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Classification of retreaded truck tyres in order to comply with future environmental performance and safety requirements

Final Report Summary - RETYRE (Classification of retreaded truck tyres in order to comply with future environmental performance and safety requirements)

Executive Summary:
Retreaded tyres and retreading processes, as mentioned in the Description of Work (further DoW) and in previous reports, are well-established and recognized world-wide. Retreading processes are performed according to UN-ECE Regulation No 108 for car tyres and No 109 for truck tyres; however, there is no classification methodology for tyres other than the relevant UN-ECE Regulations. Moreover, the ecological footprint of retreaded tyres is much lower than that of new tyres. Thus, also from a sustainability point of view, retreaded tyres deserve a fair chance, as both Regulations (EC) 1222/2009 and 661/2009 aims at favouring safe and most environmental sound tyres. Retreading represents the major contribution to the sustainability share of the tyre life cycle.

Retreaded truck tyres have no label showing the safety and environmental performance characteristics.
There is no methodology for type homologation of retreaded tyres other than UN-ECE Regulation No. 117.
There is a high possibility that in a number of years retreaded truck tyres will have to comply with the safety and environmental performance requirements of Regulation (EC) 1222/2009. If this occurs, it means the end for the SME independent retreading companies and their associations in Europe. Even if this does not happen, it is strategically important to prove that retreaded tyres are compliant as the tyre market increasingly demands labelled tyres for commercial vehicles and as a defence against import of cheap truck tyres, Asia in particular.
Both the independent retreaders and retreading new tyre industry are struggling to find a solution on time, Retyre with its 30 months long research and analysis is setting the first step towards the final solution for labelling of retreaded tyres. Since 2010 (time of the proposal preparation) and mostly during the project lifetime the experts have been discussing the most relevant parameters which influence the performances of retreaded tyres with respect to rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip. A first algorithm based on the tests results has been prepared and the resulting software tool can provide estimations for the retreaded tyre performances before production, the exercise of determining the lower number of critical input parameters is actually still ongoing. In the Addendum to this report are reported the tests and discussions currently ongoing. For the last 30 months the project has provided a structure where relevant partners were able to discuss its common future in depth and the commitment to the further development of the predictive tool in the years to come.
Today the sector comprises of 441 (108 and/or 109 certified) companies (the number will increase with approximately 150 with the enlargement of the EU) and suppliers of which 95% SMEs and 13 SME associations/groupings and a workforce of 18,000 people in Europe. BIPAVER members cover 370 SME industries today. Together they have the capacity to produce around 5 million retreaded truck tyres. Approx. 50% of European commercial vehicles drive on retreaded tyres.
ReTyre contributed to save the retreaded truck tyre sector by:
• developing a scientifically sound and cost effective methodology for classification of retreaded truck tyres in order to be able to comply with future environmental performance and safety requirements
• transforming the methodology into an intranet based software tool that is accessible for all associations of retreaders and their members as a service providing ‘label values’ for retreaded tyres.
• providing and maintaining the service, i.e. the methodology and intranet based software tool kept up to date by performing real tests (of e.g. rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip) of randomly selected tyres.
• expanding the applicability of the methodology and tool to less common retreaded tyre types by building up the database of test results supported by additional research.


Project Context and Objectives:
As reported in the DoW the project context and objectives can be summarized as follows:

Context:

New European regulations regarding new tyre safety and environmental performance are as of November 1st 2012 in full implementation. The Europe Commission has compulsory labelling of new tyres with respect to fuel efficiency, rolling noise and wet grip. Retreaded tyres are exempted from this initiative. One of the expected consequences of these new regulations on new tyres will be the slow decreasing interest of retreaded tyres in the market. This will compromise the future activity of SMEs working in the field, and also determine a fatal risk for the smallest enterprises.
Therefore, it is of vital importance for the retreaded truck tyre sector (400 companies, of which 95% SMEs and 14 SME associations/groupings in Europe who allow 50% of European trucks, coaches and busses to drive on retreaded tyres) to find a scientifically sound and cost effective methodology for classification of retreaded truck tyres in order to comply with future environmental performance and safety requirements. 2015 at the earliest and November 2017 at the latest.


To maintain the standard in a long-term prospect, and hopefully even increase the market for retreaded tyres, it is necessary to provide clear statistics and reproducible results on the retreads performances. Only in such a way is it possible to compete with the new tyre market.

The concept is to investigate and explore all relevant parameters related to casings, the retreading process and treads applied and to determine the influence thereof on the tyre performance. The overall objective is to find a scientifically sound and cost effective methodology (important aspect of the methodology is that it is self supporting/developing) for classification of retreaded truck tyres in order to comply with future environmental performance and safety requirements.

The outcome of the tests will determine the impact of certain parameters making clear the predictability of the environmental and safety performances before manufacturing.

Objectives:
The overall objective planned for the ReTyre project was to find a scientifically sound and cost effective methodology for classification of retreaded truck tyres in order to comply with future environmental performance and safety requirements.

This means:
1. Understanding the influence of the relevant parameters of casings, retreading processes and treads and the determination of the relationships and interrelationships on tyre performance: rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip;
2. Derive algorithms for casing, retreading process and applied tread based on the acquired knowledge and relationships from the parameter study;
3. Definition and development of a model for predicting tyre performance based on original casing, retreading process and applied tread;
4. Development of an intranet based software tool (alpha version) based on the predictive model and set of algorithms;
5. Implementation of the classification methodology (developed software tool and best practices) at the participating retreading companies;
6. Validation of the methodology via feedback on the usability and user friendliness of the software tool and via tests of randomly selected retreaded tyres according to UN-ECE Regulation No 117;
7. Realisation of Type Approval in GRRF, combining both UN-ECE Regulations No 109 and No 117;
8. Formulation of recommendations for an amendment of Regulation (EC) No 1222/2009, respectively Commission Regulation (EC) No 1235/2011 (respectively Regulation (EC) No 661/2009) to include retreaded tyres and the methodology for type approval of retreaded tyres, consistent with new tyre.

Scientific and technical approach of the project


In addition the ReTyre project has helped securing the continuity of the sector active in the retreading of truck tyres.


In the table below, the innovative character of the project is described, alongside how this project enhanced the state of the art in this sector
State-of-the-art Contribution to advancement of knowledge / technological progress
• Know-how of relevant parameters of casing, retreading process and treads on tyre performance: rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip • Know how of the influence of the relevant parameters of casing, retreading process and treads and determination of the relationships and interrelationships on tyre performance: rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip
• Set of algorithms for casing, retreading process and applied tread based on the acquired know-how and relationships
• Company specific know-how • Model for predicting tyre performance based on original casing, retreading process and applied tread.
• Company specific recipes • Intranet based software tool (alpha version) based on the predictive model and set of algorithms that is able to predict the rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip based upon original casing, applied materials (rubber, tread) and applied retreading process conditions.
• No methodology for type homologation of tyres other than UN-ECE Regulation No. 117. • Scientifically sound and cost effective methodology for classification of retreaded truck tyres enabling retreading companies to comply with future environmental performance and safety requirements.
• Company specific best practices for the retreading of truck tyres based upon EC Regulation 109 • Validated methodology and European-wide uniform best practices amongst other via tests of randomly selected retreaded truck tyres according to UN-ECE Regulation 117
• Intranet based service for retreading companies provided by the associations (maintenance, extensions, regular updates, etc.) that provide labels (RR, NE and WG) for truck tyres
• No compliance with EC 1222/2009 because at the moment retreaded tyres are exempt • Ability to comply with future environmental performance and safety requirements according to EC 1222/2009.
• No labelling • Label that proves that retreaded truck tyres comply with the safety and environmental requirements for new tyres
• EC 1222/2009 • Recommendations for an amendment of Regulation 1222/2009 for including retreaded tyres and the methodology for type homologation of retreaded tyres



