TYRES FROM FLOW­ERS

Car (South Africa) - - TECH -

Nat­u­ral rub­ber from rub­ber trees is still the main rub­ber com­po­nent of mod­ern tyres. Although syn­thetic rub­ber prod­ucts are avail­able, they are ex­pen­sive and not able to meet all the per­for­mance re­quire­ments of nat­u­ral rub­ber. As there is a lim­ited sup­ply of rub­ber and a move to greener pro­duc­tion tech­niques, Con­ti­nen­tal has spent years in­ves­ti­gat­ing other sources of nat­u­ral rub­ber. Promis­ing al­ter­na­tives are dan­de­lion ow­ers, which pro­duce la­tex-based rub­ber very sim­i­lar to the rub­ber tree. Fields of th­ese ow­ers can be cul­ti­vated close to pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties, en­sur­ing the avail­abil­ity of nat­u­ral rub­ber with lim­ited im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment.

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