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About JSR’s Solution polymerization Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (S-SBR)

19/3/2012

S-SBR (Solution polymerization Styrene-Butadiene Rubber) is one of JSR's synthetic rubbers. With a special molecular structure, S-SBR has superior processability and dynamic properties. It has been highly regarded as a raw material for use in fuel-efficient, high performance tires.

JSR increased its manufacturing capacity of S-SBR at its Yokkaichi Plant by 25,000 tons/year to 60,000 tons/year in December 2011. JSR possesses an S-SBR production base in Europe as well, holding a capacity rights agreement for of the manufacturing of 30,000 tons/year with Styron Europe GmbH. With the recent expansion, JSR’s global manufacturing capacity of S-SBR now totals 90,000 tons/year. In light of forecasts of a further increase in global demand for S-SBR for fuel-efficient tires, JSR is planning a new plant in Thailand (Initial Stage in 2013: 50,000 tons/year, Second Stage planned for 2015: increase of 50,000 for a total of 100,000 tons/year) as part of the global expansion of its S-SBR business.

S-SBR is mainly used in the tire tread of automobiles. The tread is the only part of the tire which comes into contact with the road's surface, and contributes to break performance (gripping power) and fuel efficiency (rolling resistance). The rolling resistance of a tire has an impact of approximately 15% on fuel consumption, of which the tread has an impact of approximately 50%.
For the vehicle as a whole, the tread component has an impact of 7.5% on fuel consumption.

Fuel efficient tires require conflicting properties: low rolling resistance and high gripping power. In order for both properties to be displayed, S-SBR has been developed by the technologies cultivated by JSR thus far. The rubber has been designed to reduce rolling resistance, suppressing the heat generated by friction (energy loss) by 45% compared to conventional SBR. This has been made possible by making changes to the ends of the rubber molecules to make it easier for them to form connections, without changing the properties of the rubber itself. The material properties of the rubber influence gripping power.

In assessing the entire life cycle of a tire (from raw materials to production, logistics, product use and disposal), the stage where the tire is in use has the greatest impact on the environment. Thus, there is rising demand for fuel efficient tires.