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Interview: Andreas Flachenecker, PHP Fibers

In a recent project PHP Fibers demonstrated that bio-based polyamide polymers offer a sustainable alternative to fossil-based polymers in tire reinforcement. Tire Technology Conference speaker Andreas Flachenecker reveals details of the project’s advancement

 

Experts at PHP Fibers have looked at the properties of bio-based polyamide polymers PA 4.10, PA 6.10 and PA 10.10 in comparison with the widely-used fossil-based polymers PA 6 and PA 6.6 for tire reinforcement.

The findings of this study were presented in a paper at the Tire Technology Conference in February and the response has been extremely positive, says Andreas Flachenecker, technical marketing and development manager.

“People are really interested, and in the meantime we have conducted further spinning trials to ensure we can produce this cord on an industrial scale for the yarn counts that the industry needs.”

Studies conducted by the company focused on the polymer’s yarn characteristics in comparison with the reference material. “We knew that if the tire industry was to be interested in this material, its properties must be very similar to the currently used crude oil-based PA 6.6, or even better. We saw that all the materials have, to some extent, similar or even slightly better characteristics. Then we narrowed this down and found that PA 4.10 is the material that works best as an alternative and it even has properties that are slightly better,” Flachenecker explains.

Studies showed that 4.10 has a similar melting temperature compared to PA 6.6 and a similar glass transition temperature. The studies also found that modulus and glass transition temperature of PA 4.10 decay less and are higher in humidity than fossil-based PA 6.6. Further spinning trials with dipped cords currently underway at PHP Fibers have also found that the fatigue resistance is higher than PA 6.6 while adhesion is on the same level. Flachenecker is confident that these investigations will confirm its applicability on a mass scale and several large tire manufacturers have reportedly already shown interest.

Find out more about the project in the latest Tire Technology Annual Review.

April 14, 2016

 

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