Bridgestone reveals all-guayule tyre
Bridgestone Corporation has successfully built passenger tyres with 100 per cent of its natural rubber-containing components derived from guayule, a desert shrub that grows in arid regions. Built at the Bridgestone Technical Center in Japan, the tyres are particularly unique because they were constructed using the company’s guayule natural rubber cultivated by Bridgestone at its Biorubber Process Research Center (BPRC) in Mesa, Arizona, USA.
A truly global effort, Bridgestone built similar passenger tyres at its operations in Rome, Italy earlier this summer. In those tyre builds, all of the tyre’s major natural rubber components — including the tread, sidewall and bead filler — were replaced with natural rubber extracted from guayule grown and harvested by Bridgestone, the company said.
Bridgestone is continuing to invest in and advance major research and development in search of new and more sustainable sources of natural rubber to alleviate the overconcentration of natural rubber production in certain regions.
Bridgestone’s future research endeavors will focus on optimising the natural rubber content in each guayule shrub, as well as evaluating applications in a wider range of tyre types and rubber compounds.
Guayule grows in the Southwestern US and Mexico, and the natural rubber made from guayule is a plant-derived biomaterial similar to the natural rubber harvested from the Hevea brasiliensis rubber tree.
As guayule grows in arid regions, as opposed to the tropical regions where the Hevea brasiliensis rubber tree is found, the further development of guayule rubber is anticipated to contribute to the diversification of natural rubber sources.