Pirelli Tyre S.p.A.

This company, which represents Pirelli Group’s main industrial division, focuses on the manufacture of tyres for cars, industrial vehicles, goods transport vehicles, buses, and motorcycles.

Pirelli Tyre has 24 Production Units operating in Europe, the United States, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Of these, 80% are managed by the “Tyres” business unit (related to tyre manufacturing) and 20% by the “Steel Cord” unit, for the steel cord used mainly in the manufacture of tyres. The two units, which focus on different products, especially in terms of manufacturing processes, are analyzed separately both from the standpoint of production cycles and environmental aspects, impacts and performance indicators.

Pirelli Tyre’s most significant corporate commitments in terms of environmental sustainability are:

  • Active participation in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), an association of around 200 international companies distributed throughout 30 countries that have made a voluntary commitment to unite economic growth with sustainable development. The WBCSD has identified a list of global issues (including the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, the promotion of sustainable production and consumption) destined to transform the current economic system.
  • Signature of the Bali Communiqué, endorsed by 150 international businesses during the Bali United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2007. This document underlines the need for an ambitious and comprehensive world level agreement, to develop concrete strategies through a joint engagement from governments. The objective is to set out a roadmap for the negotiations on climate change after the expiry of the Kyoto protocol in 2012.
  • Its commitment in terms of the promotion and strengthening of a culture of safety and energy efficiency Conscious of the role of the tyre industry in everyday life, this has always been one of the company’s goals. In 2007, it promoted significant awareness raising initiatives in partnership with institutions, trade associations and other industrial groups at Italian and international level.
  • Pirelli Tyre participated in the ENI “30PERCENTO – consumare meglio, guadagnarci tutti” energy efficiency campaign with its “Viaggia in Sicurezza” (Travel Safely) initiative. The aim is to explain the importance of energy saving for environmental protection as well as the household budget, with the primary focus on consumers. Through “Viaggia in Sicurezza”, which provided free tyre pressure checks at 400 outlets of the Driver network, Pirelli Tyre contributed to educating motorists in the proper maintenance of their tyres, the first step towards ensuring energy efficiency, reducing harmful emissions and driving more safely.

ISO 14001 certification and the environmental
management systems

The reference standard for the environmental certification of management systems has been identified as ISO 14001 standard. Thanks to the Sector project for the implementation of an Environmental Management System in the Production Unites, based on shared Group procedures and guidelines, the first ISO 14001 certifications were obtained in 1998 in Brazil and Turkey.

This is now a well established process and as at 31/12/2007 all the Production Units in operation have a certified Environmental Management System. The latest involves the Slatina steel cord manufacturing plant in Romania, recently certified for both ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. Forthcoming certifications will involve plants in the development phase, including the Tyre plant at Slatina.

The company also has scientific test centres for tyre/vehicle performance, which conduct experiments and trials of tyres under various different conditions of use, using subjective and instrument controlled techniques.

Worthy of particular mention is the test track located in the town of Vizzola Ticino (Varese, Italy), designed and built at the end of the Sixties near the river of the same name. The ISO 14001 environmental certification for this Centre, obtained in 2005, assumes particular importance considering that its 26 hectares lie within the Parco Naturale Lombardo della Valle del Ticino (Lombardy Ticino Valley Natural Park), an Italian nature reserve listed as a UNESCO MAB (Man and Biosphere) area – one of 425 biosphere reserves in 95 countries worldwide.

Vizzola

Night time view of the Pirelli tyre test track at Vizzola Ticino (VA) - Photograph by Luca Gatino for the exhibition “Un viaggio, ma…”

The Vizzola site is used by various Group companies for experiments and tests (in which it plays an essential role in researching the indirect environmental aspects associated with the development of new tyres and vehicles with reduced environmental impacts). The track is also home to sports events, driving schools, and motoring clubs, and is used by car manufacturers and trade magazines for joint tests and shows. Implementing the environmental management system has enabled the setting out and achievement of waste management optimisation targets. Similarly, programmes spanning over several years have been set up and are currently underway to rehabilitate and redevelop the internal green areas with the planting of indigenous plant species, elimination of ozone depleting substances, and support for university programmes to develop low environmental impact vehicles.

