Natural Rubber Sources

Natural rubber is a key material in all tires and is sourced largely from Southeast Asia. USTMA members are exploring interesting and potentially more sustainable, cost-effective alternatives to diversify the supply chain.

Forging New Trails

Natural rubber is essential for tire production: Passenger car tires contain about 19 percent natural rubber content while commercial truck tires contain about 34 percent. Natural rubber provides specific performance characteristics to tires, especially good for tear and fatigue crack resistance.

Specifically, tire manufacturers are studying the potential of guayule, plants native to the American Southwest, as well as Russian dandelions, which were explored during World War II as part of an Emergency Rubber Project.

These new sources have the potential to deliver the dual benefit of limiting the fossil fuel consumption required for importing while contributing to more sustainable tire production. 

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