Hankook reports “positive feedback” following e-cube truck tyre launch
Hankook reports that it has received “positive feedback from many blue chip fleets” following the introduction of the e-cube fuel efficiency orientated commercial vehicle tyre range. The e-cube, which was launched in the UK at the end of 2009, is designed to offer low rolling resistance, long mileage and good retreading capability. According to the company, the e-cube also boasts green credentials courtesy of “lower hazardous materials and low rolling noise.” Since its launch it has been trialled by many of the company’s customers and has successfully built a solid reputation for superior quality and value for money.
“In today’s market fleets are constantly looking to lower their transport costs. Hankook appreciates the emphasis placed on this and the need to invest in the development of quality products that also incorporate essential environmental credentials. This led to the introduction of the e-cube commercial vehicle tyre range which we are proud to report is proving popular amongst our customers,” said Tony Lee, managing director of Hankook UK.
The e-cube is available in a total of 13 dimensions, comprising of steer, drive and trailer axle fitments. Optimised for use in European long-haul transport, the e-cube tyres are available as AL10 e-cube (All Position Long Haul) for the steering axle and DL10 e-cube (Drive Axle Long Haul) for the drive axle, in each case in the sizes 295/80 R22.5, 315/80 R22.5, 315/70 R22.5, 295/60 R22.5 and 315/60 R22.5, with the AL10 e-cube additionally available in the size 385/55 R22.5. The TL10 e-cube (Trailer Long Haul) for trailers is available in the size 385/65 R22.5 and as a super-single trailer tyre in the size 445/45 R19.5 in 2012.
The e-cube concept forms part of Hankook’s global development philosophy of “Kontrol Technology”, which in the context of the truck sector, has resulted in the adoption of what the company calls UMS (Ultra Mileage & Safety). The UMS logo – stamped into the shoulder of the tyre – represents the mission of the company to very high economy, which in the opinion of Hankook Tire cannot be bought at the cost of concessions to safety. All three new profiles also show their application area clearly visible on the attractively designed side wall. The pictogram with the stylised motorway refers to the major optimisation for long-haul transport.
The AL10, DL10 and TL10 have been produced using new rubber compounds consistently designed for the application, which are specially tailored for use in international long-haul transport in Europe, and therefore aimed at applications with particularly high mileage. The tread compounds of the new e-cube generation use high-molecular weight rubber with specially long-chain molecules, which also demonstrate a lower tendency to branching and therefore display fewer free chain ends. This results in significantly cooler running tyres and notably increased mileage. The base tread compound for all three e-cube patterns has also been consistently designed for efficiency. The increase in the proportion of low hysteresis compounds now makes a major contribution to drastically reducing the viscoelastic loss performance necessarily induced in the tread rubber. Less energy is lost, thereby improving the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.
Furthermore, the company reports that the new and Hankook mixing system IMS (Innovative Mixing System) offers “much more even distribution of the carbon particles and rubber molecules within the compound.” In combination with the extension of the mixing times at reduced temperatures, this is said to result in a significant increase in the bonding rate between carbon and rubber molecules, so that e-cube tyres consequently generate less heat.
Innovative tread designs tailored to the relevant axle position also help to reduce the fuel consumption, without impairing the mileage or performance. The Stiffness Control Contour Theory (SCCT) design technology patented by Hankook in particular ensures greater stability and less movement in the tyre due to the even distribution of internal pressure. This results in radically improved durability of the carcass in comparison to previous profiles, and promises very good retreading capability and economy.
Results demonstrated by TÜV Nord tests
The effect of the technology used in the e-cube concept tyres is said to have been confirmed by comparison measurements carried out by the accredited and independent German testing Institute – TÜV Nord. According to these measurements, rolling resistance reductions of over 10 per cent have been achieved compared not only to relevant previous Hankook tyres, but also tyres from leading European competitors. This corresponds to fuel a saving of between half and one litre of fuel per 100 km. The second important criterion for economy is mileage which is also said to have been improved considerably. In fleet trials by international haulage companies, up to 15 per cent better results were achieved, again in comparison to the predecessors.
All e-cube tyres carry the S-mark (Sound-Mark) prescribed in the European Union from October 2009 for reduced road noise and therefore less noise pollution. Future and stricter European regulations planned for the year 2016 relating to rolling resistance and further noise reductions have already been taken into account in the development of all three tyre types. And what’s more their use as original equipment tyres is already said to be planned.