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Enhancing Truck Tire Performance by Using Synthetic Rubber

Judy Douglas, Ph.D.
Director | Technical Service Development Group, NA|  ARLANXEO USA LLC


ARLANXEO is a 50/50 joint venture between the synthetic rubber division of LANXESS and Saudi Arabian’s oil refinery company, Aramco.   Although new, ARLANXEO has a long history rooted in rubber technology and innovation.   Specifically, the Tire and Specialty Rubber (TSR) business unit focuses on polybutadiene (BR), copolymers of styrene and butadiene (SBR), regular butyl (IIR) and halobutyl rubber products (HIIR) used in the tread, sidewall, inner liner and curing envelopes of tires.   ARLANXEO, therefore, is uniquely positioned to offer a broad portfolio of elastomers optimized for the tire performance.

Blends of natural rubber (NR) and high cis 1,4-polybutadiene are commonly used in truck tread compounds.  Natural rubber (NR) has excellent mechanical properties and resistance to crack propagation.    Copolymers of styrene and butadiene are typically used in passenger tire treadsto help improve the traction.

Considering the tire compounders’ requirement to further improve compound and tire properties like wear and rolling resistances, Judy will present a study which partially replaces natural rubber (NR) with low glass transition temperature (Tg) solution SBRs in a carbon black truck tread formulation.   Partial replacement of carbon black with silica will also be investigated in the tri-blend of NR/low TgSSBR/BRtruck tread.  Both lab predictive test data, as well as actual truck tire test data, will be shown.


Dr. Judy Douglas has the privilege of working with an amazing team, as head of ARLANXEO's Technical Service and Development group in North America handling polybutadiene (BR), copolymers of styrene and butadiene (SBR) and butyl elastomer products in the Tire and Specialty Rubber (TSR) business unit. Judy started her career 19 years ago with Bayer Inc. as a Research Scientist in the Polybutadiene Technology department in Sarnia, Ontario Canada.  Dr. Douglas has progressed through various roles broadening her experience in Canada and the US. These include research and development (R&D), technical service and sales account manager, as well as customer service, pricing and supply demand management for synthetic rubber. Judy is passionate about finding elastomer solutions which address market needs, as well as resolving customer challenges. She received her B.Sc. and Ph.D. from Carleton University in Ottawa, ON, Canada. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends while traveling and at home in Pittsburgh, PA.