More than Blue Sky Thinking – Hankook Displays Concept Van Tyre
If Hankook Tire has its way, van drivers will not be excluded from a future that includes more environmentally friendly tyres. The Korean manufacturer has shown off its vision for a more fuel-efficient and lower rolling resistance van tyre at the IAA Commercial Vehicle show in Hannover, Germany. Hankook calls this prototype tyre Concept Blue and says it anticipates future trends starting at the tyre dimension 195/45 R 20. The tyre’s diameter of 700 mm is relatively large by comparison to its width, proportions that Hankook says yield a characteristically narrow yet high-profile silhouette that “fits perfectly with the overall image of electric and hybrid vehicles.” From a technical standpoint, the combination of a low air drag coefficient and low rolling resistance means that less energy is used. Hankook also points to the sidewall and shoulder area’s aerodynamic properties as two other design highlights.
Due to its large diameter the tyre’s contact area is of similar dimensions as a wide-base tyre, however the contact area itself is longitudinally oriented rather than laterally, as it is on a wide-base tyre. When combined with an especially high-grip tread compound, Hankook says this feature means that even with lower energy consumption, tyre performance does not suffer. Block design within the tread pattern was inspired by bamboo leaves, says Hankook, and the tyre maker states the pattern “wins users over with a flow-optimised negative tread component developed based on nature.” Another noticeable aesthetic feature is the light blue colour used for the base rubber; this is, Hankook reports, not intended to reflect the colour of water. It is instead symbolic of the “blue skies that will last into the future thanks to lower harmful emissions.”