Cooper Tire & Rubber Company announced that it developed advanced tire technology that increases vehicle fuel efficiency while reducing weight. The company designed technology for light vehicle tires that exceeded the goal to deliver a minimum 3 percent improvement in vehicle fuel efficiency while lowering average tire weight by at least 20 percent, all without sacrificing performance.
Cooper tire technology delivered an average fuel efficiency improvement of 5.5 percent and weight reduction ranging from 23 percent to 37 percent in concept tires.
The work was completed using a $1.5 million government grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The grant period began in late 2011 and continued through the end of 2014, with Cooper recently presenting its findings to the DOE. Tire development work under the grant was done at Cooper’s North America and Global Technical Centers, both located in Findlay, Ohio.
Improving vehicle fuel efficiency by a minimum of 3 percent was accomplished by developing a product with more than 30 percent lower rolling resistance. Reducing tire weight by a minimum of 20 percent required the company to make a product that is five to six pounds lighter than the baseline 26-pound tire.
The process used innovative materials not typically used in tires today. They developed and evaluated six new technologies as part of the program’s first phase. They also evaluated the holistic impact of putting all of these technologies into a concept tire in the program’s second phase. Combining these advancements allowed Cooper Tire.
As a result of the grant work, Cooper incorporated new tire modeling technology into its development process and is evaluating long wearing and fuel efficient tread compound technology for use in future tires for the replacement and original equipment markets. Other technologies are being further developed for potential commercial applications in the future.
The company will work to fully assess commercial viability of some of these new features for consumer benefit.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) is the parent company of a global family of companies that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sale of passenger car and light truck tires.
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