The Tire Technology International Awards 2016 took place last on the 16, 17 and 18 February at the Tire Technology International Awards gala dinner in Hanover, Germany.

AquaJet Ltd (HungaroJet) won this year’s Environmental Achievement of the Year award. At a tight competition the company’s water jet rubber recycling technology managed to outrun Cooper Tire’s advances in guayule rubber with just a single point in order to take home the award. Other runner ups in the same category were also Carbon Clean Tech for its recovered carbon black and Color Service with their SAM-T dosing system.

AquaJet’s industrial-scale rubber recycling technology is based on a proprietary process of milling whole tires with ultra-high-pressure water jets to create recycled rubber powder for use in tire production. According to test results 95 per cent of the rubber powder is smaller than 400 microns. AquaJet’s further development will be helped by new investments, which have been secured over the past year, totaling more than €5 million.

                        Simplified flowchart of AquaJet’s technology

AquaJet’s CEO Gábor Kostyál said with regards to the award: “It is a great pleasure for me to receive this award. Now, as our team is celebrating, we all feel that the many years of hard work that our colleagues spent on development have definitely been worth it. We have high hopes that this award will help us become better known throughout the world. Climate change has drawn attention to eco-friendly technology and to recycled materials in our industry as well. Eco-friendly technology and the high standards of our products guarantee our tire manufacturer partners that they are doing everything in order to support sustainable development. This award also serves as confirmation for us and for our partners that we are heading in the right direction.”

The panel of 27 judges gave this year’s Tire Manufacturer of the Year award to Bridgestone Corporation. Bridgestone fought off competition from runner-up Cooper Tire and from Goodyear and Nexen Tire. Commenting on the company’s win, the organizer of the awards ceremony Tire Technology International said that “the achievements and announcements of future investment unveiled during the past 12 months show that the company isn’t resting on its laurels.” Some of the notable developments during 2015 for Bridgestone include the announcement of a US$250 million investment to set up its R&D and production in Japan, upgrades to the company’s Asia Pacific Technical Center in Thailand and the production of the first Bridgestone passenger car tires whose natural rubber content was entirely derived from guayule-sourced rubber.

After receiving the award, Bridgestone EMEA executive chairman Eduardo Minardi said: “Everyone in Bridgestone is hugely proud to receive this recognition. R&D and innovation lie at the heart of all our activities; it is the only path that can lead us to a sustainable future.”

The Hakkapeliitta R2 from Nokian Tires won the 2016 Tire Technology of the Year award. The tire, which is considered the most energy-efficient winter tire available, is the first winter tire to gain an ‘A’ EU label rating. Designed specifically for the BMW i3 electric car, the tire is tall and narrow at size. The closest shortlist challenger, which Hakkapeliitta R2 defeated in the voting, was the Michelin CrossClimate, by a single point.

The vice-president of R&D at Nokian tires Juha Pirhonen said upon receiving the award: “We are proud to be able to offer more winter grip, more peace of mind and, in particular, more range to the ever-increasing number of electric car owners with our top-class Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 winter tyre. Making transport safer and greener is a leading principle for our product development, and Hakkapeliitta winter tires are born, bred and tested in demanding northern conditions. We are really thankful for this significant award. This is also an excellent opening shot for the 80th anniversary year of Hakkapeliittas.”

Click here for more information about the awards ceremony and the other awards winners.

Article Source: Tyre Press