Tyre Talk Column: Fabulously fishy rubber implants

Ray Pantling, owner of Tyres Direct in Bletchley, explains how tyre companies have branched out to help dolphins, sea turtles and rhinos.

Did you hear about the dolphin who had a fin replacement?

In November 2004, Bridgestone constructed a rubber fin for a dolphin that had three-quarters of her tail
amputated in 2002. The tyre maker used the same material it uses for its Formula One race tyres to construct the fin, which cost about $95,000 to create.

The dolphin, named Fuji, was able to jump and swim faster once she was fitted with her new rubber appendage.

How about a flipper replacement for a sea turtle?

Goodyear also designed a fabric-reinforced rubber flipper for a 350-pound sea turtle using a conveyor-belt rubber compound.

Recycled Goodyear conveyor belts are currently used to cushion floors in livestock stalls, according to
the company.

And finally, another lovely story. How about a carpet of tyre rubber for a rhino?

Goodyear Tyres installed a 48-inch-wide, cushioned, steel-reinforced conveyor belt# in a rhinoceros’ stall at a zoo in Buffalo, N.Y.

The 4,700-pound rhino, named Henry, had been suffering from sore hooves and was due for surgery.

The Flexsteel belt, originally designed for coal transport, helped to cushion the concrete surface of the
stall and relieve some of Henry’s pain.

Zoo veterinarians asked Goodyear to help Henry, whose hooves had developed scar tissue due to his weight.

You can find Ray at Tyres Direct, Unit 51, Barton Road, Water Eaton Industrial Estate, Bletchley, MK2 3BN. For more information follow @TyresDirectBletch on Facebook or visit the website http://www.bletchleytyres.co.uk

This feature was published in the August 2020 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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