Fancy having an image of Hello Kitty or Autobot logo printed on your tyres? Your wish may come true as Bridgestone Corporation recently announced that it has developed a revolutionary new printing technology for tires that is different from any tyre printing or coloring process on the market today.
With the existing tyre construction, white rubber has always been used on the sidewalls to make white ribbon and white lettering. This process requires usage of large amounts of white rubber to prevent discoloration and to maintain high durability. The construction process of creating whitewalls and lettering can add weight to the tyre.
Bridgestone's advanced tyre printing technology consists of a layer to protect the surface from discoloration as the base, newly-developed inks for this technology, and a layer to protect the image from external damages on the surface. Through this new technology, Bridgestone can realise more creative showcase of tyres while addressing environmental concern of additional weight, which can affect fuel efficiency.
Bridgestone will continue to explore the opportunities associated with this new tyre printing technology. For instance, customer can specify his own design or photographs to be printed on the sidewalls. If his taste changes next time, the image can be removed or updated. Bridgestone has not given a date whereby the new technology will be mass marketed but they plan to do so soon.