Tire Industry Project methodology employed to advance tire and road wear particles research

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16 November, 2021




Geneva, 15 November 2021: Using a Tire Industry Project (TIP) methodology, the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) will produce cryogenically milled tire tread (CMTT) and provide samples to researchers to advance scientific study on tire and road wear particles (TRWP).

The initiative was presented today during a special breakout session at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America.

CMTT is the product of a standardized and reproduceable laboratory process developed by TIP, that grinds (or mills) tire tread to simulate the tire particles that are generated by the friction between tires and road surfaces. CMTT is comprised of tiny pieces of the vulcanized rubber compound found in tire tread, but does not contain elements arising from pavement or any interactions with pavement. 

For researchers who study TRWP, CMTT offers a surrogate material that eliminates the external contamination sources that tires are exposed to during normal use. CMTT is not a direct replacement for TRWP, but it does allow researchers to isolate and focus on the tire tread component. 

“The Tire Industry Project created this CMTT methodology to support research on tire wear by providing a reliable and affordable material for lab experiments,” said Anne Cécile Rémont, Director of TIP. “With more than a decade of experience researching TRWP and producing tire test materials, we understand the scientific importance of representative test materials; CMTT is complicated and costly to produce and by making this material available to researchers we support efforts to remove barriers to the use of appropriate materials for TRWP research.”

“We know that researchers face limitations in trying to cost-effectively create tire wear particles for accurate scientific study,” said Sarah Amick, Vice President EHS&S and Senior Counsel, USTMA. “To support these researchers and help advance their work, USTMA is using a standardized methodology to produce cryogenically milled tire tread, samples of which we will provide to researchers who study the potential human health and environmental impacts associated with tire wear particles.” 

Researchers will be able to request samples via the USTMA website, and USTMA said they hope to have CMTT samples available to ship to researchers as early as the second quarter of 2022. Complementing the USTMA initiative, TIP has committed to make representative CMTT available for other regions by the end of 2022.