Given its location within a protected area, the Track is in constant contact with the offices of the Municipality of Vizzola Ticino and the Parco Naturale Lombardo della Valle del Ticino. Through an agreement with the Park Administration, it contributes in economic terms to the environmental improvement of the external area.

In 2007 no environment-related incidents occurred with negative consequences for health or the environment.

However, emergency situations, resolved adopting the established procedures, included:

  • The start of a fire in a mixed packaging bin, contained by the plant’s fire fighting team.
  • Five cases of accidental spillage of liquid and solid raw materials. The accidents all occurred in areas equipped with retention systems, thus preventing any ground and surface or deep water contamination.
  • An accidental spillage of process oil, which was immediately contained.
  • The new centre of industrial excellence in Settimo Torinese

    On 13 July 2007, Pirelli Tyre signed a framework agreement in Turin with the Piedmont Regional Authority, the Turin Provincial Authority, and the Municipality of Settimo Torinese, for the creation of a state-of-the-art technology and industrial centre for the manufacture of car and truck tyres in Settimo Torinese area, where the Group Company currently has two facilities.

    The industrial regeneration plan will pave the way for the inauguration of a new and modern centre that will harness leading-edge production technology developed through Pirelli research, thus making it the Group’s most advanced manufacturing plant in the world. In line with Pirelli sustainable development strategies, it will adopt measures to reduce environmental impacts and energy consumption to the absolute minimum and will feature high quality architecture and design. As part of the industrial regeneration, Pirelli Tyre and Turin Polytechnic have agreed to conduct joint projects for research and technological innovation. In June 2007, the company and the university set up a joint working group tasked with minimising the environmental impact of the new industrial site and, in particular, with the further innovation of the more advanced processes and products of Pirelli Tyre’s research ( i.e. Next MIRS, CCM, and the “smart” Cyber Tyre).

    Tyre production

    Composition of a standard tyre

    A tyre may be seen as a compound or, in other words, a solid assemblage of materials with very different properties, whose manufacture requires great precision.

    Generally, we can define three distinct groups of raw materials:

    • Raw materials that make up the compounds (including natural and synthetic rubbers, reinforcing fillers, plasticisers, ingredients for vulcanisation, and protectors, such as anti-ageing and anti-ozonant agents).
    • Raw materials that make up the structure of the tyre (including brassed steel wire for the bead wires, steel cord for the metal ply, and treated raw fabrics for the rubberised bonded fibre ply fabrics).
    • Auxiliary raw materials that, although they are used in the production process, do not form part of the finished tyre and are considered as “auxiliary” (anti-adhesive agents, releasing agents, bonding agents etc.), plus a series of auxiliary products specific to the various different phases of the production process.

    To better understand the environmental aspects of tyre production, the figure below shows a cross-section through an ‘average’ tyre and identifies the various different parts (known in the industry as “semi-finished materials”) that make up the composite tyre.

    In particular:

    Composizione del pneumatico standard
    • Innerliner: a layer of synthetic rubber on the inside surface of the tyre. It is perfectly sealed and acts as air chamber.
    • Carcass: the load-bearing structure of the tyre, this is made up of thin threads or plies in fabric fibre (up to 1,400 per tyre) set in a straight arc and rubberised. The carcass is the key load-bearing element of the tyre as it withstands the pressure.
    • Bead: a padding in the lower area (APEX), which transmits the motor torque and the braking torque from the wheel rim to the ground contact area.
    • Bead wires: two metal rings made of one or more parallel rubberised wires. The carcass plies are wrapped around the bead wires.
    • Sidewalls: generally made of rubber strips that are extremely resistant to repeated bending and oxidation. As well as absorbing some of the dynamic stresses that the tyre is subjected to, they protect and reinforce the carcass.
    • Belt layers: made up of plies, reinforced with very thin but resistant steel wires. The belt layers are crossed over diagonally and glued together. The crossover of the belt wires with those of the carcass creates un-deformable triangles.
    • Tread: the part of the tyre placed over the belts connecting the vehicle to the road surface. It is made by drawing and it has a trapezoidal shape, with the lower surface slightly hollow and shaped.

