21 Apr 2023

Commercial vehicle tyres: More green in the black

Commercial vehicle tyres are an important success factor both in Formula 1 and in fleet management. Mileage, rolling resistance and more influence the profitability and eco-balance of companies. At NUFAM, too, much will revolve around tyres.

Whether small cars, Formula 1 cars or commercial vehicles - they all need tyres. And the right choice of tyres is crucial for factors such as handling, grip and eco-balance. (Pictures: Jürgen Rösner)

Driving behaviour, comfort, rolling noise, road grip or braking distance: there is a whole range of properties that can be significantly influenced by the conscious purchase of commercial vehicle tyres. In this context, mileage, rolling resistance and retreadability have become increasingly important and are now at the top of the specifications of the development departments.

Focus on sustainability and safety

This starts with the use of raw materials and the production process and ends with subsequent recycling. A good example is provided by the tyre manufacturer Prometeon, which will present its newly developed 02 series commercial vehicle tyres at NUFAM. Prometeon was founded in 2017 as a spin-off from Pirelli. In developing the 02 series, the focus was on compounding and manufacturing as well as sustainability and safety.

The result is impressive. At the same time, it shows what progress the tyre industry can realise between two product generations. Compared to their predecessors, the new Prometeon tyres have consistently better performance values. Rolling resistance, for example, has been reduced by an average of 18 percent, while mileage has been increased by about 10 percent. In addition, all products can be regrooved and retreaded, which significantly extends the tyre's service life.

One way to improve the life cycle assessment of tyres is to retread them. For commercial vehicle tyres, this is possible up to three times.

Around 64 percent less CO2

Commercial vehicle tyres can be retreaded up to three times. The process offers clear ecological and economic advantages compared to new tyres, while there are no disadvantages on the other side. Retreaded tyres for commercial vehicles convince with the same quality, safety and durability as new tyres and are in line with the goals of a regional, forward-looking circular economy. According to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT), the CO2 emissions of retreaded tyres for commercial vehicles are up to 63.6 percent lower than those of comparable new tyres. In addition, waste can be avoided and dependence on imported raw materials reduced. This makes a lasting contribution to protecting the environment.

No wonder retreading is playing an increasingly important role among fleet operators. The retreading of tyres is a highly industrialised process in which a large part of the worn tyre - the tyre base - is reused. This means that not the whole tyre is retreaded, but only the tread. This means that the carcass is put to a second use with the retreading and does not have to be burnt or landfilled for the time being. This is worthwhile, because compared to the production of a new tyre, retreading saves 70 percent of the energy. The use in the sense of a Circular Economy is doubled with each tyre retreading -- thus significantly more "green comes into the black".

Regrooving up to twice

Regrooving the tread of commercial vehicle tyres is much easier than retreading. Any tyre marked Regroovable (regroovable) can be used for this purpose. These have a particularly high basic rubber thickness and can be regrooved up to twice. A commercial vehicle tyre can be regrooved by up to 23 mm in width and up to 12 mm in depth with a heatable tyre tread cutter. Depending on the tyre type and area of use, this can increase mileage by up to 30 percent. In addition, regrooved tyres can achieve fuel savings of about 5 percent due to lower rolling resistance. Even after regrooving, the tyre can be retreaded