A lifetime of driving, but how much do you really know about car tyres?
Tyres have come a long way since they were first invented, and testing and development is something that never stops. Once a tyre is developed, road testing allows tyre manufacturers to evaluate the tyre quality. However, not all tests are equal. The tyre design and testing processes are complex and continually evolving in an attempt to make tyres as efficient, performance-specific, and safe as possible.
A skilled and experienced team is needed to complete the design and testing process. In the testing process, manufacturers test materials, compounds, reinforcements, and completed tyre designs. With large databases of material and performance information, computer modeling is used to accelerate the development process. Computers also help develop constructions and mold shapes to produce optimal tread curvature.
Designing tyres for various automobile applications centres around three major aspects:
- Geometry design for meeting specific target performance
- Aesthetic design for visual appeal
- Design for manufacturing and assembly
Engineers have four distinct elements to work with in tyre design:
- Tyre tread pattern
- Tyre contour
- Tyre construction
- Tyre compounds design sequences
These elements, along with the interaction between them, define overall tyre performance.
For manufacturers to create high quality tyres, testing on the road is crucial. Various factors must be considered when road testing as these will influence the test results:
- Condition of road surface
- Air pressure
- Car class
- Tyre size
- Driver skill
Tyres are put through some harsh conditions to make sure that they’re up to the right standards. For example, Pirelli has its own race track at its Volpiano test facility near Turin in Italy, where up to 600 tests per month can take place.
From wet grip tests and handling to hard braking exercises, the range of different tests covers all of the experiences you could ever have on the road – and then some.
In addition to the real-life tests, more than half a million computer simulations are performed every year just for dry performance P Zero tyres alone. This shows how everything is taken into account before fitting a new tyre on your car.
The tyre design & testing process is a science in itself, with all the major manufacturers investing millions of dollars into the design and testing process. The Tyre Design & Testing team must be creative, but also be able to practically test against design specifications.
Supa Quick are the tyre experts – visit your nearest store where you’ll find passenger, SUV, 4x4, and light commercial tyres. And remember, both Bridgestone and Firestone come with a free tyre damage guarantee.
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Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information.