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DSII industry visit: Learning about safe and sustainable tyres with Nokian Tyres

Did you know that the world’s first winter tires were invented in Nokia in 1934? What a great merit! The first winter tires were created for trucks, to ensure safe transportation of goods throughout the year, and only two years later they were made for passenger cars as well. We learned all this and more on our DSII industry visit to Nokian Tyres.

DSII students in Nokian Tyres. From left: Andrei Ahonen, Jutta Kannisto, Henna Hietikko-Kaukola, Veera Rautio, Elina Tiainen, Jukka Matikainen, Marja Vilkko, Erkka Virtanen, Omar Alshawwa, Jukka Koskinen and Amirhossein Zabihi

On our latest DSII industry visit, we visited world’s northernmost tire manufacturer Nokian Tyres in Nokia, and learned what goes into creating safe and sustainable tires.

This visit gave us insight on the importance of always conducting more research and developing products to find better solutions. Our DSII doctoral student Jukka Koskinen, is one of the people doing research for Nokian Tyres, as his dissertation is done in collaboration with them.

"The goal of my research is to find bio-based filler for tire compounds for improved tire properties and sustainability. At the moment I’m working with lignin and its dispersion in rubbers", says Koskinen.

"The co-operation with Nokian Tyres has been very interesting and fruitful for both, the academia and company. I’m glad that I can support Nokian Tyres and rubber industry on its way towards sustainable materials."

During the first half of our visit, we got a fascinating presentation on what Nokian Tyres does, the research and development process of creating tires, and how sustainability is taken into consideration. We learned that Nokian Tyres is a trailblazer when it comes to sustainability, and that they have a focus on producing premium quality tires.

After lunch, we headed to Nokian Heavy Tyres Research and Development Center and were introduced to the premises and the equipment used there. We got to have a closer look on what is done in this R&D center and the reasons behind everything. The place was well organized to make work as efficient and safe as possible.

Throughout our visit, it became evident, that safety is taken into consideration at every step of the way, when working with tires. Safety is also an important factor in the finished product, as Nokian Tyres puts a heavy emphasis on user safety as well as worker safety.

The day went by quickly as we enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere and learned a lot at Nokian Tyres. DSII students had a chance to ask about anything and everything regarding Nokian Tyres, which lead to a lot of interesting conversations.

Much to their surprise, some DSII PhD students from various fields of science realized that their research and knowledge could also be valuable in the creation of tires.

Turns out, that tires are a far more complex product than one might expect!

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