Apollo Tyres and the Rubber Research Institute of India (RRI) partnership has led to the invention of special grade of Epoxide Natural Rubber (ENR), a rubber compound for tyres, which was patented by Government of India. This ENR is not only capable of substituting the expensive Solution- polymerised Styrene Butadiene Rubber (S-SBR), widely used for high performance car tyres, including winter tyres, it also provides a sustainable solution to the company’s future high performance tyres claims Apollo Tyres.
The R&D Team at Apollo Tyres was led by Dr Arup Kr Chandra, along with RRI has developed this special grade of Epoxide Natural Rubber. However, commercial use of ENR is yet in its tyres is yet to be implemented. The company says that “Before the company starts using the ENR for its tyres, sufficient quantity of the same should be available with us. Post receiving the patent, the team has already started working towards upscaling the production of ENR, which is likely to take few months.”
As of now, Indian tyre manufacturers rely on the imported S-SBR, which is not only expensive, but also not environment friendly, for their high-performance car tyres.
On Express Drives query of would ENR be cheaper over the use of synthetic S-SBR, the company further said, “In addition to being expensive, availability of this patented (and imported) S-SBR would be a cause of concern for us going forward. Having said that, once we start using the ENR commercially, we would be in a better position to work out the comparative costs for ENR vs S-SBR.”
Daniele Lorenzetti, Chief Technology Officer, Apollo Tyres Ltd said, “As a company, Apollo Tyres has always been proactive in its approach towards technology, sustainability and other environmental issues. This innovation is a result of our commitment to replace synthetic materials with green and more environment friendly naturally occurring materials. I would like to congratulate the entire team involved in this, including the scientists from Rubber Research Institute of India, for this invention.”
The increased focus on R&D, which is one of the two pillars of growth for Apollo Tyres, along with the need to develop environment friendly raw materials, led to the company collaborating with Rubber Research Institute of India, to develop such a special grade material.