The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., has succeeded in developing a material that significantly reduces the weight of automotive air-conditioning hoses.
Yokohama Rubber to Mass Produce Light Weight Automotive Air-Conditioning Hose
The company is now accelerating the development of a commercial product and aims for a full market launch in 2024.The new ultralight hose is made from a rubber–resin polymer alloy 1 developed by applying Yokohama Rubber’s proprietary technologies. This new alloy combines the flexibility and heat resistance of rubber with the high gas barrier properties of resin, and its use enabled Yokohama Rubber to reduce the hoses weight by 50 per cent. In addition, hoses made using this alloy do not need to be put through a vulcanisation process that uses a large amount of heat.
The company claimed that the new hoses will therefore contribute to the effort to achieve carbon neutrality. One of Yokohama Rubber’s strengths is its design and evaluation capabilities that enable it to integrate hoses and pipes in ways that respond to various customer requirements and piping layouts. The company plans to develop and promote all-resin piping to achieve a significant reduction in the weight of hose and pipe combinations. While continuing to develop a commercial version of this new lightweight hose, Yokohama Rubber also aims to enter the market for other types of automotive pipes.
Yokohama Rubber’s Hose & Couplings business manufactures and sell products that support many industries, such as rubber and resin high-pressure hoses. The company delivers its automotive air-conditioning hoses to automobile makers in Japan, North America, and other countries.