The combination of increasingly sophisticated laboratory test equipment and advanced modeling software is enabling design and development engineers to be more accurate in the prediction of tread wear based on indoor laboratory testing. Indoor tread wear testing eliminates the need for closed track or on-vehicle routes with a human driver, data can be collected more quickly and your product can get to market faster.
Indoor tread wear testing offers a number of additional benefits, including:
- Customized drive profiles for specific tire types, conditions, or applications
- Excellent tool for benchmarking studies against defined samples
- Reproduceable, high quality data sets to make tread compound and design decisions
Smithers laboratories can perform indoor tread wear testing to accurately determine and compare your tire wear rate to a reference. Our indoor tread wear machine can create simulated driving conditions for most PC/LT tire sizes with the following boundaries:
- Maximum load 1588 kg (3,500 lbs)
- Maximum lateral force 800 kg (1,800 lbs)
- Slip angle ±4.5°
- Camber angle ±3°
- Speed 120 km/h (75 mph)
It is capable of dynamic steering like in a vehicle and can be utilized for standard or customized analyses. Different tread wear drive cycles are used depending on the type of tires being tested, and criteria being tested. For passenger car and light truck tires, it is customary to use a combined CITY-HIGHWAY drive cycle that follows wear sequences resembling the ones presented by Smithers at the 178th Meeting of ACS Rubber Division held in October 2010.
- The HIGHWAY cycle follows constant radial load, lateral force, inflation pressure, and speed conditions.
- The CITY cycle normally includes constant frequency sinusoidal variation of radial force and steering angle at constant inflation, inclination, and speed.
A constant frequency lateral force variation has been used for special applications. Smithers can develop custom tread wear drive cycles on your request to suit different tire types and applications subjected to the limitations mentioned above.
At each tread wear level of interest, the global wear rate of the tire is evaluated by measuring the tire tread profile and the weight loss. Smithers uses a Bytewise CTWIST laser profilometer
for mapping the tire tread profile at different wear levels of interest. Smithers can perform advanced data analysis and develop customized special reports on your request.