Project Results:
The RETYRE project started April 1st 2012 and officially finished September 30th 2014. During its lifetime the following planned steps have been achieved:
• All parameters have been selected for the preparation of specific tyres for tests (makes (brands), sizes, type, age of casings, retreading process, tread compound, etc.)
• Tests to understand the effect of the selected casings (WP1), retreading process (WP2) and applied tread (WP3) have been performed and completed
• Relationships for WP1, WP2 and WP3 have been deducted
• Preparation of the basis for the algorithm started and have been completed (WP4)
• Definition of the alpha version for the software tool
• Definition of the matrix for the validation phase (WP5) has been completed
• Tests for WP5 have been performed and cross-checked (using the alpha version of the software tool) achieved
• Dissemination activities have been intensified and discussion with new tyre industry started

Below a summary of the most important achievements obtained.

Main Achievements
WP1 – Casing influence on rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip
In order to determine the performances of retreaded tyres on rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip a solid, scientific approach is required. Therefore, the relevant parts determining a retreaded tyre (casing used, retreading process applied, tread) have been considered and tested separately.
WP1 focuses on the role of the casings on the tyre performances

WP1 was divided in 3 tasks:
Task 1.1 Inventory for the role of the casings on (new) tyres performance: rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip
Task 1.2 Definition of the matrix for the measurements of the casings
Task 1.3 Measurements of casings on rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip
To allow WP1 and the other WPs to start their technical activities a study on new tyres has been performed. More precisely, the focus was on the role of the casing for new tyres and their performances on noise emission, rolling resistance and wet grip.
From the study it appears clear that today there is no such thing as one uniform casing that covers the important variety of usage, the development of the modern casing is as dynamic as the development of tyres themselves, all related to market demand, its particular use or application and specifications of vehicle constructors and end-users.

The parameters size/dimension, tread pattern and rubber component all have an influence on the performance of tyres:

• Size/Dimension: this parameter doesn´t have an influence on the performance, it will be the vehicle that needs one dimension or another.
• Design of the tread pattern: this parameter has a lot of influence on the performance because, according to the design, the tyre will have different uses.
• Rubber compound: another important factor of influence. Depending on the tyre type (i.e. snow tyre, tyre for wet weather conditions, long distance endurance, construction areas...) the rubber compound differs and therefore has an influence on noise emissions, rolling resistance and wet grip performance.

The relevant parameters for retreaded tyres are the same as the new tyres. A representative number of brands, dimensions and types in several ages were selected.
The selected used casings could not exceed a maximum age of six years, casings have not been considered for tests in case they presented:
• Deformities
• Twisted beads
• Separated cords
• Appreciable defects very marked

In order to determine the casing Integrity the table below has been used:

Casing detection

The first tests on rolling resistance and noise emission have been performed in the inner drum at the BASt facilities.
Unfortunately WP1 at the end of the first reporting period was facing a 3 months delay; the delay was not recovered. Nevertheless, the objectives planned in the DoW have been met.
Casings have been measured for rolling resistance and noise emission in BASt laboratories (completed and reported in the first reporting period) and retreaded tyres have been measured for noise emission and wet grip in IDIADA’s facilities. Noise and wet grip tests have been performed in outside test tracks according to ISO 15222 and UN-ECE Regulation 117.

The objective of the measurements was to determine the relationships between casing parameters and casing performance: rolling resistance, noise emissions and wet grip adherence. This knowledge is needed to narrow the measurement matrix for the following work packages.

IDIADA, in order to ensure the validity of the results, have performed and compared 21 noise measurements (7 sets of tyres x 3 runs) and 24 wet grip measurements (8 sets of tyres x 5 runs).
After testing activities and results analysis of the different retread tyres regarding tyre size, casing (age and manufacturer) and use, the following conclusions have been reached:
• Measurement differences in noise tests as well as in wet grip tests do not follow a specific standard that may be associated to any to the variables considered in this work package.
• According to the results of the tests performed, no significant influence has been appreciated considering the age or original casing manufacturer, in the noise emission or wet grip performances.
The achieved results as well as the corresponding analysis are comprehensively described in the deliverable D1.3 Report on the relationships between casing parameters and casing performance.

During the meeting of both the Advisory Board and the Steering Committee (November 2013, during the 4th GA) questions were raised about the use of several types of equipment at BASt and IDIADA. In an earlier stage of the project the use of the PFF machine (BASt) was discussed and proven adequate for the purpose of establishing series of tests aimed at one particular part of the decision process. Thus establishing primarily the relationship between casing and the Rolling Resistance and leading to the Go/No Go decision.

There was an awareness for the need for a complete set of transparent data, also measuring at IDIADA (Accredited drum test conform UN-ECE Reg. 117.02) in preparing the following steps and for reasons of reassurance of relevant partners was recognised by the Advisory Board and the Steering Committee. Therefore they suggested to the General Assembly to perform an additional series of tests to create a Cross Reference between both methodologies. The test needs to be limited to the batch of the available remaining casings. The Cross Reference does not pretend to replace (non)existing alignment procedures, but merely to reassure the Consortium.
According to the achieved results, it can be assigned a % of the Rolling Resistance coefficient of new tyres to the casing (about 50 – 60%). This conclusion is consistent with previous BASt results reported during period 1.


WP2 – Retreading process influence on rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip
Despite the delay due to the tyres preparation the objectives planned in the DoW for WP2 have been met:
1. An extensive analysis of the most important steps of the retreading process has been performed and a complete matrix has been defined
2. 20 HOT cure retreaded tyres have been prepared
3. 50 COLD cure retreaded tyres have been prepared
4. Tests on rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip have been performed at IDIADA in order to determine the influence of the retreading process on the tyre performances
5. Tests results have been analyzed and the data has been transferred to VORtech in order to prepare the basis for the algorithm

WP undertaken activities and results:
Task 2.1 Determination of the definite measurement matrix for the retreading processes
After the understanding of the relevant parameters related to the casing – output of WP1 – the second critical step for a retreaded tyre have been taken into account: the retreading process. This task was mainly completed in the first reporting period.
The possible differences/variations in the retreading process have been characterized in next parameters:
• Comparison between the two principle process types; Hot (mould) cure and pre (cold) cure
• Variation of undertread thickness
• Variation of buffing radii
• Evaluation of possible differences for the tread rubber application in the hot cure process between a strip-winding (also called “orbitread”) process and a “camelback” application (pre-extruded uncured rubber tread)
The measurement matrix has been defined based on the number of virtual casing categories from WP1. The selected casings are all of one make, same age in comparable condition.

