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Pirelli and University of Milan renew Joint Labs research partnership

Under a new three-year agreement, Pirelli and the University of Milan will work together to tackle numerous challenges in the development of tire technology. This will include the use of nano charges to produce tires with low environmental impact and mathematical modeling studies to support the Cyber Tire program, as well as development of innovative materials that are resistant to aging.

Fundamentally the partnership will focus on two key areas of research – design of new materials, and the development of products and cyber technologies. Materials work will look at modified polymers, nano charges, new materials with low environmental impact, and molecular dynamics. Products and cyber technologies development work will study noise reduction, aquaplaning resistance, tire aerodynamics, development of mathematical models for chips within Cyber Tires to gather data for intelligent control of vehicles and development of other services that add extra value.

In total, nine patent families and more than 20 international scientific scholarly articles have been produced under the partnership between Pirelli and the University of Milan. Improvements have also been made in tire performance, safety and sustainability, thanks to the use of advanced materials.

In particular, 15 research projects have been assigned to young graduates in the field of materials chemistry, and two doctorates have been completed as a result of the association with Pirelli.

Research conducted by the two partners over the last three years has concentrated mainly on production and functionality of carbon charges (from graphene to carbon black nanotubes), preparation of modified silicon fiber, and studies on alternative sources of natural rubber, as well as the creation of innovative polymers and self-repairing materials.

Furthermore, since 2011, 12 research contracts have been established for Cyber Tire and Formula 1, which focus on the interaction between tires and the road surface.

Also, under the Silent Tire project, new testing methods have been introduced to measure the noise produced by a tire in motion. The Tread Modeling Automation project has developed tire modeling technologies and the characteristics of different summer, winter, and all-season tread patterns.

Marco Tronchetti Provera, executive vice chairman and CEO Pirelli, said, “The challenges that the automotive sector faces are getting increasingly bigger. We are experiencing a period of unprecedented transformation where automation and connectivity are king. In such a dynamic context, it’s essential to work very closely with research bodies and the most advanced universities in the world; the University of Milan is certainly one of those.

“With the renewal of the Joint Labs program, Pirelli underlines its commitment to collaborating with one of the most renowned academic institutions in the country, with the intention of confirming our group’s strategic know-how in Italy.”

November 7, 2017

Written by Rachel Evans


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