    The tyre production process

    In general, tyre production follows the phases described below:

    1. Compound preparation: the process begins with the production of compounds in large, fully-enclosed Banbury mixers, which process the raw materials to correctly distribute the various different ingredients. Each raw material has a specific function and it is added to the compound in well-defined proportions, in order to confer the specific characteristics required on the finished product during operation.
    2. Fabric rubberisation: achieved through a process of calendaring, which consists of applying two sheets of rubber on both sides of the fabric. The bonded fibre ply fabrics are generally purchased from third parties in pieces and then fed into the fabric calenders, which perform the rubberisation. The metal fabrics, made of hundreds of steel cords perfectly aligned and then bonded, undergo the same process.
    3. Semi-finished products: these are individual elements that are bonded together in the tyre-building phases, and constitute the actual tyre. They may be classified into groups, based on the type of processing they undergo (e.g. bead wires, drawn wires, fabrics etc.).
    4. Tyre-building: this is the phase where all the semi-finished materials are brought together to be bonded and made into a tyre. It is normally separated into two successive phases: the first produces a carcass which is made up of body-plies, bead wires and sidewalls, whereas the second phase leads to a tyre composed of all the semi-finished products (known as a “green tyre”) ready to be sent to the final phases of painting and vulcanisation.
    5. Painting and vulcanisation: the inside of the “green tyre” is treated with an aqueous solution to form a protective layer so that the tyre is easily detachable from the vulcanising chamber. The green tyre is now ready for vulcanisation, an irreversible process generated by an increase in temperature and pressure to obtain the required shape and elasticity characteristics of the tyre. During this phase the raw compound, with mainly plastic properties, is transformed into a vulcanised compound, with mainly elastic properties. The tyres are vulcanised on special machines that use moulds to determine the final shape of the tyre.
    6. Finishing: the vulcanized tyres undergo a series of visual and instrumental checks to ensure their safety and reliability. The tyre is now ready to be sold on the market.

    The environmental impacts associated with a tyre

    To arrive at a truly complete picture of the environmental impact of producing tyres, we need to widen the sphere of analysis to include the entire life cycle of the product. One methodology for doing this is described in the ISO 14040 standard - “Environmental management - Life Cycle Assessment - Principles and framework”.

    This approach was adopted to analyse the life cycle of an average European car tyre. The analysis was carried out together with the major European tyre makers (“Life Cycle Assessment of an average European car tyre” - Prè Consultants B.V. on behalf of BLIC, 2001), and the results allow us to identify and quantify the major environmental impacts for each phase of the tyre’s existence (production, use, end-of-life …..), as shown in the figure further below.

    The environmental impact of the production phases

    The results of the application of the above mentioned methodology highlight the contribution of the raw materials supply and production stages, which together determine approximately 12% of the total impact (approx. 10% and 2% respectively). The chart also shows a significant reduction in consumption (2.6%) in tyres containing silica, compared to traditional tyres (whose main filler is only carbon black), resulting in an 11% reduction in the total environmental impact. This has led to the development of new compounds for the tread (the part of the tyre responsible for the impact generated in the usage phase), containing silica instead of carbon black.

    The environmental impact during the usage phase

    The most evident result of the study is the significant environmental impact associated with the usage phase of the tyre that, for a ‘traditional’ tyre, accounts for 86% of the total impact. On average tyres account for around 20% of a car overall consumption, and this partly explains the high environmental impact generated during their use.

