Research and development of raw materials

The research and development of innovative materials are key to the design and fabrication of ever-more sustainable tyres that guarantee reduced environmental impact, greater driving safety and improved production efficiency. For this purpose, Pirelli has made Joint Development Agreements with leading suppliers for the study of new polymers to be used for rolling resistance, performance under low temperature conditions, durability and grip.

Pirelli Research & Development also focuses on:

  • biomaterials, such as silica from renewable sources;
  • high-dispersion silica for wet grip, rolling resistance and durability;
  • high-performance carbon black derived from racing competition applications for extreme grip;
  • nanofillers for more stable compounds, lighter structures and highly impermeable liners;
  • new silanes to guarantee performance stability and processability.

The Consortium for Research on Advanced Materials (CORIMAV) and the University of Milan – Bicocca campus are studying a new selective vulcanisation technology for recycling materials derived from endof- life tyre compounds. This would permit a significant reduction in production costs and the related environmental impact.

The three-year (2012-2014) JOINT LABS agreement made between Pirelli and the Milan Polytechnic for research and training in the tyre industry focuses its research on the de-vulcanisation of materials derived from used tyre compounds and on biopolymers. Pirelli is working with universities to develop a natural rubber obtained from sources other than the rubber tree.

Research is aimed at diversifying the potential supply sources, thereby reducing pressure on the biodiversity of producer countries and allowing the Company to manage the potential scarcity of raw materials more flexibly.