Selection of process parameters and parameter range: Besides the process types (hot and precure/cold process) the geometrical parameters like undertread thickness and buffing radius have been analysed.
The choice of the thickness of the undertread for hot-cure retreading is due to the limited mould space. It is therefore imperative that the choice for the same retreaded tyre in ‘cold version’ should be similar in thickness. Both choices are within the given standards and tolerances of R109 and therefore acceptable.
Normally there is always a remaining amount of rubber left on the casing (above the breaker/belt package) for adhesion reasons (1- 4 mm thick). Also the new applied material, no matter whether a hot cure or precure method is used will always have a certain rubber layer below the deepest tread groove for stability reasons (e.g. precure treads, 3 - 5 mm).

Taking this into consideration the realistic range does not start at 3 mm but with 5 to 7mm.
A comparable limitation is given for the buffing radius. The new tyre has a certain radius out of the tyre construction given by the radius of the new tyre mould. A retreader is trying to select a buffing radius in relation to this "preset" from the new tyre, the tread width and the desired or needed undertread.
Also here there are "physical" limits given by the original tyre shape and the position of the belt package below the tread which need to stay embedded in rubber during the retreading process.

That means that if for example a too small buffing radius would be selected the belt edges would be hit by the buffing rasps (causing the casing to be rejected for further use) and the undertread width would have a high value in the centre of tread, descending to the shoulders.
In reverse a too large radius would have the opposite effect: The buffing rasps would hit the breaker in the tread centre and the undertread thickness would increase towards the shoulders. It also needs considering that used front axle tyres and trailer tyres tend to wear more on the outside shoulder. This is the result of normal use! However, the result is some compensation in undertread to obtain a uniform and stable tread.
Based on these facts the geometrical process parameters have been selected as indicated in the WP2 Test matrix.

Considering also the summer break at IDIADA, the tests for WP2 started end August/beginning September 2013 (M17-18); this is a significant delay with respect to the original planning, however IDIADA managed to perform the tests in a shorter period and the data was ready by end November.

This matrix is described in depth or extensively in D2.1 Definite measurement matrix and procedures.

Task 2.2 Controlled preparation of retread tyres by the mould-cure process (HOT process)
The processes itself of the HOT retreading processes that have been used are in line with the UN-ECE Regulation No 109 for retreading truck tyres.

Taking into consideration preliminary discussion with new tyres manufacturers and the results from WP1 (reported in D1.3) the following selection/checks have been made:
• Two sizes have been selected: 385/65 R 22.5 and 315/80 R 22.5
• Original new tyre manufacturer: Michelin
• Standard casings inspection: visual, manual, nail hole, shearography
• Rim diameter: 22.5
• Tyre pressure: 2 bar
• Rubber thickness steel belt detector: 2 mm
• Buffing width: 258 mm (385/65 R 22.5); 208 mm (315/80 R 22.5)
Reifen Ihle prepared the mould-cured (HOT) retreaded tyres: 10 tyres in size 385/65 R 22.5 and 10 tyres in size 315/80 R 22.5. The deliverable D2.2 consists of the list of HOT retreaded tyres prepared for testing.

Task 2.3 Controlled preparation of retread tyres by the pre-cure process (COLD process)
The processes of the COLD retreading processes that have been used are in line with the UN-ECE Regulation No 109 for retreading truck tyres.

Taking into consideration preliminary discussion with new tyres manufactures and the results from WP1 (reported in D1.3) the following selection/checks have been made:
• Two sizes have been selected: 385/65 R 22.5 and 315/80 R 22.5
• Original new tyre manufacturer: Michelin
• Standard casings inspection: visual, manual, nail hole, shearography
• Rim diameter: 22.5
• Tyre pressure: 2 bar
• Rubber thickness steel belt detector: 2 mm
• Buffing width: 285 mm (385/65 R 22.5); 260 mm (315/80 R 22.5)
Reifen Ihle prepared the pre-cured (COLD) retreaded tyres: 25 tyres in size 385/65 R 22.5 and 25 tyres in size 315/80 R 22.5. The deliverable D2.3 consists of the list of COLD retreaded tyres prepared for testing.

Task 2.4 Measurements of hot and cold retreaded tyres on rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip
Tyres have been measured for rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip in IDIADA’s facilities: rolling resistance test according to ISO 28580/2009 has been performed in the certified tyre laboratory, aligned according to Regulation (EU) No 1235/2011; and noise and wet grip tests have been performed in outside test tracks according to ISO 15222 and UN-ECE Regulation No. 117.
The objective of the measurements is to identify and establish the relationship of the variation of the next parameters: undertread thickness, buffing radius, manufacturing process and tread rubber application in the hot cure process, to the performance of the retreaded tyre concerning noise, rolling resistance and wet grip. This knowledge is needed to narrow the measurement matrix for the following work packages.
210 rolling resistance measurements (70 tyres x 3 runs), 70 noise measurements (14 sets of tyres x 5 runs) and 70 wet grip measurements (14 sets of tyres x 5 runs) have been performed.
After testing activities and results analysis of the different retread tyres considered in WP2 next conclusions have been obtained regarding effect of these parameters in rolling resistance, noise emissions and wet grip adherence tyre performances:

• Regarding rolling resistance:
Results and standard deviations achieved for each tyre do not allow determining a trend. Nevertheless, if rolling resistance average values are compared:
o Regarding undertread thickness variation: when undertread thickness increases, the rolling resistance value linearly increases.
o Regarding buffing radius variation: when buffing radius increases, rolling resistance increases.
o Regarding variation in the tread rubber application in the hot cure process: adherence in wet surfaces performances for HOT retread tyres is constant with independence of the used tread application method.
o Regarding the manufacturing process: The retreaded tyres produced using the HOT (mould) cure process, when tested show considerably higher rolling resistance values
(Note from the Steering Committee: theoretically if both processes are compared in size, weight and pattern only, no considerable difference in Rolling Resistance should occur; however it is not always possible to have exactly the same size weight and diameter during HOT or COLD production (thickness and weight of the added rubber can vary depending on the different process).
Further more detailed tests involving diameter and shoulder profiles of the hot and cold cure tyres may be necessary in order to establish the reason for this variation.


• Regarding noise emission:

o Undertread thickness, buffing radius, the tread application method during the HOT manufacturing process and the type of manufacturing process (COLD or HOT) almost do not affect the sound emission performance of retread tyres.
o Appreciated variations could be caused by those variables which the experience has previously demonstrate that can affect the sound emission value, as surface temperature, ambience temperature, wind, ambience noise, position and eight of the microphones, the accuracy of the test equipment, the specific tyre pressure or the location in the vehicle of the used load.

