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R&D LABS

OUR R&D LABS

DESTRUCTIVE TYRE ANALYSIS

As its name would suggest, the Destructive Tyre Analysis department takes the whole tyre to pieces to identify, analyse and evaluate faults in the casing, the sidewall or the overall tyre structure. Recent decades have seen the identification of over 1,000 different causes of tyre failure. Using pliers, wire cutters and saws, the  tyre is dismantled into its component parts and forensically investigated.

A fully standardised diagnostic procedure means that seven Continental sites around the world can carry out these investigations and also share their knowledge with one another.

Destructive_Tyre_Analysis


One common fault code is 549: “delamination between final ply and sidewall bead strip”. The analyst reached this conclusion not  by using the hightech X-ray scans or computerised tomography applied in non-destructive tyre analysis but instead by using the old-school methods of cutting, dismantling and manual assessment.

Long experience is absolutely key to identifying the correct fault among 1,000 possibilities, which means it takes two years for an analyst's fault-finding to become entirely dependable. It should make no difference whether the tyre has been analysed at Continental's fault-finding lab in Malaysia or at the Hanover-Stöcken site because the same high standards apply at all seven fault-finding locations around the world.

Destructive_Tyre_Analysis

In greatly simplified terms, fault-finding involves three steps. Firstly, an initial fault-finding investigation is carried out on the whole tyre and the location of  the fault, relative to the complete tyre, is recorded and then marked. In the second step, samples are taken for the structural investigation in a process which largely involves heavy physical work. It takes considerable force to peel off a tread with pliers. The same applies to removing the bead using a tool wryly known as the “can opener”. The tyre saws have their own dedicated  room. Stöcken is the only site to have a water-jet saw for cutting thin and planar sections. The fine particles of sand used in the water are recovered by a recycling system. Finally, the actual analysis leading to main and secondary findings is carried out in the fault-finding lab. The analysis also includes the precise measurement of dimensions. Up to six main findings plus up to six secondary findings are recorded per tyre.

 

Faults are classified on the basis of an annually updated catalogue containing some 1,000 fault codes.

 

In addition to truck, car and motorbike  tyres, faults are also continually being added for Commercial Specialty Tyres (CST) and retreads. The catalogue is growing in size because, in addition to  new product groups, it also has to take account of modifications in tyre construction.