured," it added.
Qingdao-based Sailun said it expects the technology to bring it to "a new level of international competitiveness."
Sailun is considered the No. 17 tire maker worldwide, based on fiscal 2020 sales of $2 billion. It operates two factories in China, one in Vietnam and one opened just recently in Svay Rieng, Cambodia.