New courses now operational at Yokohama’s Asian proving ground
Expansion work on Yokohama Rubber’s ‘TireTestCenter of Asia’ is complete. The company reported on 16 December that a ceremony marking the conclusion of related construction was held at the site on 9 October. The expansion adds four new test courses – a 2.5-kilometre dry-test course and a 1.5-kilometre wet-test course for handling tests, a skid pad and a corner hydroplaning test road. Yokohama says the proving ground expansion enables it to conduct complete tests of its tyres’ handling and vibration performance.
The two handling test courses enable the testing of overall tyre performance and compatibility with specific vehicles under dry and wet road conditions, while the skid pad is used for testing tyre grip performance on wet roads. The corner hydroplaning road is used to test overall tyre and tread pattern water drainage performance.
The TireTestCenter of Asia opened in April 2009. The 1.69-million square metre site was initially equipped with a 4.1-kilometre high-speed track with a 1-kilometre straightaway for high-speed running tests of over 200 km/h, a multipurpose track covering approximately 100,000 square metres, a 4.2-kilometre course that encircles the high-speed course and reproduces general road conditions in Asia, and a rough road course for testing tyre durability. The 1 kilometre multipurpose track enables the testing of tyre performance during high-speed lane changes while driving in a slalom pattern. It also is equipped with a wet-test course and a special course that enables evaluation of ride comfort and noise generation.
Prior to the establishment of the Tire Test Center of Asia, Yokohama Rubber’s tyre testing mainly took place at two proving grounds in Japan – the D-PARC proving ground and the T-MARY winter tyre proving ground.