• Regarding wet grip adherence:
According to results and the standard deviations that have been achieved for each tyre, it is not possible to determine a standard trend. Nevertheless, if wet grip average indexes are compared:
o Regarding undertread thickness variation: when undertread thickness increases, wet grip index increases.
o Regarding buffing radius variation: when buffing radius increases, wet grip index increases in case of tyres 385/65 R 22.5; and wet grip index decreases in case of tyres 315/80 R 22.5.
o Regarding variation in the tread rubber application in the hot cure process: when the camelback tread application method is utilized in the manufacturing process, in case the 385/65 R 22.5 tyres, the wet grip indexes are higher; on the other hand, in case 315/80 R 22.5 tyres, the wet grip indexes are lower
o Regarding the manufacturing process: when the COLD process is utilized in the manufacturing of 315/80 R 22.5 tyres, the wet grip index values are lower than equivalent hot cure. In case of 385/65 R 22.5 tyres, when the COLD process is utilized, the wet grip index values are higher than an equivalent hot cure tyre.
(Note from the Steering Committee: it is expected for a larger tyre to generate larger contact area and therefore more wet grip)

WP3 – Tread (pattern, compound, tread width) influence on rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip
The objectives of the WP have been met

WP undertaken activities and results:
Task 3.1 Determination of the definite measurement matrix for the applied tread parameters
After the understanding of the relevant parameters related to the casing – output of WP1 – and the retreading process (WP2), the influence of the tread on the performance of a retreaded tyre will be determine.
The following tread parameters will be investigated for the HOT and COLD retreading process in order to cover, at least, 75% of the retreaded tyre market:
• Tread patterns will be selected from Marangoni-Ellerbrock, Kraiburg and Bandag, thus representing more than 90% of the retread market
• Tread composition are: 100% Natural Rubber, 100% Synthetic Rubber, 70% Natural and 30% Synthetic Rubber and 80% Natural Rubber and 20% Synthetic Rubber.
The measurement matrix will be defined based on the number of virtual casing categories from WP1 and the outcome of WP2 (buffing radius, and (under)tread thickness.)

This matrix is described extensively in D3.1 Definite measurement matrix and procedures.

Task 3.2 Controlled preparation of retread tyres by the mould-cure process (HOT process)
Retreaded tyres will be prepared according to the outcome of WP2 (defined buffing radius and under tread thickness) and according to the standard retreading procedures.
The processes itself of the HOT retreading processes that have been used are in line with the UN-ECE Regulation No 109 for retreading truck tyres.
Taking into consideration preliminary discussion with new tyres manufactures and the results from WP1 and WP2, the following selection/checks have been made:
• Two sizes have been selected: 385/65 R 22.5 and 315/80 R 22.5
• Original new tyre manufacturer: Bridgestone R168 (385/65 R 22.5); Bridgestone M729 (315/80 R 22.5)
• Standard casings inspection: visual, manual, nail hole, shearography
• Rim diameter: 22.5
• Tyre pressure: 2 bar
• Rubber thickness measured after Buffing: 2-3 mm
• Buffing width: 252 mm (385/65 R 22.5); 208 mm (315/80 R 22.5)
• Buffing radius: 1200 mm (385/65 R 22.5): 900 mm (315/80 R 22.5)
Reifen Ihle prepared the mould-cured (HOT) retreaded tyres: 5 tyres in size 385/65 R 22.5 and 5 tyres in size 315/80 R 22.5. The deliverable D3.2 will consists of the list of HOT retreaded tyres prepared for testing.

Task 3.3 Controlled preparation of retread tyres by the pre-cure process (COLD process)
Retreaded tyres will be prepared according to the outcome of WP2 (defined buffing radius and building thickness) and according to the standard retreading procedures.
The processes itself of the HOT retreading processes that have been used are in line with the EU-ECE R109 for retreading truck tyres.
Taking into consideration preliminary discussion with new tyres manufactures and the results from WP1 and WP2, the following selection/checks have been made:
• Two sizes have been selected: 385/65 and 315/80
• Original new tyre manufacturer: Bridgestone R168 (385/65); Bridgestone M729 (315/80)
• Standard casings inspection: visual, manual, nail hole, shearography
• Rim diameter: 22.5
• Tyre pressure: 2 bar
• Rubber thickness measured after Buffing: 2-3 mm
• Buffing width: 295 mm (385/65); 260 mm (315/80)
• Buffing radius: 1200 mm (385/65): 900 mm (315/80)
Reifen Ihle prepared the pre-cured (COLD) retreaded tyres: 25 tyres in size 385/65 R22.5 and 30 tyres in size 315/80 R22.5. The deliverable D2.3 consists of the list of COLD retreaded tyres prepared for testing.

Task 3.4 Measurements of hot and cold retreaded tyres on rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip
Progress and results:
Tyres have been measured for rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip in IDIADA’s facilities: rolling resistance test according to ISO 28580/2009 are being performed in the tyre laboratory, aligned according to EC Regulation 1235/2011; and noise and wet grip tests will be performed in outside test tracks according to ISO 15222 and UN-ECE Regulation 117.

The objective of the measurements was to identify and establish the relationship of the variation of type of retreading process, and tread pattern, to the performance of the retreaded tyre concerning noise, rolling resistance and wet grip.

It is scheduled to perform 195 rolling resistance measurements (65 tyres x 3 runs), 65 noise measurements (13 sets of tyres x 5 runs) and 65 wet grip measurements (13 sets of tyres x 5 runs).

After testing activities and results analysis of the different retreaded tyres considered in WP3, which have been manufactured according to specific differences/variations in the retreading process (manufacturing process type) and in the tread compound (manufacturer) and composition, next conclusions are obtained regarding the effect of these parameters in rolling resistance, noise emissions and wet grip adherence tyre performances:

• Regarding rolling resistance:
Results and standard deviations achieved after testing phase can show next general ideas:

o Regarding the variation in the manufacturing process type: HOT (mould) cure or COLD (pre) cure:
- retreaded tyres manufactured using HOT process show higher rolling resistance values.
o Regarding variation in the percentage of natural rubber in the tread composition:
- the higher percentage of natural rubber in tread composition; the lower rolling resistance is.

o Regarding rubber thickness variation:
- rubber thicknesses have little effect on the rolling resistance performance of retreaded tyres.

o The rubber manufacturer is a significant variable but there is NOT a clearly defined tendency.

* The number of tests is not enough to ensure these tendencies can be shared to any tyre.

• Regarding noise emission:

o Regarding the variation in the manufacturing process type:
- HOT retreaded tyres show higher noise emission values.

o Appreciated variations could be caused by those variables which the experience has previously demonstrated that can affect the sound emission value, as surface temperature, ambience temperature, wind, ambience noise, position and eight of the microphones, the accuracy of the test equipment, the specific tyre pressure or the location in the vehicle of the used load.

o Regarding rubber thickness variation:
- differences in rubber thickness have little effect the sound emission performances of retreaded tyres.

o Regarding variation in the percentage of natural rubber in the tread composition:
- the higher percentage of natural rubber in the tread composition; the lower noise emission is (in case of 385/65 R 22.5 tyres, this relation cannot be confirmed due to the results achieved (see D3.4: Fout! Verwijzingsbron niet gevonden.).

o The rubber manufacturer is a significant variable but there is NOT a clear tendency defined.

• Regarding wet grip adherence:
Results are not enough to define clear conclusions, next general ideas can be noticed:

o Regarding rubber thickness variation:
- differences in rubber thickness affect the wet grip adherence performances of retreaded tyres. According to test results, when the rubber thickness increases, the wet grip adherence index is lower.


o Regarding the variation in the manufacturing process type:
- when the COLD process is used the wet grip index is lower. Nevertheless, the results and standard deviations that have been achieved do not allow setting a specific relation (especially in case of 315/80 R 22.5 tyres (see D3.4: Fout! Verwijzingsbron niet gevonden.)).

o Regarding variation in the percentage of natural rubber in the tread composition:
- it cannot be determined a specific relation between natural rubber percentage in the tread composition and the wet grip adherence performances of a retreaded tyre.

o It cannot be concluded that the rubber manufacturer has influence in wet grip performances. The achieved results along the different manufacturers are different, but taking into account the related standard deviation, these differences cannot be considered as significant.

