University of Twente Student Theses


Relevance and development of new rubber technology competences for a sustainable automotive industry

Olthuis, M. (2020) Relevance and development of new rubber technology competences for a sustainable automotive industry.

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Abstract:Rubber is known for its unique elastic properties and provides irreplaceable functionality in automotive applications, for example in tires that account for roughly 60% of global rubber consumption. Tires and mechanical rubber goods are facing challenges in meeting performance and sustainability demands. The road transport sector emits 21% of total equivalent CO2 emissions in the European Union and resistant force generated by tire rolling hysteresis accounts for roughly a third of the total energy consumption of a car. Fleet-wide rolling resistance reduction is expected to reduce passenger car energy consumption up to 3.4% in 2030. Further main challenges regard tire tread wear and the tire lifecycle. Each year 2.5 billion tires are produced worldwide whose treads are scrapped by 2-9 kg of rubber during the use-phase. These rubber particles are released and contribute to contamination of the environment, the depletion of resources and end-of-life tire waste. Project DRIVES, co-funded by the Erasmus+ program of the EU, has identified the field of rubber technology to require new competences. The rubber industry is interested in online educational programs that provide holistic education and new compounding and processing solutions to facilitate robust product design and sustainability solutions. The development of educational skill cards for two, Basic and Advanced, Rubber Technologist job roles was performed based on the know-how of the Elastomer Technology and Engineering group at the University of Twente as well as a study into the future needs of the automotive and rubber industry. A literature study succeeded by discussions with the rubber industry revealed four main objectives: rubber performance enhancement (tire magic triangle performance), REACH conscious compounding solutions, circular economy solutions and the replacement of non-renewable ingredients. These objectives were integrated into the Basic Rubber Technologist skill card and the Advanced Rubber Technologist skill card structure with new competences to facilitate a further transition to a more sustainable rubber and automotive future.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:51 materials science, 52 mechanical engineering, 81 education, teaching
Programme:Mechanical Engineering MSc (60439)
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