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Tire Design, Manufacturing and Performance Considerations. CIWMB Market Development and Sustainability Committee Sacramento, CA September 12, 2007. North America. RMA Tire Company Members. RMA Tire Company Representatives Here Today:. Presentation Outline. Tire Performance Overview

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Tire Design, Manufacturing and Performance Considerations

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tire design manufacturing and performance considerations

Tire Design, Manufacturing and Performance Considerations

CIWMB Market Development and Sustainability Committee

Sacramento, CASeptember 12, 2007

presentation outline
Presentation Outline
  • Tire Performance Overview
    • Mike Wischhusen, Michelin North America
  • Governmental Requirements
    • Dan Guiney, Yokohama Tire Corporation
  • Tires, Tire Tread Wear and Vehicle Fuel Economy
    • Sim Ford, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.
  • Recycled Content and New Tires
    • Don Amos, Continental Tire North America
  • Conclusions
    • Tracey Norberg, RMA

A round shape made from rubber

Is it that simple ?

The hidden side of the tire


Tread band and tread pattern

Separating rubber

Crown structure:

Nylon belt pliesSteel belt plies

Casing ply


Casing ply turn-up


Heel-shaped anchorage to the rim

Bead wire

Inner liner

The hidden side of the tire

A tire also contains hidden complexity


150 cm2

500 cm2

= 1 HAND


The tire: your only contact with the ground

At the steering wheel, the only thing linking you to the road is the tire.


Grip and road handling:










Obeying the driver's orders:



The tire pushes the water out towards the sides








The tire's tread dries the road.





The ribs in the tread pattern cut through the residual film of water.

Traction on Wet Surfaces


Axis of wheel direction

Axis of trajectory

Skid angle

Thrust of ground

Contact patch

Vehicle Handling

A tire under great stress:

- steering

- acceleration

- braking


The wear life span depends mainly on the rolling conditions


Rolling conditions

Number of cases in sample observed




Very gentle

WEAR = loss of tread depth as the mileage rises


20 000

40 000

60 000

80 000

Working in the long term


Working in the long term


60 miles per hour means 10 – 15 revolutions per second, or 20 to 30 deformations per second (20 – 30 Hz)


Constant improvements in comfort

Mechanical and acoustic comfort

Obstacle on the road: noise and vibrations

Measurement of noise when a vehicle passes


Constant improvements in comfort

Acoustic comfort

Rectilinear impact front: all the tread blocks across the width of the tire enter into contact with the ground at the same time.

Rolling direction

Tread blocks with irregular orientation


noise reduction

Tire with 3 patternsizes


Average Consumer

Rolling resistance

Rotational direction

Energy loss due to deformations


energy loss

energy loss

No energy loss




Reduce Rolling Resistance

Increase Traction

Rubber Compounds

rolling resistance and hysteresis
Rolling Resistance and Hysteresis

60 mph means 10-15 deformations per second, 10-15 Hz.

grip and hysteresis
Grip and Hysteresis

The surface deformation responsible for grip occurs at frequencies between 103 and 1010 Hz


RR, Grip and Hysteresis


Energy Dissipation

Rolling ResistanceRange

Grip Range






FREQUENCY Hz (log scale)


RR, Grip and Hysteresis


Energy Dissipation

Rolling ResistanceRange

Grip Range






FREQUENCY Hz (log scale)


Coefficient of rolling resistance in kg/t

Solid tires








First pneumatic tires

Car tires Truck tires Train wheels on track Metro tiresTires for Shell Eco Marathon

First steel belted tires

First radial tires

Green X

First metallic tires

Energy 3










Orders of magnitude in 2002 :

  • Tires for cars : 8,5 à 13 kg/t
  • Tires for trucks : 4,5 à 10 kg/t

- Tires for bicycles : 2,5 à 5 kg/t

Consuming less

Rolling resistance

u s government requirements
U.S. Government Requirements
  • Performance Standards
    • Passenger Tires – Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 109 – will be changing to 139 in September 2007
    • Commercial Tires – FMVSS 119 – also being revised; proposal expected soon
  • Tire Labeling – specifications for information on tire sidewall
u s government requirements30
U.S. Government Requirements
  • Consumer Information Requirements
    • Uniform Tire Quality Grading
      • Traction, Tread Wear, Temperature
    • Applies to same tires as AB 844
  • Early Warning Reporting – vehicle and component manufacturers required to report production, warranty and property damage claims, injuries and fatalities to NHTSA
compliance with us governmental requirements
Compliance with US Governmental Requirements
  • Compliance with federal requirements demonstrated through self-certification of product
  • NHTSA conducts compliance audits of sample of tires each year to assess compliance
  • Companies also self-report if compliance or defect issue is discovered with a particular tire
  • Companies conduct voluntary consumer satisfaction programs and mandatory recalls if necessary
tire testing grading
Tire Testing / Grading
  • Uniform Tire Quality Grade – 49 CFR §575.104
    • TreadwearComparative rating based on wear rate of the tire when tested under controlled conditions on a specified government test course.
    • TractionRated AA, A, B, C. Grades represent the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions on specified government test surfaces.
    • TemperatureRated A, B, C. Grades represent the tire’s resistance to the generation of heat and its ability to dissipate heat when tested under controlled conditions on a specified indoor laboratory test wheel.
international governmental requirements
International Governmental Requirements
  • Europe
  • Japan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Other Countries (India, China, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, Peru, etc.)
customer requirements
Customer Requirements
  • Tire industry must also meet exacting customer requirements
  • Original equipment (auto company) customers typically interested in low rolling resistance, ride, handling, noise, comfort
  • Replacement market customers interested in long tread life, traction and price
section 3 tires tire tread wear and vehicle fuel economy sim ford the goodyear tire rubber company

