Six of the top global tire manufacturers including Bridgestone Americas, Continental Tire, Cooper Tire & Rubber, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Hankook Tire, Michelin North America and independent, third party laboratory Smithers Rapra, announced today a testing partnership to introduce a new MTS Flat-Trac® CT Plus Tire Test System at the Smithers Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna, Ohio.
The addition of this new system will also require a building expansion at the Ravenna laboratory and the addition of several technical roles to support the partnership. The expansion is expected to be completed by July 2018.
The new tire testing system enhances existing capabilities at the Smithers Rapra tire testing laboratory by providing higher wheel torque, as well as increased longitudinal and lateral load limits, allowing for the testing of most passenger car and light truck tires on the market today. It is engineered to deliver accurate and repeatable measurements of tire force and moment properties under steady-state and dynamic conditions.
“The automotive market’s shift to larger vehicles has pulled through larger tire sizes with higher load requirements,” said Nat Leonard, President, Smithers Rapra. “This partnership, focused on enhanced testing technology, will provide each partner company with additional capabilities and capacity to support their research and development activities for larger tire sizes. The partnership will also sell excess capacity on the machine to non-partners. Smithers is proud to be a part of this advancement and excited to enhance our internal expertise while supporting the industry with new technology.”
Tire modeling requires a variety of force and moment data points and different load requirements to provide higher fidelity models. As the vehicle development process continues to depend on component modeling to meet validation and timing requirements, this new system will provide flexibility through its ability to test a wider range of tire sizes.
Smithers Rapra operates laboratories in North America, Europe and China, covering a wide variety of testing and consulting services from material chemistry and product durability testing, to tire, wheel and winter testing. Smithers’ global network of ISO 17025 accredited tire test laboratories perform a wide variety of SAE, ASTM, ISO, UNECE and EC tests supporting raw material suppliers, tire manufacturers and automotive OEMs.