Smithers Enhances Global Tire and Wheel Testing Capabilities Through Expansion of Suzhou, China Lab

AKRON, Ohio - Smithers Rapra, a world leader in rubber, plastics, and composites testing expertise, announced today that it has invested in expanded tire testing capabilities at  Smithers Rapra’s Tire and Wheel testing lab in Suzhou, China. The introduction of six new testing machines will improve the laboratory’s ability to serve clients in the global tire and wheel marketplace.

The new testing equipment gives the Suzhou lab a 35 percent boost in capacity and broadens testing capabilities by adding several key testing techniques, such as:

  • Cleated tire and wheel endurance testing
  • Wheel impact
  • Salt spray
  • Tire air permeation

“Since the opening of our Suzhou lab in 2012, we have strived to evolve and grow with our local clients to support them with world class testing technology and service,” said Nat Leonard, President, Smithers Rapra. “This lab expansion is the latest example of our strategy to grow in line with the kinds of testing our clients request of us. We will continue to invest in new technologies and capabilities to meet the needs of the global tire and wheel industry.”

In addition to the updates to Smithers’ Suzhou facility, the company expects to complete a building expansion and the introduction of a new Flat-Trac® CT Plus machine at the Smithers  Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna, Ohio   in 2018, in partnership with six tire companies who funded the investment. This expansion will enhance existing  force and moment capabilities with higher wheel torque and the ability to test a wider range of tire sizes. The opening of a new event center, new track surfaces, and two rental buildings at Smithers’  Winter Test Center in Brimley, Michigan are scheduled for early 2018 as well.

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. For more information about Smithers Rapra visit