Section 3: Tires, Tire Tread Wear and Vehicle Fuel EconomySim FordThe Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

environmental considerations in the design process
Environmental Considerations in the Design Process
  • Tire materials content issues
  • Manufacturing emissions issues
  • Toxicity issues
  • Worker health and safety issues
  • Tire rolling resistance and vehicle fuel economy
  • Tread wear miles and scrap tire generation
california interests
California Interests
  • California Energy Commission addressing “tire efficiency” – tire rolling resistance and vehicle fuel economy
    • RMA is working closely with CEC on implementation of AB 844
  • CIWMB addressing scrap tire issues
    • RMA is committed to working with CIWMB on these issues
  • Tire rolling resistance and tire tread life are interrelated tire performance properties
  • Key is to balance interest in improving vehicle economy with interest in longer wearing tires, so as not to create unintended consequences
tire rolling resistance
Tire Rolling Resistance
  • Tire rolling resistance is the tire’s contribution to vehicle fuel economy
  • The lower the tire rolling resistance, the more fuel efficient the vehicle will be, all other things being equal
  • Tire rolling resistance is affected by:
    • Tire design and construction
    • Rubber compounds
    • Tire inflation pressure
    • Roadway surface
    • Vehicle alignment
rolling resistance trade offs
Rolling Resistance Trade-Offs

Improved compound and

construction technologies can

minimize performance trade-offs. Expect potential trade-offs in dry traction and wear.

rolling resistance impact on fuel consumption
Rolling Resistance Impact on Fuel Consumption

Fuel energy is dissipated in many ways, including rolling resistance:

A 10% improvement in rolling resistance

gives a 1-2% improvement in fuel economy

National Research Council, "Automotive Fuel Economy: How Far Should We Go?", 1992)

rolling resistance impact on fuel consumption41
Rolling Resistance Impact on Fuel Consumption

U.S. Department of Energy – “Energy Technology and Fuel Economy” - Typical energy losses in city driving.

rolling resistance impact on environment
Rolling Resistance Impact on Environment
  • Improved rolling resistance performance reduces vehicle fuel usage
    • 1-2% for every 10% improvement in tire rolling resistance
    • Poor tire inflation maintenance negates tire design benefits
  • Improved rolling resistance decreases tire wear life, so more tires are required for the same miles
    • More raw materials, more energy to produce and bring to market
    • Increased scrap tires
longer tread wear tires
Longer Tread Wear Tires
  • Tires can also be designed to optimize tread wear potential for longer-wearing tires
  • Tire tread life is affected by
    • tire design
    • tread compound
    • tire inflation
    • roadway surfaces
    • vehicle (size, aerodynamics, loads, alignment)
    • driver (aggressiveness, maintenance habits)
longer tire tread wear trade offs
Longer Tire Tread Wear Trade-Offs

Design trade-offs usually mean reduction in some characteristics to improve others

Tire wear improvements generally require reduced rolling resistance and traction


Average Tire Mileage 1980 - 2003

* excludes light truck and SUV fitments

Source: Consumer Panel of Vehicle Owning Households

longer life tires impact on environment
Longer Life Tires Impact on Environment
  • Improving tire tread life
    • Reduces number of scrap tires
    • Improves customer satisfaction
    • Reduces fuel economy
  • Reducing tire tread life
    • Increases materials and energy required to produce and bring tires to market
    • Increases number of scrap tires
    • Poor tire maintenance reduces tread life
tire inflation pressure an environmental issue
Tire Inflation Pressure – An Environmental Issue!
  • Vigilant tire inflation pressure maintenance improves vehicle fuel economy and prolongs tire tread life
    • Properly inflated tires have lower rolling resistance than when under inflated
    • Tires underinflated by 7 psi will achieve 1-2% reduction in vehicle fuel economy; effects are even greater with lower inflation pressures (TRB, 2006)
    • Under inflated tires achieve fewer tread miles due to uneven tread wear caused by the underinflation
nhtsa air pressure study
NHTSA Air Pressure Study
  • Independent study commissioned by NHTSA in

February 2001

    • Tire pressure measured on 11,530 vehicles
      • 6,442 passenger cars
      • 1,874 SUVs
      • 1,376 vans
      • 1,838 pickup trucks
  • Tire pressures measured ‘hot’
  • Survey of drivers
nhtsa air pressure study49
NHTSA Air Pressure Study
  • 3% of passenger cars and 6% of light truck vehicles have all four tires significantly underinflated
  • 27% of passenger cars and 33% of light trucks have at least one tire significantly underinflated
  • And these tires were measured ‘hot’!
national tire care and maintenance education program
National Tire Care and Maintenance Education Program

RMA Objective:

Educate consumers

about proper tire care and maintenance.

Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART
  • Pressure -- Check it every month
  • Alignment -- vehicle pulling to one side?
  • Rotation -- Every 5,000 – 8,000 miles
  • Tread -- Penny test

Benefits of Proper Tire Care

and Maintenance

  • Maximize safety
  • Improve fuel economy
  • Increase tire life
national tire safety week
National Tire Safety Week
  • Begun in 2002
  • Serves as tire industry rallying point to focus attention on tire care
  • Provides media opportunities to communicate messages
  • Last week in April
transportation research board trb report
Transportation Research Board (TRB) Report
  • “Tires and Passenger Vehicle Fuel Economy: Informing Consumers, Improving Performance,” April 2006
  • 12-member panel studied issues relating to tire rolling resistance, vehicle fuel economy, tread wear, tire inflation pressure and other related issues
  • Panel concluded that consumers should be provided with information about a tire’s contribution to vehicle fuel economy at point of sale and that vigilant tire inflation maintenance is important to achieve optimal fuel economy
  • RMA working to ensure implementation of TRB findings in Congress
new tire manufacturing
New Tire Manufacturing
  • Tires contain about 20 components, each with unique rubber compounds and chemicals
  • Tire is “built” and cured, or “vulcanized” with heat and pressure
    • Tire compounds bond to one another chemically and physically
    • Finished product is chemically distinct from uncured tire components and chemicals – not a sum of its parts
potential methods of using scrap tires in new tire manufacturing
Potential Methods of Using Scrap Tires in new Tire Manufacturing
  • Devulcanization
    • Breaking chemical bonds in cured tire material to create an “uncured” rubber material
    • Not technically or economically viable
  • Pyrolysis
    • Creating “raw materials” for tire manufacturing (pyrolytic char substitute for carbon black, oils)
    • Nor technically or economically viable
    • Inconsistent product without applications
  • Ground rubber
    • Focus of current recycled content use
current methods of using recycled content
Current Methods of Using Recycled Content
  • Ground rubber is the benchmark product
    • 30 mesh is threshold for tread
    • 80 mesh is threshold for carcass components
    • 140 mesh is required some applications
    • 200 mesh foreseen for high content
  • Pyrolytic char (limited)
ground rubber in new tires
Ground Rubber in New Tires
  • Recycled content is affected by:
    • Ground rubber particle size
    • Ground rubber content (natural rubber, carbon black, impurities)
    • Tire service requirements
ground rubber in new tires61
Ground Rubber in New Tires
  • Used primarily as a low-cost filler material
  • Curing materials and anti-degradent content impact mixing and curing
  • Reduced size improves performance but increases cost
    • typical crumb rubber is 40 mesh
  • Increased amounts of recycled material decreases properties and decreases life
  • More demanding tire applications (i.e., more heat buildup) can use less recycle content

Source: Gooodyear

* Phr is parts by weight per hundred parts of rubber in compound

** Lower figures indicate worse performance

Tread Compound Property Impacts from Ground Rubber Use

challenges with processing tires for ground rubber use in new tires
Challenges with Processing Tires for Ground Rubber Use in New Tires
  • Tire structure is composed of various rubber compounds, fabric reinforcement, and steel reinforcement
  • The structure is designed and manufactured to be resistant to break-down
  • Materials must be mechanically separated to be usable
  • Ground rubber plant is capital intense with a low margin product
  • Feed stock is inconsistent = product is inconsistent
continental recycled content study
Continental Recycled Content Study
  • P215/60R16 Continental Touring Contact AS
    • 15 major components
    • 14 rubber major separate rubber compounds
  • 2003 Experimentation
  • Regular Production: 4.60% 80m-WTGR (10% in Tread Cap)
  • Experimental Production: 13.6% 80m & 140m -WTGR (20% in Tread Cap)+ Pyro black (2.4% to 25% in various components)
continental recycled content study66
Continental Recycled Content Study
  • Study showed negative tire performance implications including
    • lower tread wear life
    • lower wet traction
    • longer wet stopping distance
    • lower snow traction
    • higher rolling resistance
  • Continental has discontinued this research project due to the unacceptability of the negative performance implications and the unavailability of acceptable source material
recycled content impact on environment
Recycled Content Impact on Environment
  • Increased recycle content in tires
    • Increases amount of crumb rubber used
    • Reduces tire durability, performance and tire life
    • Tire life decrease approximates recycled content on percentage basis (Continental study)
  • Tire manufacturers around the world recognize the need to balance tire safety, customer satisfaction, and environmental concerns
  • Tire manufacturers have dramatically improved tire performance, rolling resistance, and tire wear through extensive research and development
  • Tire manufacturers are dedicated to ensure safety and improve performance and environmental aspects of tires
thank you
Thank you!
  • Questions?
  • Comments?
  • Contact:

Tracey Norberg

Rubber Manufacturers Association