Sumitomo’s new AI tech could allow for extended tyre performance

Japanese Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has recently introduced a “groundbreaking” rubber technology – “Tyre Leap AI Analysis” – that could potentially enable prolonged tyre performance, as part of SRI’s tyre concept for the future. The artificial intelligence-based (AI) development of the technology will leverage real-world data on key properties of compounded rubber to allow its technicians to predict its outcome after use.

According to SRI, the Tyre Leap AI Analysis technology will dissect compounded rubber, which comprises of materials such as natural/synthetic rubber polymers, carbon black or silica-based reinforcing agents, cross linking agents and additives, to evaluate the various “interlocking” factors related to these materials and the structures that they jointly form, among others. The combined data of a rubber compound will also yield precise estimates of its associated rubber properties.

SRI provides an example in an electron microscope imagery of tyre rubber compounds, which achieves high-precision analysis that far exceeds human capabilities, thereby making it possible to derive accurate estimates of rubber properties from structural data found in this imagery.

In addition, the new technology is able to detect structural changes that occur during use by comparing used and unused rubber, far advancing the previous limits of analysing rubber.