Tires are one of the least eco-friendly parts of a vehicle. Aside from the way they're produced, it's hard to dispose of them once the treads are gone. It's not like you can just dump them anywhere once the tread is used up. Continental, however, wants to change that and make tires more sustainable.
The tire manufacturer recently launched the Conti GreenConcept. What's unique about the tire is that more than 50% of the raw materials used to produce it come from renewable sources and recycled materials.
Specifically, Continental says the 35% of the eco-friendly tire is made from renewable materials. It does away with most conventional silicates and uses silicates derived from the ashes of rice husks, dandelions, vegetable oils, and resins. Meanwhile, 17% of the recycled materials come from reclaimed steel and recovered carbon black. Polyester recovered from recycled PET bottles will also be used as part of the company’s ContiRe.Tex technology.
Despite being made from recycled materials, Continental says GreenConcept is around 40% lighter than traditional tires weighing only 7.5kg. This was made possible by using a new casing design with a weight-optimal core, a special sidewall, and an optimized tread pattern.
Speaking of the tread, the concept tire has a longer service life than most. That's because Continental engineered it to be retreadable multiple times. We're not talking about the retreading or regrooving that the tire shop on the corner of your street does. There's an inner green layer in the tire to indicate the replaceable portion. Meanwhile, a sensor inside monitors tire health, including pressure, temperature, and tread depth.
Today, retreading is more common on heavy-duty commercial truck tires. However, it's not common in passenger cars. But with Continental's new concept tires, we might be able to reduce the resources used to produce them and have them last longer than ever.