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Tire construction is a major factor in determining performance, but the polymeric composition of the tire tread also influences performance. Traction, rolling resistance, and to some extent wear properties can be related to the viscoelastic properties of the tread material. Rolling losses and skiding phenomena occur at different temperatures and frequencies, and hence it is the hysteresis properties of the tread compound under these conditions that are important. General purpose polymers such as SBR, NR, and BR do not fulfill these requirements, though blends are a compromise. Ideal hysteresis requirements for a tire tread are described. High-vinyl butadiene and styrene butadiene rubbers and epoxidized natural rubber are evaluated, and it is shown that these rubbers succeed to some extent in meeting the requirements of the ideal polymer.
tire tread rolling resistance, traction and wear properties, ideal polymer hystere sis properties, vinyl butadienes, vinyl styrene butadiene, epoxidized natural rubber
Head of Dry Rubber Applications Technology, Malaysian Rubber Producers' Research Association, Brickendonbury, Hertford