The achieved results as well as the corresponding analysis are deeply described in the deliverable 3.4 Relationship(s) between tread parameters and tyre performance: rolling resistance, noise and wet grip.

WP4 – Tool for predicting retreaded tyre performance
The objectives for the WP have been met.

WP undertaken activities and results:
The tests have been carried out in three work packages:

• WP1: Casing influence on RR;
• WP2: Retreading process influence on RR, NE and WG;
• WP3: Tread (pattern, compound, tread width) influence on RR, NE and WG.

The results of WP1, WP2 and WP3 are used to specify which input parameters do and do not (significantly) influence Rolling Resistance, Noise Emission and Wet Grip, see the deliverables D1.3 D2.4 and D3.4. In fact, all required statistical formulas associated with these input parameters used in the model are taken from these deliverables.

The model and tool developed in WP4 will be based on the mathematical relations and insights provided in the following deliverables:

• D1.3 (WP1).
o Main results: RR, WG and NE are not influenced by tyre/casing age and casing manufacturer.
o Relevant figures containing the relations: none.
• D2.4 (WP2).
o Main results: RR, WG and NE are influenced by tread application process type, undertread thickness and/or buffing radius.
o Relevant figures containing the relations:
- RR: F3-4, F3-10, F3-22 from D2.4.
- WG: F3-8, F3-26 from D2.4.
- NE: none.
• D3.4 (WP3).
o Main results: RR, WG and NE are influenced by rubber composition and retread manufacturer. Rubber thickness is also investigated, but the results are not convincing, so this input parameter will not be considered in the model.
o Relevant figures containing the relations:
- RR: F3-8, F3-11 from D3.4.
- WG: none.
- NE: F3-16 from D3.4

All information on the reference parameters, assumptions and preparation of the algorithm have been reported in D4.2-Model for predicting retreaded tyres performances (word document + excel file), in this report the most relevant information are summarised.

The mathematical model to determine the RR, NE and WG of a retreaded tyre can be globally described by the following algorithm:

• For a retreaded tyre, the original new tyre result is determined.
• This original new tyre is retrieved from the BAC database, including the corresponding output parameters RR, NE, WG. These are used as an initial estimate of the output parameters of the retreaded tyre.
• In a step-wise procedure, the output parameters RR, NE, WG are modified:
o In each step, a variation of one specific input parameter from the new tyre towards the retreaded tyre is considered based on the specific variation formula.
o The previous estimate of RR, NE and WG is corrected by this variation.
• When all variations are considered and all corrections to the output parameters are processed, the final estimate of RR, NE and WG are used as the output parameters.

The algorithm can be roughly represented by the figure below.



Detailed information on the software tool (characteristics, operating environment, functionality, etc.) are reported in D4.3-Software tool (alpha version) for predicting retreaded tyre performance. We provide here a summary of the user Interface of the software:

LOG IN SCREEN
Use of the prototype is restricted to users that have a valid username and password.



MAIN SCREEN
After submitting a valid username/password combination, the user will get access to this screen.


WP5 – Validation of the developed tool
In order to recover some of the delays the project suffered during his first period, WP4 and WP5 have been running in parallel.
WP undertaken activities and results:
IDIADA’s activities are following the work package description plan. Activities related this work extended until September 2014.

In this work package, IDIADA has been involved in the development of test regarding rolling resistance, noise emissions and wet grip adherence performances of randomly selected retreaded tyres with the objective of validating the software tool developed inside WP4. The software tool is validated if the results of these tests are in alignment with the predicted retreaded tyre performances.

Testing activities regarding WP5 tyres (12 sets and 4 tyres per set) started May 2014.

A version of the software tool and the simulation results have been compared with the “real results”.

The idea is first to test how the alpha version of the software tool can predict the tyre performances (level of accuracy) and, in a second stage the values obtained by the validation phase will be used, if necessary, as extra data for the updated version of the software.

From the cross check it appeared that:
1. More retread manufacturers should be in the selection for the retreading specifications: currently we have the two main manufacturers (Kraiburg and Bandag) but European retreaders use also other suppliers, such as Marangoni, Mezclas del Caucho, Vipal, Goodyear NextTread, Ringtread, etc.). As already communicated the compound can differ significantly on the subject of both Rolling Resistance and Wet Grip. It is therefore necessary to adjust the algorithm towards an improved understanding of the relationship between the relevant parameters and its Tan δ properties. The choices yet in the tool are too general and abstract to define the result to an acceptable value. Usually minor tread pattern and related tyre performance for using other manufacturers are similar to ones of Kraiburg or Bandag tread, but nevertheless categories should be defined in order for each retreader to insert the available pattern.
2. Recent updates in the BAC data base for new tyres should be taken into consideration in the model (few tyres performances cannot be predicted) It is therefore necessary to disclose the database for both actual market presence and archives. Will be executed with the migration.
3. Information on the percentage of natural rubber in the tread composition is requested to establish retreading parameters, this is not always known by the retreaders and during the tests for WP2 and WP3 it appeared clear that another more general and also most important parameter still needs to be investigated: Tan δ related to the physical properties of the tread compound. This point is currently under evaluation.


WP6 – Dissemination
The main objective of this work package is to establish an appropriate and effective communication of the project results to relevant industries, stakeholders in the field and to policy makers. During the first reporting period a project identity has been defined (logo, project website) and templates have been created for presentations, deliverables, agendas and official reports (presented in D6.1). During the second period the draft plan for the use and dissemination of knowledge has been prepared and the communication network has been updated and contacts have been added, the number of dissemination activities (presentations, technical discussions, publications, newsletter, etc.) has been improved. During the last project period the following results have been achieved:
• Update of project website (publication added)
• Presentation of the project preliminary results by the SME Association at annual meeting
• VACO Brochure on retreaded tyres
• Finalisation of the training programme for the introduction of predictive tool at retreaders (and translation in different European languages)
• Preparation of draft exploitation plan
• Consultation and discussion with representative of new tyre industry and legislation and policy makers in order to define the impact and contribution of the RETYRE project on future EU regulation

WP undertaken activities and results

Task 6.1 Dissemination activities
Under task 6.1 a project website was developed: more information in D6.1; and project templates have been prepared during the first project period. Constant updates of the website have been maintained during this second and third periods. The website consists of a public and a partner-only area. Also the restricted area is constantly updated by uploading the latest project documents (draft/final deliverables, documents related to project meeting, etc.).

The full list of dissemination activities is reported in the dedicated section of this final report.

Two project newsletters have been prepared and distributed (due to the confidential nature of the results and some open questions during the all project duration no major results have been disclosed).

The second newsletter was also sent in an electronic version, this allowed us to have some feedback and statistics on the “opening rate” and on the most interesting links. Some results/ information:
• The newsletter via email has been sent to 80 (non)-European recipients
• Opening rate was of 50% (standard opening rate for electronic newsletter is between 20% and 30%)
• Some of the recipients are the contact persons of BIPAVER National Associations, who forwarded their email to their members. Unfortunately the ‘second generation’ opening rate is not taken into account into the online statistics (meaning the spreading of the newsletter has been larger than registered)
• The newsletter has been open in different European countries but also in Asia and both North and South America.



