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.
Studies show the tyre/road abrasion caused by vehicles in motion contributes to microplastic and fine dust pollution, making this an issue our industry will increasingly have to consider in future. ZF Test Systems believes its new unit for testing tyre abrasion will enable tyre manufacturers to optimise their development programmes and offer cleaner tyres.
Emissions Analytics caused a stir last week when sharing news of its tyre wear pollution testing. It reported extraordinarily high levels of tyre wear pollution. The European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) has now responded with a statement that challenges Emissions Analytics’ testing procedure while keeping the door open to further dialogue on the subject of tyre and road wear particles (TRWP).
One effect of regulatory-driven decreases in vehicle emissions is that other kinds of pollution become comparatively higher. The contribution of tyres to overall transportation pollution has been scrutinised on a number of occasions, and opinions on the matter vary. Emissions Analytics now brings the issue of tyre pollution back to the table, flagging up that they’re much more polluting than car exhausts.
Michelin is teaming up with AS 24, the HGV service station network that fuel company Total runs in 28 countries across Europe, to launch a new automatic tyre inspection service – Fleet Diag 24. The partners will launch their diagnostic offer in March. The rollout begins in a small way, with Fleet Diag 24 initially offered at just three sites in France, however, we can expect to see it introduced at many more of the 986 AS 24 outlets in the UK and Europe.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. has developed a new technology that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to estimate the properties of the rubber used in its tyres and also detect the structural changes that occur during use. It calls this technology ‘Tyre Leap AI Analysis’.
Professor Richard Thompson OBE, who leads the International Marine Research Unit at the University of Plymouth, has questioned claims made by the Marine Conservation Society relating the role played by tyre wear in marine microplastic pollution.