PPG announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is providing funding to support a $1.25 million collaborative project with Bridgestone Americas, Inc., (Bridgestone). This project focuses on improving the fuel efficiency of truck and bus radial tires using PPG’s AGILON® performance silica platform. The goal of the project is to deliver prototype tires to DOE that help trucks and buses achieve fuel-efficiency improvements of 4 to 6 percent while maintaining or improving tear strength and tread wear. Research and development work for the project will be completed at PPG’s Monroeville, Pennsylvania, facility.
Anup Jain, PPG vice president, specialty coatings and materials, said PPG’s collaboration with Bridgestone has the potential to significantly change the truck tire industry. “We are excited to partner with Bridgestone on this important project,” he said. “The DOE funding validates what our preliminary research already has shown that Agilon performance silica has significant potential as a next-generation filler to help increase truck tire fuel efficiency.”
Improving the fuel efficiency of trucks and buses would provide significant economic and environmental benefits. According to DOE reports, heavy-duty vehicles comprise only 4 percent of all vehicles on U.S. roads but consume approximately 20 percent of all fuel. PPG estimates that if even 25 percent of all tractor-trailers on the road improved fuel efficiency by 4 percent, they would consume 750 million fewer gallons of diesel fuel annually, saving nearly $2 billion and reducing carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions by nearly 8 million metric tons.
According to Kurt Danielson, president, Bridgestone Commercial Group, Bridgestone has a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability. The company’s environmental mission is “to help ensure a healthy environment for current and future generations,” and as the world’s largest tire and rubber company, Danielson said Bridgestone believes it has a corporate responsibility to produce sustainable products in the most sustainable way. Using 2005 data as a baseline, the company’s midterm target is to achieve a 35 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020.
“Our partnership with PPG was created for our customers,” Danielson said. “We are constantly working to deliver innovative solutions that not only align with our company’s environmental mission but will also carry cost saving benefits for our truck and bus radial tire customers.”
Jain added that Agilon performance silica is part of PPG’s global commitment to helping the transportation industry and its suppliers manufacture more sustainable products. “From coatings that contribute to lighter, more fuel-efficient and more corrosion-resistant vehicles, to paint systems that enable automakers to conserve water, we are dedicated to developing products such as Agilon performance silica that help protect the planet and help customers such as Bridgestone meet the safety, performance and value demands of car and truck owners around the world.”
Agilon performance silica is a high-value technology platform of chemically modified precipitated silica that can improve the performance of rubber products in which it is used. Testing indicates that the chemical modifications used to produce Agilon performance silica make the silica more compatible with the natural rubber typically used in truck and bus radial tire applications. This will allow the silica to better mix with the rubber, enabling better tire performance than is possible with conventional silicas.
PPG pioneered synthetic precipitated silica products, becoming one of the first manufacturers to bring them to the marketplace in the 1930s. Today, PPG’s silica products group is a global technology leader in the manufacture of precipitated silica products for use as reinforcing fillers in tire, industrial, footwear and silicone rubber applications; as microporous fillers in battery-separator applications; as flatting and thickening agents in coatings, adhesives and sealants; and as anti-caking, free-flow and carrier agents in food, feed and industrial applications. As part of PPG’s specialty coatings and materials business, the silica products group serves customers through a global network of manufacturing, research and technical-support facilities. For more information about PPG silica products, visit ppgsilica.com.
About Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM)
Nashville, Tennessee-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc., (bridgestoneamericas.com) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.
PPG: BRINGING INNOVATION TO THE SURFACE™
PPG’s vision is to be the world’s leading coatings company by consistently delivering high-quality, innovative and sustainable solutions that customers trust to protect and beautify their products and surroundings. Through leadership in innovation, sustainability and color, PPG (ppg.com) provides added value to customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets to enhance more surfaces in more ways than does any other company. Founded in 1883, PPG has global headquarters in Pittsburgh and operates in more than 70 countries around the world. Reported net sales in 2015 were $15.3 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG).
Statements in this news release relating to matters that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 reflecting PPG Industries’ current view with respect to future events or objectives and financial or operational performance or results. The forward-looking statements contained herein include statements relating to the success of the project in meeting its goals and the projected fuel-efficiency improvements. Actual events may differ materially from current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including the timing of the completion of the expansion; the ability of PPG Industries to achieve the expected benefits of the expansion; and the other risks and uncertainties discussed in PPG Industries’ periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q, and its current reports on Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of their initial issuance, and PPG Industries does not undertake any obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Bringing innovation to the surface is a trademark and Agilon is registered trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.