The interest raised around the project grew exponentially in the second and third period. Not only with BIPAVER members but private companies, institutes, representatives from industries (Europeans but also from Asia and Latin America), rubber production and self policy makers have been looking and watching the progress of the project.

The ReTyre project was officially finished in September but discussions and dissemination actions have been very intensive in the last part of the year (November-December 2014 at the time of the preparation of this report) and are expected to be even more intense during the first months 2015 (when a beta version of the tool – fulfilling the full predictive expectation – should be available).
Even if the project is considered finished for the Commission (co-funding allowed till September 2014), more communication and – most likely – at least another newsletter will follow end 2015/beginning 2015.

Task 6.2 Introduction of the predictive tool at retreaders
How to use and what to expect for the current version of the software tool have been extensively discussed among the partners (major players SME-Associations) during the GA meetings in this last period and via extensive correspondence.
As already reported in the previous periodic report a first draft was already produced by KCL.

The full training programme has been reported in D6.3 – Training programme.
In the document all steps necessary to produce a label for a retreaded tyre are presented and explained. To accomplish a manual that is practical for all European Retreaders the consortium decided it is best to translate this manual into the languages, current within Bipaver (most translations are already available). A visualised manual (digital video) to accompany the tool’s website is considered.
The tool is constantly under revision and improvement are/will be introduced quite often, most likely before the annual meeting of the BIPAVER members (BIPAVER General Assembly) an update of the training manual will be necessary.
The representatives of the National Associations are constantly informed on the tool development and are willing of collaborating with the translation and improvement of the manual as well. National Associations are also involved as national helpdesks and in the distribution and supervision of Logins and Passwords. A solid and legal disclaimer is prepared and is currently examined.

During BIPAVER General Assembly (spring 2015) it will be decided about planning and organisation of training/workshops at national level (by the Associations member of BIPAVER).

Task 6.3 Preparation of an exploitation plan
All information related to the Exploitation plan and the project communication network are reported in the deliverables: D6.4 – Final use for the Use and Dissemination of knowledge and D7.3 – Establish Communication Network

In order to optimize the project impact and reach its objectives different target groups have been identified:
• Representatives of retreaders and retreaders association participating in the project
• Certified retreading members of BIPAVER
• New contact list obtained by subscribers on the ReTyre website
• Working groups (in Brussels and Geneva) involved in the preparation and revision of European regulations
• Representatives of European tyre manufacturing organisations such as ETRMA (policy representative) and ETRTO (standards)

The establishment of a communication network aims to speed up the dissemination of the project results and build new collaboration for the future. In addition a large network will strengthen the role of retreaders in the sector and give them the possibility to prove that retreaded tyres can comply with the safety and environmental requirements for new tyres.



During this last period the most relevant ongoing discussion have been:

ReTyre/ETRTO collaboration

Today the European retread industry consists of two important industries, one related to the new tyre industry and with an industrial and specific brand orientation, represented by the ETRMA. On the other hand the SME independent retread industry, represented by Bipaver with a craft and multi brand orientation. Both are facing the same obstacles in the near future, i.e. type approval and the challenges that are liaised with the 1222/2009 tyre labelling directive (respectively 1235/2011) and the actual exemption and its evaluation, for both 1222/2009 and 661/2009. The evaluation is foreseen for spring 2016.
Concerning Type Approval, initiatives are prepared to start a procedure supported by representatives of two important European Member States. With the support of ETRMA, ETRTO (also represented in the Advisory Board of the Project) and the final results of the project the administrative procedure will be initiated in the course of 2014. The outcome of the Type Approval procedure is also of importance to the decision process in Brussels.

During the time frame of the ReTyre project it became clear that, in order to prepare a solid proposal to be presented to policy makers, the collaboration with retreaders from new tyre industry is necessary.
Representatives from new tyre and independent retread industry are interested and willing to comply with the directives, but limited by the incremental costs and of the enormity of the matrix of sizes and applications. It is clear that the matrix of the independent retread industry is even more complex due to the number of brands. Up to 8.000 varieties per size! In order to achieve a final solution the results of the ReTyre Project will determine the definitive strategy. Obviously if ETRMA and Bipaver can represent and support one for the European Commission acceptable solution, that complies with both 1222/2009 and 661/2009, the ideal circumstances are realistic to use the existing and dynamic tyre label or create a new retread label. However, we need to anticipate that both organisations have to follow their own strategy in achieving the best possible result. We also anticipate that the Small Business relevance for the Bipaver members will create an advantage in achieving their mission.

Even without disclosing confidential information, contact has been created with the representatives of ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation) in order to discuss and agree on which are the relevant parameters which most influence the tyres performances for rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip.
This collaboration should lead to the preparation of a common strategy to present at the European Commission in Brussels and the representatives of UN-ECE/WP29/GRRF in Geneva about the revision of current regulations for retreaded tyres.
The Steering Committee has already visited ETRMA/ETRTO location in Brussels twice and a third meeting is planned for December 17th.
Among other topics, the most discussed point so far has been the influence of the original casing on the tyres performances for rolling resistance and noise emission. The ultimate objective for all parties concerned is to reach a common point of view.
After the second meeting with the tyre industry it has been decided to establish a smaller working group with experts to explore the findings of both the ReTyre Project and the results of their own research. This working group will advise the plenary meeting on the question of the influence of the casing on the Rolling Resistance. We are most confident that our mutual approach will lead to an acceptable solution for all parties concerned. It is clear that all partners are aware of the potential consequences. Parties are optimistic about the progress.

Discussion at “Commission” level

Due to the diverse representation of the European Commission (DG-Enterprise Wet Grip (Automotive Safety); DG-Health (Noise Emission); DG-Environment (Rolling Resistance), it was decided by the Commission to introduce one responsible DG for all labelling activities, i.e. DG-Energy Unit C.3 - Energy efficiency. Also an EC administrative office is in preparation and once established will be contacted. Lobbying activities will not be limited to the European Commission, but also the European Parliament will be addressed (Rapporteur)

To inform the policy officer, Mr Juan Moreno-Acedo, DG-Energy, Unit C.3 a visit is planned December 3rd 2014. The Commission still has three options:
- Implement the 1222/2009 tyre labelling for retreaded tyres in line with all other tyres
- No label at all
- Accept the predictive tool as a representative and liable instrument and delegate its maintenance and distribution to the Bipaver offices. Some form of administrative supervision and reporting will be imperative.
Most important is to avoid a general implementation of 1222/2009 for retreaded tyres. This will mean the end of the SME independent retreading industry in Europe. No label is no option as well. Bipaver members are suppliers for the haulage and transporting industry and transparent knowledge of environmental and safety performances of their products are fundamental for their business. Various scenarios are considered and addressed during the meetings between the projects Steering Committee and ETRMA.

Exploitation Plan and activities
The following exploitation objectives have been achieved (and actions still ongoing):
1. Assessment of the expected impact of the found inter-relationships
2. Identify eligible results and analyse exploitation potential
3. Set up exploitation plans for individual project results
4. Support activities for IPR protection

The main project results will be a software tool able to predict the tyre performance (on noise emission, rolling resistance and wet grip) based on the selected casing, retreading process and applied tread.