    On closer inspection of the impact generated during the usage phase, we can see that around 90% of this impact is due to fuel consumption resulting from friction between the tyre and the road surface, while the rest is due to the outcome of this friction (the so called tyre debris). It has been estimated that during its life cycle, a tyre produces a quantity of tyre debris of between 10 and 14% of its original weight.

    The environmental impact of these particles is still being studied worldwide and Pirelli Group plays its part in this international effort through the continual exchange of information and experience with other tyre makers participating in the specific work group set up under the aegis of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (mentioned above).

    confronto tyre debris

    Granulometric fraction under 100 μm from the debris generated by a truck tyre (left) and a car tyre (right)

    To minimise the environmental impact associated with the use of a tyre, Pirelli Group is constantly committed to the research and development of new compounds and new product lines that, through the use of new materials, innovative internal structures and new tread designs, are capable of reducing the rolling resistance while ensuring the same tyre life.

    Without doubt, the overriding priority of research and development is driver safety: the tyre must ensure proper vehicle control in the widest possible range of situations, at the same time however it has to guarantee reduced fuel consumtion and the consequent environmental impact, due to the inevitable friction.

    This is where the New Pirelli Cinturato fits in.

    The New Pirelli Cinturato, the GREEN tyre

    The new Pirelli Cinturato product range has been designed and developed by the Group’s in-house laboratories in order to meet the latest market demands and facilitate sustainable mobility. Environmental friendliness, safety and performance are the essential features of the new Cinturato, whose innovative compounds, structure and tread patterns, ensure lower consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, higher mileage and improved safety characteristics in both wet and dry conditions.

    In particular, the new Cinturato, available in tread models P4 and P6 and featuring ECOIMPACT symbols on the sidewall, allows a 20% reduction in rolling resistance and up to 4% in energy consumption, increasing overall mileage by 30%.

    Pirelli research has produced innovative structures, materials and tread patterns that enable the new Cinturato tyres to reduce rolling resistance, i.e. the wasted energy generated by the friction between road and tyre, thus guaranteeing lower fuel consumption without compromising performance.

    nuovo Cinturato Pirelli

    The new Pirelli Cinturato, the green tyre

    Furthermore, the Cinturato product range provides high mileage and contains no aromatic oils in the tread responsible for particulate, one of the main causes of urban pollution: as the tread wears down it normally releases particles into the atmosphere containing potential pollutants.

    The removal of aromatic oils from the tread compound anticipates the relevant European regulations due to come into force from January 2010. The tread pattern also provides improved acoustic comfort with a reduction in tyre noise levels both inside and outside the vehicle.

    La performance eco-sostenibile del nuovo Cinturato Pirelli

    Further details of the eco-sustainable performance of the New Pirelli Cinturato are provided below:

    • Lower rolling resistance: reduced consumption and CO2 emissions. The new Cinturato cuts rolling resistance by 20% thus providing savings of up to 4% in terms of fuel consumption and harmful emissions. Rolling resistance is the opposing force of the tyre to vehicle movement, i.e. energy dissipated while driving. Along with mechanical strength and air resistance, rolling resistance impacts on fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Rolling resistance depends on factors both outside (vehicle speed and weight, type of road surface, atmospheric temperature and tyre pressure) and inside the tyre, such as structure, compounds and tread pattern. In designing the new Cinturato, Pirelli has made changes to these factors, introducing innovative solutions covered by Pirelli patents.
    • Better mileage: thousands more miles. The new Cinturato’s tread compound has been reinforced with specific ingredients in order to extend tyre mileage life without sacrificing grip characteristics. Furthermore, the tyre geometry has been completely redesigned, from sidewall to tread, in order to strike the right balance between rolling resistance, mileage and safety. The average life of the new Cinturato in terms of distance covered has increased by 30%. This means that the average motorist will now replace his or her tyres every four years instead of every three.
    • Removal of harmful substances. Pirelli has eliminated aromatic oils from the new Cinturato’s compounds, two years ahead of the forthcoming EU Directive. Aromatic oils are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons present in tyres in the form of free oils and oil-extended polymers. As the tread wears they contribute to the composition of particulate, and are potentially harmful to human health. For the new Cinturato, Pirelli researchers have studied new polymers and new procedures for making the compound that do not affect the tyre performance and safety specifications.
    • Greater safety: improved braking on both wet and dry surfaces. Safety, which along with high performance has always been the hallmark of Pirelli research and was already brought to maximum levels by the Cinturato back in the Fifties, is the other essential cornerstone underpinning the new Cinturato’s design. Pirelli P4 and P6 guarantee greater safety under all weather conditions. In particular, there is improved grip when cornering in the wet and, above all, a reduction in braking distances. On wet surfaces, the stopping distance is reduced by 11%, while on dry surfaces the braking distance is also significantly reduced.
    Icone Ecoimpact

