Smithers has announced that it has upgraded its tread wear testing capabilities for passenger, light truck, and commercial vehicle tires at the Smithers Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna, Ohio.
The upgraded equipment and software can run a wide variety of drive profiles while supporting benchmarking and development requirements. Indoor tread wear testing provides a more controlled, consistent and efficient alternative to on road testing, in terms of characterizing how a tire will wear. Indoor testing can also provide researchers with the ability to run wear studies that would be difficult or cost-prohibitive to perform on roads.
"Our goal at Smithers is to provide our clients with the most expansive set of testing capabilities, while maintaining the most accurate results available in the marketplace," said James Popio, Vice President - North America, Smithers. "As tread development continues to grow in importance, the market has been interested in finding more controlled and efficient ways of testing tread wear characteristics. We're excited to be one of the only third party labs to provide this valuable service to tire companies and material suppliers moving forward."
Smithers' tread wear machine can rapidly and consistently induce tread wear with a combination of city and highway driving conditions. Custom drive profiles can be developed to match the particular conditions of a vehicle and course. A highly accurate CTWIST laser profilometer produced by Starrett is used to measure tread loss, usually at several mileage intervals during the test. Standard reporting includes a full scan of the tread, and documentation of irregular wear (e.g. heel-toe), wear rate and average tread loss across a meridian.