The exploitation strategy are based on:
• Appropriated management of the knowledge generated in the project and IPR protection according to the interest of the partners,
• Assessment of the expected impact of the project results and the factors that could influence their exploitation (standardisation, required level of knowledge, regulatory aspects, etc.),
• Analysis of the exploitation potential of the tools, reviewing all aspects from the viewpoint of potential end users and possible investors
• This will allow to check carefully the strengths and weaknesses of the results as future business, and to identify all other necessary resources and actions required to exploit them.
• Incorporation of individual exploitation plans for all relevant partners.
In addition, In order to guarantee the possibility of financing the extra activities necessary to obtain the “best” software tool, BIPAVER is currently preparing a business plan for the coming years. The creation of a separate legal body is considered, where SME-AGs will participate as shareholders.
In the business plan are reported (among other items):
• Costs foreseen for maintenance of the internet tool. It is clear that periodic testing is a necessity to check the predictive values and to assure the self-certification.
• Costs foreseen for the update of the software tool
• Models for the costs sharing among BIPAVER partners
• Possibility for profit (via registration fee)
• Shareholder participation liaised by the IPR elements (SME Associations)



Summary
All project deliverables have been submitted and the planned project objectives (as reported in the DoW) have been reached as reported in the table below:

Project Objective Obtained by
Understanding the influence of the relevant parameters of casings and determination of the interrelationships on tyre performance: rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip; Submission D1.3 and achievement Milestones related to WP1
Understanding the influence of the relevant parameters of retreading processes and determination of the interrelationships on tyre performance: rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip Submission D2.4 and achievement Milestone related to WP2
Understanding the influence of the relevant parameters of applied treads and determination of the interrelationships on tyre performance: rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip; Submission D3.4 and achievement Milestone related to WP3
Derive algorithms for casing, retreading process and applied tread based on the acquired knowledge and relationships from the parameter study; Submission D4.1 and D4.2
Definition and development of a model for predicting tyre performance based on original casing, retreading process and applied tread; Submission D4.2
Development of an intranet based software tool (alpha version) based on the predictive model and set of algorithms; Submission D4.3
Implementation of the classification methodology (developed software tool and best practices) at the participating retreading companies; Work done and discussed in WP5
Validation of the methodology via feedback on the usability and user friendliness of the software tool and via tests of randomly selected retreaded tyres according to UN-ECE Regulation 117; Submission D5.1
Formulation of recommendations for an amendment of Regulation 1222/2009 for including retreaded tyres and the methodology for type homologation of retreaded tyres. Summary of the work from Wp1-2-3-5 reported in Periodic report. Ongoing discussion with new tyre industry.


The ReTyre project during and after its lifetime contributed to:

• Find a scientifically sound way to pass the type approval required by UN-ECE Regulations
• Prove that retreaded tyres are comparable to new tyres with respect to safety and environmental requirements
• Secure the continuity of the sector active in the retreading of truck tyres

Those results have been achieved by:

• Knowhow of the influence of the relevant parameters of casing, retreading process and treads and determination of the relationships and interrelationships on tyre performance: rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip
• Set of algorithms for casing, retreading process and applied tread based on the acquired know-how and relationships
• Model for predicting tyre performance based on original casing, retreading process and applied tread.
• Intranet based software tool (alpha version) based on the predictive model and set of algorithms that is able to predict the rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip based upon original casing, applied materials (rubber, tread), applied retreading process conditions and technology
• Scientifically sound and cost effective methodology for classification of retreaded truck tyres enabling retreading companies to comply with future environmental performance and safety requirements.
• Validated methodology and European-wide uniform best practices amongst other via tests of randomly selected retreaded truck tyres according to UN-ECE Regulation 117
• Intranet based service for retreading companies provided by the associations (maintenance, extensions, regular updates, etc.) that provide label values (RR, NE and WG) for truck tyres
• Ability to comply with future environmental performance and safety requirements according to Regulation (EC) No 1222/2009 and Commission Regulation (EU) No 1235/2011.
• Recommendations for an amendment of Regulation (EC) No 1222/2009 for including retreaded tyres and the methodology for type approval of retreaded tyres to be integrated in UN-ECE Regulation No 109.


Potential Impact:
The project had and will have a major impact on the preservation of the employment of 18,000 people in the sector and on the preservation of the environment. In addition it contributed in addressing EU societal objectives related to quality of life, health, safety, working conditions, employment, environment and standards is as follows.

The ecological and sustainable footprint of retreaded truck tyres is much lower than that of new tyres. Retreaded tyres consume 70% less material (rubbers in all application, oil, bonding solution) and 80% less energy in the manufacturing process compared to new tyres. And carbon dioxide emissions are also 80% lower than for new tyres. As mentioned in the DoW, the ecological footprint of retreaded truck tyres is much lower than that of new tyres. At the moment, alternative and more “green” solutions are required for processes involving the application of oils and rubbers.

It is of the utmost importance for the retreading companies, i.e. the members of the SME-AGs, to prove to their customers that retreaded tyres are comparable to new European truck tyres, and to do this by means of a “certificate” or “label”.

The competitive advantages for the retreading companies and their associations of the ability to label retreaded tyres and the readiness to comply with future legislation are as follows.
• An increase of the market share of retreaded truck tyres with at least 10%;
• An increase of the turnover with more than 10 to 15%, i.e. € 90-120 million for Europe;
• A doubling of the profitability of the retreading companies to 4 to 6%;
• Preservation of the employment in the sector, i.e. 18,000 people in Europe.

Strategic Impact
Impact for the participants SMEs/SME Associations and their members
There is a real threat that retreaded tyres will have to comply with EC Regulation 1222/2009 in a couple of years. If this happens, it will be the end of story for the retreading companies and the associations. And, retreading will only remain at an exclusive (new tyre) industry level, where a fixed combination of worn tyre and tread become the sole market proposal.
Even, if this does not happen, the truck tyre market will increasingly demand for labelled tyres putting unlabelled retreaded tyres in the backseat as low quality, noisy, fuel consuming and untrustworthy alternatives. This is highly undesirable for the members of the SME AGs: the retreading companies as it leads to lower volumes and lower prices. Most likely, it will also lead to a revival of the import of low cost new tyres from Asia that are known for their unsuitability for retreading and their low performance (average mileage 250,000 km for import truck tyres from Asia vs. 400,000 km for truck tyres from European tyre manufacturers).
The retreading truck tyre industry, i.e the retreaders and their suppliers, produce approx. 4.5 million retreaded truck tyres per year, a turnover of € 800 million and a workforce of 18,000 people in Europe. Sales prices for retreaded truck tyres range from € 150 - € 280 depending on amongst others tyre size, applied tread and original casing. The prices for retreaded tyres are comparable to the prices of new tyres from Asia (mainly China). See Table below.

Truck tyres New, origin EU New origin Asia Retreaded, origin EU
Price range € 250 - € 400 € 180 - € 250 € 150 - € 280
Quality (in arbitrary units)
(mileage, rolling resistance, noise emission and wet grip) 100 50-90 100
(proven in ReTyre)

The profit margin in the sector is poor, at best 2-3% of the turnover due to the competition of cheap new tyres from Asia (mainly China). The continuity/viability of the retreading truck tyre industry sector is further endangered by the implications concerning compliance with impending regulations on safety and performance requirements. This is explained above.

It is of the utmost importance for the retreading companies, i.e. the members of the SME-AGs, to prove to their customers that retreaded tyres are comparable to new European truck tyres, And to do this by means of a “certificate” or “label”.