    The “ecoimpact” symbols on the sidewalls of the Pirelli Cinturato

    The new Cinturato will be manufactured at the plants in Bollate (Italy), Izmit (Turkey), Manresa (Spain) and Carlisle (UK), and several leading car manufacturers have already chosen it as original equipment on their most popular models.

    In addition to the research aimed at mitigating the environmental impacts directly connected with Pirelli’s activities (particularly in the production phase), measures have also been put in place to reduce the impacts generated in the other phases of the tyre life cycle – phases that are only indirectly or partially related to the Group’s activities. These include the selection of raw materials and the rational use of natural resources and energy.

    The following initiatives have been implemented in the selection of raw materials, to reduce the use of substances harmful to humans and the environment as far as possible:

    • Systematic assessment of the eco-toxicological characteristics of any new chemical before its introduction into the production cycle. In particular, following recent European regulations on the classification, labelling and packaging of dangerous substances and preparations, Pirelli has updated the list of substances that cannot be used in its production processes, or for which research programmes are underway to find a replacement. In this regard, in 2007 approximately one hundred new raw materials were analysed and assessed.
    • Consolidation of the supplier evaluation system (more commonly known as Vendor Rating), based on concise quantitative criteria to assess the quality and level of service offered, including the supplier’s performance in terms of health, safety, environment and social responsibility.

    Rational use of natural resources and energy: here the main results achieved are due to the progress made in optimising the production of high-quality compounds using the CCM (Continuous Compound Mixing) system, and also the progressive consolidation of tyre production with MIRSTM (Modular Integrated Robotized System).

    Sustainable management of Processes: The CCM process

    The CCM process for producing compounds uses a 100% computer-controlled pneumatic distribution system to transport the ingredients from their storage silos to the twin-screw extruders working continuously.

    The CCM technology was designed to manage the complexity of the process deriving from the large number of ingredients required to produce the compound. The computer-controlled management results in improved quality in the compound produced, and consequently in the finished tyre.

    dosatori gravimentri

    The “gravimetric feeders” feed in the ingredients.

    Via a specially-designed powder-capture and recycling system for solid materials, CCM technology has reduced dust levels in the production areas to extremely low levels. The CCM process also saves energy, enabling a reduction of approximately 20% in energy consumption per unit of product.

    Sustainable management of Processes: The MIRSTM

    MIRSTM is an integrated, modular robotic system for making tyres. It has a very high degree of flexibility due to its ability to optimise modularity and logistics.

    In the MIRSTM process, tyres are built around a heated drum which is tailor-made for a particular tyre model. The drum is continuously rotated by a robot under an extrusion device that distributes the rubber over the surface.

    MIRS

    Pirelli MIRSTM automated production system

    The drum rotation and compound feeding movements are coordinated to provide the correct distribution of materials to create the specific tyre model.

    This new robotic process means real improvements in the quality of the product, since the geometric distribution of rubber fibres is extremely consistent over the tyre model.

