There are new tires in town that could possibly change the whole game of racing. Guayule, a natural rubber, is now used to make racing tires. It’s extracted from a shrub found in the Arizona desert. This change in the game can prove to be beneficial for both Japanese tire company Bridgestone and American farmers.
Importance of Alternative Rubber
In the current situation, tires available in the market are made of natural and synthetic rubber. Most of the natural rubber is extracted from South Asia. But the rate at which the forests are shrinking is a matter of concern for tire companies. Even switching to synthetic tires completely is an unfeasible option because they are petroleum-based products and can’t provide the same strength as natural rubber. On the other hand, Guayule, the baby project of Bridgestone, requires less labor and can be easily grown close to homes in States like Arizona, Texas, and Mexico. Guayule is planted and left untouched for two years. During those two years, it collects rubber in its bark as a reaction to cold.
Bridgestone and Its Research
The engineers of the Bridgestone Agricultural team have been continuously working on ways to grow the alternative with as little hassle as possible. They have set up a team who’s leading their Agro Operations and experimenting with the available alternative with an aim to make it pocket-friendly but to increase its yield as well. Local farmers have become a part of the team to help them achieve their goals.
A Game-Changing Tire
Even though there’s continuous research going on around the world, it’s believed that this shift to alternative rubber will take time. It’s not the first time Guayule is being used by the tire manufacturers, but the complete switch to this product still hasn’t happened. These new tires are seen being used at the Music City Grand Prix; its use in passenger cars is still a long shot for the makers. It’s cost-effective and a reliable source of natural rubber for Bridgestone and other manufacturers. Reports show there’s no way Guayule can sweep off synthetic rubber from the market, but it’s still good news for America as there’s a chance to move the production process of this rubber to the States. It’ll prove to be beneficial for the farmers and the American economy.
While staying at home has become the new way of life, people find different ways to keep themselves entertained. However, considering the present situation, the availability of many gadgets, spare parts, and orders is taking a back seat. What makes things worse is that people are still looking for answers to why there is a global shortage of chips and gadgets. Could it be the geopolitical tension, the ongoing pandemic, or does it have something to do with cryptocurrencies? As complicated as the answers may seem, let us look at some of the many possibilities of why this could be happening.
The On-going Pandemic Has Taken a Toll for the Worse
The COVID pandemic brought the entire world to a standstill and has made things very challenging. With industries getting affected by more and more businesses shutting down, the market has not been the same ever since. The need to work from home has opened doors to an increase in the demand for various gadgets. However, with the slow supply of spare parts and the increase in demands, manufacturers find it challenging to keep pace. If that is not enough, even logistics are taking longer than usual, due to several restrictions imposed due to COVID.
The Strain on International Trade Relations
While the pandemic is causing a lot of disturbance, even international trade relations have taken a hit. Countries depend on one and another for various things; and when the relationships between countries encounter stress, things get from bad to worse. On one side, every country is looking at ways to source their requirements locally; as a result, the passing of various spare parts from one country to another has reduced, tremendously. This complicated and intense process has equally created many problems with the trade relations across various continents.