The competitive advantages for the retreading companies and their associations of the ability to label retreaded tyres and the readiness to comply with future legislation are as follows.
- An increase of the market share of retreaded truck tyres with at least 10%;
- An increase of the turnover with more than 10 to 15%, i.e. 90-120 € million for Europe;
- An doubling of the profitability of the retreading companies to 4 to 6%;
- Preservation of the employment in the sector, i.e. 18,000 people in Europe.

The importance of the project ReTyre was reported in the DoW (prepared end 2010/beginning 2011) and it is also expressed by the CEO’s (Jan Driessen and Richard O’Connell) of two renowned retreading companies: BPE and Bandvulc (see frames below).

“As SME retreader we faced, fought against and survived the economic downstream of the last couple of years, just like the flood of cheap Asian new commercial tyres.

We produce a high-quality product that saves a tremendous amount of new material with proven results. We are the “Sustainable” pilar of the tyre business, however without a positive result of the project we will not survive.

We see this project as the only way to survive against the upcoming “labelling requirements” as it is impossible to organise this on our own, even combined per country it is impossible to arrange and pay for all the required testing.

Please let this project be a success to ensure the future for SME retreaders in the EU”

Jan Driessen, Director KARGRO/BPE group. Netherlands

“With the ever increasing demand and rising cost of raw materials the recycling of products where possible is becoming more and more paramount. This is particularly true in the truck tyre market. To throw away the whole body of a truck tyre after only the tread area has been used is not only wasteful but is also socially irresponsible. Modern remanufacturing equipment and in process testing and controls ensure that the established, European, largely SME network, can produce retreaded tyres equivalent in appearance and performance to new tyres.
We now need to get these qualities officially recognised without the need for each retreading company to have to replicate and fund expensive test procedures. This would result in the unacceptable financial demise of a majority of well run, responsible retreaders through no fault of their own”

Richard O’Connell, Co-founder of Bandvulc Group UK

Raw materials to produce a new tyre are becoming scarce and come with increasing costs. Solutions must be found in technological innovation, improving process and production technology, and in the legal frame-work where the retreaded tyre is recognized. Retreading is a manufacturing process by recapping buffed tyre casings designed to extend the useful lifespan of a worn tyre. Some benefits are clear:
- Less raw materials are used;
- Less energy is necessary in the production process;
- Less tyre waste is generated.
Therefore, retreads are significantly cheaper and more environmentally friendly than new tyres too. For most truck fleets, tyres represent the third largest item in their operating budget, following labour and fuel costs. The cost of retreading, plus any damage repair, will normally not exceed 70% of the price of a new tyre. Retreads are the replacement tyre of choice for most haulage operators. Retreads are not only cost effective, but they should also be dependable, reliable and safe.
Tyres are basically petro-chemical products. It takes almost 100 ltrs. of crude oil to manufacture one new truck tyre. Most of the oil is used in the casing, which is reused in the retreading process. As a result, it takes only 30 ltrs. oil to produce a retreaded truck tyre. Retreaded tyres save not only crude oil in the manufacturing process, but emit much less carbon dioxide per tyre (39 kg versus 220 kg) too, and save about 44 kg of natural rubber. Retreading tyres realizes 80% material recovery. Retreads are therefore environmentally friendly and contribute to the general sustainability of transport.
The retreading of truck tyres and the use of retreaded truck tyres is sustainable and value adding for fleet management and is beneficial for transport of goods and passengers.

Project Results and IPR
Foreground- The arrangement of the IPR (intellectual property rights) and results of the project is as follows: KCL/BIPAVER will be the owner of the project Foreground, the represented national association (BRV, PRM/AIRP, AER, SVP-CR, VACO) will have licensing rights on the results.

Two of the partners (KCL and Promotec) are SMEs representing the parent associations (BIPAVER the European Association of National Associations of Retreaders and AIRP the Italian Association of retreaders).
KCL will own the foreground for the benefit of BIPAVER and BIPAVER’s members.
Promotec will use the foreground for the benefit of AIRP and AIRP’s members.
These statements will also be reported in the Consortium Agreement.

In the Consortium Agreement all relevant issues needed for the proper execution of the project are described in detail. This also includes intellectual property rights (IPR), management of knowledge and rules for publishing information.
Since the participating SME-AGs are members of BIPAVER, KCL/BIPAVER they agreed to entrust KCL of the payments to the RTD performers.
The IPR arrangements are structured as follows:
1. KCL will be owner of the final project results for the benefit of Bipaver and Bipaver member ;
2. The represented SME Associations (partners in the Consortium) will have exclusive, free of charge, licensing rights for their respective countries;
3. SME Associations members of BIPAVER but NO partners in the Consortium will be charged – with a reduced fee – for the “BIPAVER-LABEL”, the use of the software tool and the other project results. Cost will be divided among the members of the association. The payment will be done via the Membership Subscription or by #labels/year (this will be decided by the national associations). The fee for the services will be included either in the membership fee (in a weighted percentage of the truck tyre market) of the national associations of retreaders or as a fee per ‘labeled’ retreaded truck tyre. In this way, it is secured that the service is spread in the most efficient way and that the costs are charged on a fair basis, i.e. based on size and turnover of the members.
4. Members of the SME Associations members of BIPAVER and participating in the project will have free of charge right for the use of the software (Banden Plan, Bandvulc, Insa Turbo, Carling and Reifen-Ihle)
5. The condition from the national associations (under condition num 3) will apply to members of associations members of Bipaver which are not participating in the project.
6. SME Associations NON-BIPAVER members and NO partners in the Consortium and individual Retreading companies willing to use the “label” will be charged by #labels/year

All the participating retreading companies are members of national associations which are itself partners (i.e. Banden Plan Europa is member of VACO, Carling is member of SVP-CR, Insa Turbo is member of AER and former Reifen-Ihle is member of BRV)

The major project outcomes are listed in the table below.
Project outcomes Owner Licensee Users
Set of algorithms and a model for predicting tyre performance based on original casing, retreading process and applied tread. KCL/BIPAVER BRV, PRM, AER, SVP-CR, VACO All national Association within BIPAVER
Validated methodology and European-wide uniform best practices amongst other via tests of randomly selected retreaded truck tyres according to UN-ECE Regulation 117 KCL/BIPAVER
BRV, PRM, AER, SVP-CR, VACO BPE, Carling, Insa Turbo, R.I.G. Bandvulc
Intranet based service (tool) for retreading companies provided by the associations (maintenance, extensions, regular updates, etc.) KCL/BIPAVER
BRV, PRM, AER, SVP-CR, VACO BPE, Carling, Insa Turbo, R.I.G Bandvulc and all SMEs members of the national Association
Ability to comply with future environmental performance and safety requirements according to EC 1222/2009 All National Associations within BIPAVER All members of the National Associations
Certificate that proves that retreaded truck tyres can comply with the safety and environmental requirements for new tyres All National Associations within BIPAVER All members of the National Associations


List of Websites:
The project public website has been set up for the general public and can be found at the web address: www.retyre-project.eu

The website provides general information on the project objectives and the work to be performed as well as details of the project partners, and contact details for the project coordinator. It includes a password protected section with access restricted to partners only. The website will be accessible for 5 years after the project is closed. Public deliverable reports and other open project documentation will be available via the website to the public during this period. Confidential reports will remain available to partners via the restricted part.

More information are reported in the attached pdf