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March 2004

Goodyear Goes Volcanic with New Tire

Orlando, FL— When Goodyear Tire and Rubber began digging for technology built into its latest passenger car tire, the company went clear to the earth’s core.

One of the key elements in the new Goodyear Assurance is the use of volcanic sand in the tire’s “winter formulated compound,” which allows the tire to maintain flexibility in cold weather. According to Goodyear, this kind of breakthrough engineering gives the Assurance exceptional traction in any weather condition.

Goodyear sources claim the new tire is the culmination of decades of research into the design, engineering and physics of all-weather tire technology. The Assurance features three distinct zones in the tread pattern for wet, wintry or dry driving conditions, allowing drivers to take on various elements. The three tread zones are known as Goodyear’s TripleTred technology.

Volcanic sand is used in the tire’s ice zone, which has a high-tech rubber compound to create a rough surface on the treadface. As the tire is used, the volcanic sand “grit” creates microscopic cavities that work as tiny traction edges for better grip on slick surfaces.

“The volcanic sand is added to the tire as a ground pumice material,” said Michael Crawford, Goodyear’s technical team leader for light tire materials. “The pumice creates a constantly rough and textured surface that proves very effective in delivering the kind of grip that drivers demand.”

The volcanic sand in the tire’s “winter formulated compound” is complemented by the use of glass fibers. These tiny fibers are designed to create a pitted surface in the tread that “resembles a textured lunar surface,” according to Crawford.

The unique rubber compounding of the Goodyear Assurance is complemented by tread design in all three zones that promotes improved traction in any kind of weather.

The water zone, consisting of deeply carved chutes, propels water away from the tire’s tread on rain-drenched roads. An interlocking tread pattern in the ice zone translates into more gripping power on icy or snow-covered roads. The dry zone features reinforced tire shoulders for maneuvering around curves, potholes and unexpected road debris on dry pavement.


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