Continental, the technology company and manufacturer of premium tyres, and Kordsa, the global reinforcer predominantly serving the tyre industry, announced today that the series production of the first of 250,000 passenger car tyres featuring their new sustainable adhesive technology are now in production. The two partners have been working together on this new eco-friendly dip technology since 2017.
This new technology enables the bonding activation of textile reinforcing materials with rubber compounds, without the use of resorcinol and formaldehyde in the textile dip. Textile reinforcing materials are widely used in tyre manufacturing, as well as in the production of mechanical rubber goods such as hoses and conveyor belts.
Since the first announcement of Cokoon as an open innovation technology in March 2019, it has attracted a lot of attention within the industry. More than 40 companies (tyre manufacturers, converters, and textile suppliers) have expressed an interest in testing the material and are considering joining the licensing pool. Some 20 of these have already received samples. All the interested parties have been invited to join the pool and obtain free licensing in order to contribute to the development of this new green technology. The licensing pool is handled by the independent law firm AdvInno.
“The sampling process was a big success and exceeded our expectations. Feedback from the industry encouraged us to proceed with the integration of Cokoon into our tyres and to begin series production of the first tyres back in 2019. Expanding the use of the Cokoon technology in our tyre production is of high priority for us in 2020 and in the following years” says Dr. Andreas Topp, Vice President Material and Process Development and Industrialisation at Continental Tyres.
Devrim Özaydin, Global Technology Director at Kordsa, outlines the underlying idea: “With Cokoon, we want to implement an eco-friendly industry-wide standard for bonding textiles and rubber. We therefore invite all interested parties to join the pool, obtain free licensing, contribute to the enhancement of this new open technology and introduce Cokoon into their mass production.”
Eco-friendly resorcinol and formaldehyde-free adhesion technology
Cokoon is the brand name of a new bonding system technology which is offered to all other tyre manufacturers and their suppliers as an open source solution. The development partners Continental and Kordsa have chosen to waive development or licensing fees. In return, they expect licensees to make their patents concerning the further enhancement of this technology available to the other partners free of charge via a licensing pool. Interested companies can request samples.
Prior to Cokoon, the chemicals resorcinol and formaldehyde were irreplaceable in the bonding activation of textile reinforcing materials to the surrounding rubber matrix. The replacement of resorcinol and formaldehyde with more environmentally friendly alternatives is beneficial not only for a sustainable supply chain but also for tyre cord manufacturers. It is worth noting that employees in tyre plants and end-consumers are not exposed to these substances as they are chemically altered through the vulcanization process. With Cokoon dip technology, the bonding of textiles to rubber is now possible without these two substances and the technology does not require any changes in process equipment.