Smithers upgrades tread wear testing facilities

Smithers Rapra has enchanced its tread wear testing capabilities for passenger, light truck and commercial vehicle tyres at its test centre in Ravenna, Ohio, USA. According to the company, the upgraded equipment and software can run a wide variety of drive profiles while supporting benchmarking and development requirements.

Indoor tread wear testing provides a more controlled, consistent and cost efficient alternative to road testing, Smithers Rapra said.

James Popio, vice president of North America for Smithers Rapra, commented: “Our goal at Smithers is to provide our clients with the most expansive set of testing capabilities, while maintaining the most accurate results available in the marketplace. As tread development continues to grow in importance, the market has been interested in finding more controlled and efficient ways of testing tread wear characteristics. We’re excited to be one of the only third-party labs to provide this valuable service to tire companies and material suppliers moving forward.”

Smithers said its tread wear machine can induce tread wear with a combination of city and highway driving conditions and custom drive profiles. The company uses a CTWIST laser profilometer to measure tread loss.

Standard reporting includes a full scan of the tread, and documentation of irregular wear (e.g. heeltoe), wear rate and average tread loss across a meridian.

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