A manufacturer of radial tires for passenger cars asked Elkem Silicones to provide them with a single release agent to cover the entire curing process and a protective bladder coating to ensure tire quality and durable bladder life. The specifications included the following quality and process improvement points:
Better tire quality, with the elimination of dirty tires due to mold pollution from heavy amounts of inside paints
Reliable release performance to do away with imperfections caused by non-homogeneous release problems
Reduced defect rates for improved air evacuation during bladder inflation, bladder centering and release performance
Increased bladder life by protecting the bladder against abrasion, sulfur migration and oxidation
A decrease in manpower requirements by reducing labor-intensive steps in the production process
Lower release agent costs based on the use of less consumables.
Elkem Silicones specialists worked closely with the tire maker to find an optimized tailor-made solution using Lyndcoat® BR 2512 as a base.
The procedure for providing a new tire release agent was carried out in three steps:
To begin with, a small quantity of the release agent was evaluated to see if it delivered the minimum performance level required to guarantee production quality
The second step was to use a bigger quantity of the release agent to check on the impact of the new solution on defect rates
Given that the second step proved positive, long-term statistical trials were carried for several months to demonstrate that the final product had in fact reduced defect rates and that the total cost/performance ratio had improved.
On the basis of this successful procedure, we proposed a switch for the tire manufacturer to a customized Lyndcoat® BR 2512 solution, with the following advantages:
Highly efficient bladder release, providing better air evacuation promotion, smoother slip for improved bladder centering and durable release performance, with the use of lower quantities of the release product
A single release application, resulting in lower processing time, use of less capital investment and decreased maintenance and manpower costs
Elimination of the need for a bladder coating by painting the bladders directly, doing away with the need for tire spray stations and further reducing manpower needs and thus enabling operators to be transferred to other workstations.
The new process provided the following benefits:
Improved appearance of the tire exterior due to ease of release
Reduced defect rate due to reduced surface abrasion, sulfur migration and oxidation effects
Increased bladder life due to better air evacuation, bladder centering, tire positioning
Operating cost reduction due to elimination of four spray cabins
Transfer of 18 operators to more productive workstations
Reduction of release agent costs by 42%, despite the higher unit cost of Lyndcoat® BR 2512.