Tyres may be a key beneficiary of research conducted by a team of chemists from MIT and Duke University in the USA who claim to have discovered a “counterintuitive way to make polymers stronger.” The talk is not only of increasing tyre lifespan, but also of reducing microplastic emissions.
The ETRMA has spoken in support of the European Union’s (EU) goal of delivering cleaner mobility via its recently proposed Euro 7 emissions rules. However, the association which represents tyre manufacturers across Europe, also suggested that future rules on tyres should be based on “robust scientific evidence of their real-world impact on emissions”. Specifically, ETRMA supports the use of a UN-validated test method, which is currently being developed, to establish future EU tyre abrasion limits.
The European Commission published details of the new Euro 7 standards on 10 November 2022. According to the commission, Euro 7 will “ensure cleaner vehicles on our roads and improved air quality, protecting the health of our citizens and the environment.” The transport industry has become familiar with the increasingly demanding Euro series of standards over the years. Up till now, they have focused on vehicle exhaust emissions, something that tyres can only indirectly affect through reduced rolling resistance and its impact on fuel consumption and therefore emissions. This time round however, Euro 7 brings with it standards relating to particle emissions from tyres and brakes.
Yokohama Rubber and Alps Alpine have jointly developed a technology that automatically detects wear in car tyres. The tyre maker sees potential for this technology in self-driving vehicles and shared mobility fleets.
A joint project between Sumitomo Rubber Industries, parent company of Falken Tyre Europe, and Professor Hiroshi Tani of Japan’s Kansai University has resulted in the development of an innovative power generator for tyres. It generates electricity from the rotation of the tyre and uses this to power peripheral sensors installed within the tyre. In this way, the sensors can operate without the need for batteries.
ADAC’s tyre abrasion test, which examined the tyre abrasion particles produced by three summer and three winter tyres from 15 tyre manufacturers, gave Falken’s Azenis FK510 top marks in its 225/40 R18 test, helping the Sumitomo Rubber Industries global brand to fourth place overall. The test examined the tyre abrasion particles produced by three summer and three winter tyres from 15 tyre manufacturers. Andreas Giese, senior manager corporate planning/product planning, said that the result evinced Falken’s recent development work.
Comparative tests typically evaluate the way tyres perform day-to-day, and the wider environmental impact of tyre use doesn’t get much of a look-in. German motoring association ADAC is rectifying this by examining tyres’ contribution to the problem of microplastic emissions. It looked at almost 100 products in total.
Together with the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon in France, tyre maker Continental has received a grant worth 43 million core hours of supercomputer time. This grant comes through a Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) initiative and will speed up and expand the partners’ research into the decomposition of rubber polymers, a key aspect of the joint research they’ve conducted on tyre and road wear particles since 2014.
Hankook Tire will work together with Hyundai Motor and Kia to develop intelligent services for consumables management based on the three companies’ data and technologies. This collaboration will take place under a Memorandum of Understanding that the companies sealed through a virtual signing ceremony yesterday.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has announced the next evolution of Sensing Core, and says this latest update to its tyre sensing technology is “revolutionary”. In addition to tyre pressure, tyre load and load conditions, Sensing Core can now detect tyre wear.
Tyrata, Inc. has launched Tyrata.io, a cloud-based data portal for its IntelliTread tyre tread monitoring products. Tyrata.io works in combination with Tyrata’s Drive-Over System (DOS) to provide direct tyre measurement and real-time tread wear analysis for large vehicle fleets. According to the company, the solution has no hardware cost and is deployed within hours with no impact to current fleet operations.
An independent advisory committee to the UK Department of Health has found no compelling evidence that exposure to tyre and road wear particles poses a health risk at current UK concentrations. Based on a review of present scientific knowledge, the updated position statement recently published by the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) extends to all non-exhaust particles from road transport, including brake wear and road surface particulates.
The Tyre Collective – winners of the James Dyson Awards 2020 – have designed a device to capture tyre particulate at source. According to the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ “Air Quality: Brake, Tyre and Road Surface Wear” report, tyre-wear accounts for nearly half of road transport particulate emissions. Furthermore, a reported half a million tonnes of tyre particles are produced annually in Europe alone, from vehicles accelerating, braking and cornering. As we move towards electric vehicles in the future, exhaust emissions will reduce but tyre particles will continue. The Tyre Collective estimate that tyre emissions may even increase, as electric vehicles become heavier due to the added battery weight. For both reasons, this year’s UK national James Dyson Award winners attempt to address this issue.
The University of Plymouth published government-funded research into what happens to particles released from vehicle tyres back in May. This comparatively recent report – as far as academic research is concerned – was launched with no-small media fanfare amid claims that tyres “could be a significant and previously largely unrecorded source of microplastics in the marine environment”. Be that as it may, the research also highlighted a number of significant knowledge gaps in this field of research.
Since October 2018, four researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in the USA have worked together with Bridgestone to develop a means for vehicles to automatically measure tyre wear. The result of this collaboration is Osprey, a mmWave sensing system that reportedly can provide accurate measurements of tyre wear in real-time.