    Compared to the traditional, large-scale tyre-building systems with their exceptionally high production rates, designed for customers in different geographic locations, the MIRSTM is a compact production ‘island’, flexible and easily programmable for extremely rapid adaptation to the production of new models. This system represents a real improvement, in terms of both technology and logistics, as it can be easily located near the manufacturing process that it serves.

    End-of-life management of tyres

    A tyre end-of-life phase makes a small contribution to the overall environmental impact of the entire life-cycle of the tyre and, among the various final disposal options, burial in landfill is by far the least desirable in terms of environmental compatibility.

    For several years Pirelli Group has devoted considerable attention to research into the management of end-of-life tyres (ELTs), also in view of the Directive 1999/31/EC, which prohibits disposal in landfills of entire ELTs from 2003 onwards (and fragmented ELTs from July 2006).

    This research has identified several different recycling opportunities for end-of-life tyres, both in terms of recovering the raw materials that make up the tyres (“material recovery”) and in terms of recovering the tyre in the form of fuel with a high heat value (“energy recovery”), as a valid alternative to the use of fossil fuels.

    Thanks also to the commitment of Pirelli Labs a number of projects have been developed in the fields of tyre recycling and energy recovery.

    The activities in question focus on the recovery of materials, for example through “granulation” that, once the ‘fabric’ and ‘metal’ fractions are separated, provides a rubber granulate that may in turn be ground further to produce a finer powder.

    Schema di riciclaggio di un pneumatico

    Summary of environmental performance of tyre production

    The figures given in this section relate to the Production Units that manufacture tyres that come under the car, truck/agro and motorcycle business units.

    In line with the sustainability reports of the last five years, the following factors and their environmental indicators are examined:

    • Water consumption (expressed in m3/tonne finished product).
    • Energy consumption (expressed in GJ/tonne finished product).
    • Solvent consumption (expressed in kg/tonne finished product).
    • Waste production (expressed in kg/tonne finished product).
    • Equivalent emissions of CO2 and NOx (expressed in tonnes/tonne finished product and kg/tonne finished product respectively).
    • Presence of dielectric oils containing PCBs and/or PCTs (with concentrations higher than 50 ppm).
    • Presence of ozone depleting substances (in kg).

    SUMMARY OF ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE OF TYRE PRODUCTION

    2007*

    2006*

    2005

    2004

    2003

    Water specific consumption [m3/tonne FP]

    16.44

    17.08

    16.72

    18.60

    19.55

    Energy specific consumption [GJ/tonne FP]

    8.27

    8.11

    8.24

    9.19

    10.96

    Solvent specific consumption [kg/tonne FP]

    4.12

    4.27

    4.05

    3.40

    3.11

    Dieletric oils containing PCB / PCTs >50 ppm [Kg]

    7990

    7990

    11675

    15613

    21491

    Ozone depleting substances [kg]

    7694.0

    8856.9

    8587.7

    9730.9

    10445.3

    Specific hazardous waste [kg/tonne FP]

    8.19

    8.34

    7.51

    8.20

    7.12

    Specific non-hazardous waste [kg/tonne FP]

    94.42

    96.30

    93.39

    94.80

    90.29

    Waste recycled [% of total waste]

    73.3

    73.6

    68.8

    71.9

    60.6

    Specific CO2 emissions [tonne/tonne PF]

    0.72

    0.73

    0.73

    0.84

    0.95

    Specific NOx emissions [Kg/tonne PF]

    1.372

    1.373

    1.38

    1.68

    1.83

    (*) For the Yanzhou factory (People’s Republic of China), which is currently still in the expansion phase, only the parameters relating to energy and water consumption have been taken into consideration, with the data for 2006 recalculated taking this into account.

    As can be seen in the table above all the parameters have improved except for energy consumption. The setting up of new facilities contributed significantly to the increase in production figures, which rose from over 890,000 tonnes of tyres produced in 2006 to over 920,000 in 2007.

