Toyo Tire takes tyre development to the next level

June 12, 2018

Mobility-AerodynamicsToyo Tire & Rubber Co. has developed a proprietary new technology for the simulation of tyre aerodynamics known as Mobility Aerodynamics that applies aerodynamic flow simulations. The technology will be effective for the company in designing “tyres having the excellent aerodynamic characteristics that are required to further reduce fuel consumption and increase electric vehicle range,” said the firm.

Based on various pattern designs from actual tyres, the technology combines these with driving conditions such as speed and tyre load as well as individual variables like wheel and body shapes.

The aerodynamic characteristics focus on the attributes of air forces (air resistance) and airflow exerted on a body when it moves through air.

By taking into account how a tyre’s shape will change under these conditions, the technology analyses and estimates the aerodynamics of a tyre and the vehicle under driving conditions. This, thus, allows the technology to simulate not only the tyre’s contact surface but also the air flow around the tyre and even that affecting the vehicle.

The company also says that a significant part is that by giving considerations to differences between actual tyre patterns, the technology allows for detailed analysis and predictions.

The simulations are then deemed to be highly accurate as they offer simulated wind tunnel results that can be used to match those from actual wind tunnel tests.

With this, Toyo Tires says it will be able to develop tyres with high aerodynamics. And using detailed information such individual tread patterms and actual vehicle and wheel shapes, and simulating factors like load, speed and angle and their effects on tyre’s contact area.

In 2014, the United Nations’ World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP29) adopted unified global technical rules for “measuring passenger vehicle fuel consumption and emissions. This globally standardised the measurement and testing procedures for automotive fuel consumption, emissions regulations and safety, which had until then differed by country or region. The WLTP, which mandates resistance assessments of individual motor vehicles, includes wind tunnel tests to determine tire air resistance as well, and this will have a direct bearing on regulated levels for tire aerodynamic characteristics. This means that efforts to improve flow fields around tires will be the focus of much attention.

In consideration of the, Toyo Tires says the new technology is of “being able to demonstrate in more concrete terms how to raise aerodynamic characteristics to their optimum level” and provides a “advantage for our company through this type of tyre development”.

The company has developed numerical simulations methods “using supercomputers for tire analysis”, and its tyre designers are using these methods to design products for the market. Through application of its own “T-mode” Design Technology, which combines tyre analysis with driving simulations, it has been able to significantly shorten design time and achieve high precision design.

Its newly developed Mobility Aerodynamics technology represents T-mode advances that have permitted the establishment of approaches in areas unattainable by previous research.

And so, through the use of various numerical simulations methods to quantify motion and conditions affected by the aerodynamics of actually running vehicles — such as “how tyre shape deforms due to load and driving conditions”, “how tyre rotation is affected by discontinuous tyre patterns”, and “how flow fields are impacted by tyre-road contact conditions” — and by combining these various factors, Toyo Tire says it has been able to simulate and visualise flow fields around tyres and moving vehicles.

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