Products for Car / Van / 4x4

R&D LABS

HIGH-TECH PRODUCT TIRES

Tire Characteristics

The Characteristics Indoor department at Continental’s tire development unit is a DAkkS-accredited test laboratory. Its primary tasks include measuring and verifying dynamic rolling resistance in accordance with EU tire label guidelines. The EU tire label works in a similar way to the energy efficiency label for washing machines and refrigerators, assigning ratings from A to E for three tire characteristics: rolling resistance/fuel efficiency, wet grip and external noise. These label ratings are retested for each new generation of tires and every product size that becomes available.

Tyre Characteristics Icon

The Characteristics Indoor department at Continental’s tire development unit is a DAkkS-accredited test laboratory. 

All the way to the load limit

Around twenty test methods for car and truck tires are available for this purpose, analysing the forces produced during tire operation right up to the load limit. The methods include laser measurement, measurement of the distribution of forces on the tire during travel using pressure measurement plates, plus load, camber and toe angle testing (“force & moment”), and static tests to check dissipation characteristics for electrical charges which build up during travel.

Flat belt and drum test rigs

Dissipation resistance testing is particularly important for safety as a moving vehicle can build up a static charge during the journey. The tires provide a connection to the ground here, acting as a kind of earthing cable. If the tire has inadequate electrostatic charge dissipation characteristics due to its design, this could lead to uncontrolled static discharges. The highly complex “force & moment” tests with various load, camber and toe angle settings are particularly time-consuming and are carried out on a flat belt test rig. All the other test series are performed on drum test rigs.

 

The department also works together with manufacturers to develop test methods for new steering concepts, such as multi-link axles, or tests for self-driving vehicles.

Dissipation resistance testing
Dissipation resistance testing


„Flat Spot“-Test

The “flat spot” test is equally important for the end user. It provides an indication of possible out-of-roundness after being stationary for a prolonged period, as may happen with motorhome or camper van tires. This phenomenon can also occur after an extended period of high-speed motorway driving followed by a break. The hot tread cools while the vehicle is stationary causing the shape of the contact patch to change, after which the tire may feel “out-of-round” until it warms up again.

One of three in the world

The main customers of the Characteristics Indoor department are Continental’s internal R&D departments, which continuously commission material and structural testing at the same time as arranging quality tests for OE customers. The department also works together with manufacturers to develop test methods for new steering concepts, such as multi-link axles, or tests for self-driving vehicles. As well as the lab in Hanover-Stöcken, Continental has set up another facility of this kind at the Puchov tire plant in Slovakia and a third one in Uvalde, Texas (USA).

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