Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. reported that the tiremaker has completed tire builds using rubber derived from guayule plants and guayule related materials. The tires, which are being evaluated by Cooper’s technical team, are ongoing, but to date suggest tire performance that is at least equal to tires made of components derived from the Hevea rubber plant, said the company.
Cooper made the announcement to its consortium partners – PanAridus, Arizona State University, Cornell University, and the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture – at a group meeting in Maricopa, Ariz. Cooper works with these partners on guayule research as part of a $6.9 million Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) grant titled “Securing the Future of Natural Rubber – An American Tire and Bioenergy Platform from Guayule.”
“As the lead company in the consortium, we are extremely pleased with the progress that the group has made to advance guayule technology on all fronts,” said Chuck Yurkovich, senior vice president, global research and development for Cooper. “The team is making rapid progress toward a commercial source of domestic natural rubber, and ultimately, tires made with guayule rubber.”