Published on November 29, 2010
SUNFLOWER OIL: GOOD FOR BAKING, FRYING, AND, THANKS TO MICHELIN, LUXURY PASSENGER TIRES?
MICHELIN® is improving performance of select car tires with high-linoleic sunflower oil
GREENVILLE, S.C. (Nov. 29, 2010) – As the race heats up among seed companies and the growers who plant their hybrids to grow the varieties of canola, soybeans and sunflowers that produce
the healthiest oils, a surprising new market is emerging that may have sunflower producers salivating, if not in a culinary sense.
The new MICHELIN® Primacy™ MXM4® luxury passenger tire incorporates one of the four primary types of sunflower oil -
high linoleic - into its formulation to create the unique rubber compound that delivers its incredible performance. It turns out that sunflower oil, used
in the patented MICHELIN® Helio Compound™ technology, allows this new luxury performance tire to maintain its edge in wet
and snowy weather while still delivering safety, all-weather handling, great ride quality and comfort that luxury consumers demand.
"Farmers don't necessarily think about tire manufacturers as an end user when they plant sunflowers," says Robyn Conrad, director of marketing for ag tires
for Michelin North America. "The incorporation of sunflower oil to enhance traction on the passenger vehicle tire side is another example of how Michelin
as a company continues to invest in research and technology to improve tire innovation. Sometimes you don't have to look much further than your kitchen for
By utilizing the technologically advanced Helio Compound™ made with the oil from specific types of sunflowers, the Michelin Primacy™
MXM4® tire increases traction at low temperatures for braking and handling in wet conditions and has better overall performance in the
snow. With the Michelin Primacy™ MXM4® tire, the use of sunflower oil means stopping up to two car lengths shorter, or up to 19 feet
shorter in wet conditions, than a leading competitor1.
Sunflower oil is not involved in the creation of Michelin ag tires, but Michelin continues to lead its competition in innovation. Michelin, for example,
was the first company to introduce a tire that met the IF - or Improved Flexion -standard of the Tire and Rim Association, in 2006. The MICHELIN ® Axiobib® radial, which features MICHELIN Ultraflex™ Technologies to allow it to flex more than normal radials and
carry up to 20 percent more weight at the same air pressure or operate at 20 percent lower air pressure. It did not receive a competitive IF-classified
tire until January 2010, Conrad pointed out.
"While the passenger side in July 2010 introduced the tire using sunflower oil that helps the tires to stop more quickly, on the ag side we introduced an
important innovation in our new sprayer tire, the Michelin SprayBib," Conrad says. "The Michelin SprayBib is the industry's only VF-class sprayer tire and
the only tire in its class to be able to carry 14,330 pounds at 40 mph. It's our second VF-class ag tire, and it also features Ultraflex Technologies to
help it flex even more than IF-class radials. And once again, we are ahead of our competition on this technology, too, as farmers will be able to see at
many of the 2011 farm shows."
1 Based on wet braking test results versus Continental ContiProContact™
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin (www.michelin.com) designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America employs approximately 20,900 and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations.