Rubber USB-funded research continues on soy technology that can reduce the amount of petroleum-based oil used in tires and other rubber applications. Vulcanized Vegetable Oil (VVO) Also known as factice, VVO was originally developed as an extender and substitute material for more costly natural rubber. It can benefit ozone resistance, aging, and flow properties of rubber compounds. In natural rubber and styrene butadiene rubber compounds, soy-based VVO can delay of the onset of melt fracture, reduce extrudate swell, smooth extrudate surfaces, and improve dimensional stability. Functionalized and higher molecular weight modifications of soybean oil have been developed that provide significant property and processing improvements in rubber compounds. Applying selected polymerization methods using soybean oil can also create thermoplastic elastomers. Rubber Processing Oil Soybean oil has chemical and physical compatibility with the rubber matrix and provides expanded options for low and high temperature properties. It can be used as a process oil and as a polymer extender. tire-155499_640Improved mixing capabilities in the manufacturing process have been demonstrated, and rubber compounds made with soybean oil blend more easily with the silica used in building tire tread. This can improve plant efficiency and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Soybean oil has been functionalized to work as a reactive rubber processing oil.