Products for Car / Van / 4x4

R&D LABS

OUR R&D LABS

WEAR TESTING INDOOR

How many miles does a tyre last and how does the tread behave over its lifetime? Does the tyre wear uniformly or unevenly? These are some of the questions answered by the staff of the “Wear Testing Indoor” test department, who have eleven drum test rigs to help them. Eight are suitable for car and motorbike tyres, while three larger ones can handle truck tyres. Industrial tyres for forklift trucks, airport vehicles or agricultural machinery can also have their wear characteristics tested.

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In the test rigs, the tread surfaces run on rotating drums which simulate a road surface.

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A maximum of six (car) tyres can be tested at the same time on the drums which can be up to three metres in diameter and weigh six metric tons. When the drums rotate at a specified speed, their mass and surface simulate the road surface and running speed.

These “artificial surfaces” are more abrasive than roads and so they accelerate the rate of wear in comparison with the real world. The drum surface has no unevenness, potholes or different road surfaces of the kind found on everyday roads, so the test conditions are ideal. The tyres tested in  Wear Testing Indoor cover an equivalent of some 20 million test kilometres per year or in other words the test rigs can model the entire annual distance covered by a car tyre in just ten days, achieving huge time and cost  benefits over outdoor testing on public roads or proving grounds.

A great variety of parameters such as load, tyre pressure, camber, etc. can be set for the individual test positions, so a wide range of different driving situations can be simulated, for instance to investigate behaviour at different camber values. A test run can last up to eight days for car tyres and as long as 14 days for truck tyres.

 

The test results clearly show how a tyre wears under different conditions and whether, for example, single/isolated tread blocks tend to suffer heel & toe wear or whether diagonal or spotty wear may occur.

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Depending on whether testing is being carried out on prototypes, specific tyres for individual vehicle models or random samples from ongoing production, the results are fed back to the relevant departments–product development, the OE department or quality management for ongoing tyre production. Other R&D departments, such as the Mixing Lab or Compound Testing Lab, are also involved.