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Hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins for improved tire tread performance

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244502D
Publication Date: 2015-Dec-17

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The IP.com Prior Art Database

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EASTMAN CHEMICAL COMPANY: OWNER [+5]

Abstract

Performance demands are ever increasing on tires, with a specific demand on fuel economy, tire tread life, and traction. Unfortunately, current technologies to improve one of these aspects have a detrimental impact on one or more of the other properties. Here, is it shown that hydrogenated resins have a significant advantage over un-hydrogenated resins often used in tire tread compounds to improve wet grip while impacting rolling resistance to a much lesser degree. This improvement is achieved while not having a detrimental effect on other properties such as viscosity, cure, tensile and abrasion tests.

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Hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins for improved tire tread performance

      Authors: Christopher G. Robertson, Soumendra K. Basu, Mark W. Ingratta Abstract

    Performance demands are ever increasing on tires, with a specific demand on fuel economy, tire tread life, and traction. Unfortunately, current technologies to improve one of these aspects have a detrimental impact on one or more of the other properties. Here, is it shown that hydrogenated resins have a significant advantage over un-hydrogenated resins often used in tire tread compounds to improve wet grip while impacting rolling resistance to a much lesser degree. This improvement is achieved while not having a detrimental effect on other properties such as viscosity, cure, tensile and abrasion tests.

Introduction

    The performance demands on passenger car tire treads are ever increasing, with the expectation to deliver superior traction under all weather conditions, last for a high number of miles, and provide improved fuel economy compared to previous generations of tires. These three performance values are often referred to as a tire's performance triangle, an area where one can only improve one criterion at the expense of one or more of the others. To overcome this trade-off situation, new additive solutions are required whereby improvements can be made with no trade off in the balance of properties. Recent technologies that attempt to do so include new functional polymers,1 silica technologies,2 and silane technologies.3

    An important technology used to influence the traction properties of a tire tread compound is the use of hydrocarbon resins. These resins can be blended with tire elastomers to alter the viscoelastic properties of the compound and thus the performance of the tire. This ability to use an additive to significantly alter the properties of a compound has generated significant interest in the tire manufacturing community as a tool to differentiate their product. Much work has been completed on the understanding of resins and polymer interactions,4,5 and a thorough discussion of the compound viscoelastic properties and a selection of related patents has recently been reviewed.6 Further work has recently been completed using hydrocarbon resins, including several patents.7,8,9,10

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    The goal of the current work is to illustrate some of the advantages presented by hydrogenated resins compared to typical aromatic (C9) and aliphatic (C5) resins. This invention describes a composition whereby an elastomer, a hydrogenated hydrocarbon resin, and optionally a filler are blended to make a rubber composition especially suitable for a tire tread. A typical silica-filled tread compound was used, including a styrene-butadiene/butadiene (SBR/BR) blend for the elastomer phase. The target for compound improvement with hydrocarbon resins is to alter the viscoelastic response of the elastomer blend in order to shift the hysteresis peak to an area where wet traction is improv...