Bridgestone Americas Inc., which owns the Firestone emblem, is making two variations of environmentally pleasant tires for IndyCar races this season.
The sidewalls of the Firestone Firehawk tires that will probably be worn in 5 races taking park on side road tracks, such because the Detroit Lavish Prix, attribute a rubber constructed from guayule (pronounced why-YOU-lee), a woody shrub discovered within the deserts of the Southwest. Guayule is almost definitely very best referred to as a supply for herbal latex, worn for gloves and clinical units.
Since 2012, Bridgestone has spent greater than $100 million growing guayule-based rubber for tires. As with Shell’s renewable race gas, Bridgestone and Firestone chemists and tire engineers labored to create the guayule tires alike from habitual Firehawk race tires.
With their unique greenwalls, those tires were given their real-world take a look at endmost while on the Nashville Lavish Prix. Josef Newgarden, a two-time IndyCar champion who drives for Staff Penske, didn’t even understand.
“Josef Newgarden got out of the car and said, ‘I don’t see any difference,’ ” mentioned Cara Krstolic, Bridgestone’s govt director of race tire engineering and product engineering.
“So that was a great compliment that there was no difference between the two tires.”
Krstolic mentioned that tires made with guayule are extra environmentally pleasant in some ways.
“The Hevea tree grown on farms in Southeast Asia is where most of the natural latex rubber comes from, so that takes a lot of water,” she mentioned. “And then you have to get that material from Southeast Asia to the United States, get it processed and into our tire production process. Guayule is a domestic source of natural rubber. Now it doesn’t have to come by air or boat from Asia.”
Guayule calls for very tiny H2O in comparison with Hevea, and it will possibly develop in boxes the place drought and better temperatures are regular. Bridgestone grows its personal guayule shrubs at a farm in Arizona, and the environmentally pleasant Firehawk tires are made on the corporate’s Complicated Check Manufacturing Middle in Akron, Ohio.