Product Design

Product Design

Materials are a critical factor that affects tire performance and our Advanced Materials Research Group is on a never-ending search for types that not only minimize the impact of our products to the environment but which lead to greater performance as well. One of these materials is orange oil.

The impetus in using orange oil came from a project with a special mission to increase the proportion of non-petroleum raw materials to 80% or more. Although natural rubber is highly durable, it is also outperformed by synthetic rubber when it comes to grip. Mixing in petroleum-based oils is usually done to compensate, but they could not be used in this case because they increase the proportion of petroleum material. That is how our engineers arrived at orange oil. It is renewable, derived from orange peel that is otherwise discarded, and its characteristics, when mixed in with natural rubber, produces outstanding grip while delivering fuel efficiency via low rolling resistance.

Yokohama's groundbreaking orange oil technology creates superior performance in its db Super E-spec passenger car tire, as well as in the ADVAN® ENV-R2™ race slick - the official tire of the American Le Mans Series (GT 3 and GT3 Challenge Class) and which is the first sustainable tire used in the racing series' history.

Yokohama's orange oil technology has also been a key driving force in major recognitions the company has received recently including the prestigious 2011 Environmental Award from Tire Expo in Cologne, Germany and the invitation of the Boston Museum of Science to be an exhibit display in its main technology wing.

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The AIRTEX Advanced Liner is another breakthrough material pioneered by Yokohama. When adhered to the inner surface of a tire, it reduces air leaks and prevents the loss of air pressure and subsequently, fuel efficiency.

Did you know that for every gallon of gas saved, 20 lbs of CO2 is saved from being emitted into the atmosphere?

Cashew Nutshell Liquid Products

Yokohama has recently won another award for using novel, natural materials in our production process. With our environmental technology, we have been awarded the "Mortimer T. Harvey Award 2010" from the Cardolite Corporation (USA), a leading company in cashew nutshell liquid products.

Yokohama Rubber received the award for environmental technology that makes use of Cardolite cashew nutshell liquid products. The shells of cashew nuts are ordinarily disposed of as waste, but the cashew nutshell liquid extracted from them can be used as raw materials to rubber compound for bead filler, a reinforcement material employed in the manufacture of tires. This application contributes to the conservation of the environment by using natural materials and more effectively utilizing resources. The rubber compound is more easily formed into tires because it has low levels of rigidity prior to vulcanization. After vulcanization, it achieves high levels of elasticity that improve driving stability. The technology was patented in 1991 in Japan and in 1993 in the United States. The award recognizes Yokohama Rubber's achievement in developing, patenting and commercializing technology using cashew nutshell liquid products about 20 years ago and in utilizing this technology for the last 20 years to contribute to the preservation of the environment and the development of the cashew nutshell liquid industry.