Collaborating with the United Soybean Board, Goodyear has introduced the first commercially available tires made with a soy oil-based rubber compound.
The Assurance WeatherReady tires for passenger vehicles hit the road in September, opening another market opportunity for soybean farmers. The tire maker says using soybean oil keeps rubber compounds pliable in changing temperatures, enhancing tire performance in dry, wet and winter conditions.
The tire is offered in a wide range of sizes, covering 77 percent of the cars, minivans and SUVs on the road today.
“As we develop great products that anticipate and respond to the needs of consumers, soybean oil was one of the technologies enabling us to meet a challenging performance goal,” said Eric Mizner, Goodyear’s director of global material science.
The soybean rubber project was funded in part by the soybean checkoff, a fund paid for by soybean farmers to develop new applications and opportunities for soybean-based products.
“Goodyear and the soy checkoff share something special: a commitment to innovation,” says John Motter, United Soybean Board chair and farmer from Jenera, Ohio. “When we started working with them more than six years ago, it was just an idea, a way to build demand for soybean oil. Now, we have a tire that shows what soy can do on the road.”