    Production of steel cord, hose wire and bead wire

    As mentioned in the introduction to the subsection on Pirelli Tyre S.p.A., 20% of the operational units in the Tyre Sector are managed by the “Steel Cord” business unit, for the manufacturing of steel cord, mainly used in the tyre manufacturing process.

    The five Operating Units managed by the Pirelli Tyre S.p.A.’s Steel Cord Business Unit are located in Brazil, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Romania.

    There are three types of final product from the steel cord technological cycle:

    • The actual steel cord, composed of several wires (drawn and brassed), used to strengthen the tyre structures.
    • A single brassed/drawn wire, used to strengthen the rubber tubes intended for high pressure use.
    • A drawn shaped zinced wire, used for strengthening the beads of truck tyres.

    The steel cord is used in the production of tyres and also for the making of semi-finished products known as metal fabrics. It constitutes the metal reinforcement for the “belt” (in all radial tyres) and for the carcass solely for the all steel truck tyres.

    The bead wire produced by the Steel Cord Business Unit (B.U.S.) is a product patented by Pirelli Tyre S.p.A. and makes up the metallic reinforcement of the truck tyre beads.

    The hose wire is a product used in the automotive sector and usually constitutes the metal reinforcement of the high pressure water hoses.

    For all these products, the raw material is a steel wire rod (high carbon steel) with an initial diameter of 5.5 mm.

    The production process

    The processing of steel wire rod may be broken done into the following phases:

    1. Stripping and preparation of the wire rod: removal of the flakes (surface iron oxide) formed during the hot-rolling process in the steelworks and of a deposition of a surface preparation salt.
    2. First drawing: the prepared wire rod is reduced in diameter via a cold deformation process known as drawing. The end products of this phase are divided into thick wires (diameter of 2.5 – 3 mm) and medium wires (diameter of 1 - 2 mm).
    3. Patenting for thick wires: the heat treatment required to restore the wire’s structure and prepare it for subsequent reduction by cold drawing. The heat treatment usually takes place in a furnace at a temperature of approximately 1,000°C, followed by cooling in molten lead at approximately 550°C.
    4. Second drawing for medium wires: a cold deformation process similar to that described in phase 2 above.
    5. Patenting and brassing (for medium wires and for wires produced by phase 4 above): In this phase, the patenting is similar to that described in phase 3, and the brassing process consists of depositing a very thin layer (2 ÷ 4 microns) of brass (with a zinc content of approximately 30%. This is necessary for the rubber compounds to adhere to the bead wires.
    6. Third drawing: required to obtain wires with diameters used in production (in general these diameters are around 0.25 mm). In this phase, both the wire and the die are immersed in lubricating baths made up of synthetic oils in water emulsion.
    7. Stranding: the wires are assembled into strands, numbering from 2 to 10, which may in turn be further assembled to make larger strands.
    8. Cording: assembly of single wires and strands to make cords of varying complexity, geometry and number of components, depending on their intended use (for car tyres, truck tyres etc).
    9. Testing and packaging: the product undergoes tests and checks, usually on statistical basis.
    Schema del processo produttivo della cordicella metallica

    The hose wire production cycle is essentially the same as the steel cord cycle, stopping at the third drawing, with a range of diameters from 0.30 to 0.80 mm.

    The production cycle for bead wire is also the same as the steel cord cycle, stopping at the first drawing performed using special shaped dies. The drawing is followed by a process of zinc deposition.

    Summary of the environmental performance of steel cord production

    The figures given in this section are for the five Production Units that manufacture steel cord and are managed by the Steel Cord business unit.

    In line with the Group’s previous environmental reports, the following factors and their environmental indicators for the last 5 years have also been considered for this business unit:

    Environmental targets of Pirelli Tyre

    The targets set for 2007 (a 3% reduction in water and energy consumption for the entire Tyre Sector) were only achieved for water consumption (-3.7%). For 2008, the same target of 3% has been set for energy consumption.