Coming: More efficient tires

Tire makers and their raw material suppliers have been eyeing lower rolling resistance as a way to boost fuel economy. But they are constrained by a principle in the tire world called the “magic triangle of tire technology,” which holds that an improvement to rolling resistance has to come at the expense of wet-road grip and durability. But new tires may be able to hold their grip and last a long time even while adding an extra mile or two per gallon to fuel economy. So say researchers quoted in the American Chemical Society's Chemical & Engineering News, (C&EN).

The development of new materials, including new forms of silica and nanomaterials, may overcome the grip and wear problems. These new materials also include a nanogel that improves abrasion resistance, grip and rolling resistance of tires as well as a newly-developed resin that helps tires retain air longer. The full story is here:

Tire makers are also playing around with tread depth to boost fuel efficiency:

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