UK Company Offering Tyre Scrubbing Technology
In motorsport, the scrubbing of tyres – running the tyres for a couple of laps and leaving them to cool and cure – is a fairly common practice used to improve dynamic performance, grip, tyre life and lap times. UK firm Tyre Technology Ltd. already supplies machinery that can replicate this process to motorsport teams. For the first time, however, the company is making its Black Frequency system available for rental to any interested party.
Managing director and company founder Stuart Hepworth believes the technology will appeal to fast-fit chains, independent garages and workshops, franchised new car dealerships, and specialist or luxury vehicle suppliers. “No matter how sophisticated a performance tyre is, when it comes out of the mould its molecular structure is never perfect,” Hepworth commented. “By using a specialised heat treatment, Black Frequency enables the microscopic, spaghetti-like molecular bonds to expand and join together.”
As Tyre Technology explains, when the tyre is allowed to cool and cure, these bonds lock together to give optimum performance. This is observed in, the company continues, improved handling, cornering, feel and ride, plus longer tyre life. The tyre’s appearance is not altered by the treatment; the reason for this, says Tyre Technology, because the tyre’s surface is only altered at a molecular level. The company reports that any tyre can be treated, and recommends £15 per tyre as an appropriate fee for the procedure.
The Black Frequency machine, Tyre Technology notes, is essentially a large powered roller with guides to hold up to four tyres at a time. An infrared emitter blasts the rotating tyre with targeted heat for up to 25 minutes. This is absorbed by the rubber through to its core. After cooling the tyres are left to cure for three days.
According to Hepworth, the technology used in the Black Frequency equipment has been proven over a period of time. “During October and November testing with respected tyre makers Giti and Dunlop was carried out at the MIRA circuit in Nuneaton, Warwickshire,” he commented. “Using a BMW M3 and a Jaguar XJ, we did back-to-back testing with treated and non-treated tyres. The results were conclusive and confirmed the Black Frequency benefits apply to road tyres just as they do to race ones.”
The company founder previously developed and patented microwave and infrared based alternatives to the electric blankets motorsport pit crews use to keep tyres warm. F1 teams Renault and McLaren tested and approved the systems, yet were subsequently unable to use them due to FIA regulations. Hepworth has also worked with numerous Le Mans 24 Hour Race teams, including recent winners Audi and Peugeot, on tyre heating technology.
“I believe there are many thousands of car enthusiasts across the UK who want the very best of everything for their vehicle,” Hepworth continued. “Black Frequency allows them to take good performance tyres and make them outstanding at minimal cost. This technology represents an excellent opportunity for garages and dealers to create a fresh revenue stream.”