The enzymes of natural rubber and tomatoes have similar structures and belong to the same enzyme group. This is great news for the tyre industry …
With this knowledge, Sumitomo Rubber Industries – the parent company of Falken – and other research institutions in Japan have succeeded in identifying a segment of the polymer chains in natural rubber that influences the length of the chain.
A recombination of the tomato enzyme with the same segment from the natural rubber results in a biomolecule that has superior properties to natural rubber, which tyre engineers can take advantage of to further optimise tyres.
“We have once again demonstrated that we are keeping our promise to work on technologies that contribute to a sustainable society,” says Dr Bernd Löwenhaupt, managing director of Sumitomo Rubber Europe, referencing the results of the research. “We expect this research to allow us to contribute to a stable supply of natural rubber and to offer tyres that combine safety and durability with a low environmental impact.”