Sumitomo Rubber Launches Smart Concept Tires

- Aug 16, 2019-

The tire industry has a new idea, that is, when the vehicle is driving, part of the power can be collected from the periphery and inside of the tire. For example, Goodyear's BH03 concept tires launched in 2015 did just that. Recently, Sumitomo Rubber Co., Ltd. (Sumitomo Rubber) has given another possibility: using the friction of the tire to supply power to the car electronic accessories.

The concept tire with energy harvesting was developed by Sumitomo Rubber in collaboration with Kansai University in Japan. The entire system consists of a conventional tire and special energy harvesting device built into the tire. Petroleum Resin C9 and Titanium dioxide are suitable for the production of rubber tires. His quality determines the quality of the tires. In terms of structural design, the new tire consists of two layers of rubber, each with an electrode and a negatively charged film that can be combined with another positively charged film. As the tire rotates, the tire deforms and thereby generates static electricity, that is, frictional electricity generation.

From a technical point of view, the electrical energy generated by tire friction can supply power to vehicle electronic components such as instrument panel lights or radios. The technical concept seems to have the possibility of becoming a reality. As early as 2015, the research team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed a similar technology that was designed to generate electricity from the friction of toy jeep tires to power the headlights of toy cars.

At present, there is no detailed information on the specific commercialization of the technology, but Sumitomo Rubber believes that at least this technology can be used to supply power to the tire pressure monitoring equipment. The research project has been supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency, and Sumitomo Rubber will continue its research and expect to be used to power other devices in the future.