FRANKFURT (Sept. 17, 2009)—First it was scented tires, then colored smoke. Now Kumho Tire Co. Ltd. is developing laser technology that it claims will allow it to cut tread patterns into tires using lasers.
“The new laser technology will allow us far more freedom at the design stage and the ability to experiment with any number of patterns and surface finishes,” said Roger Jenkins, managing director of Kumho's Birmingham, England-based European Technical Centre.
“In the future, the process could also provide production tires with a variety of short-term gains — such as special surfaces for use in motorsport or driving on low friction surfaces, etc.”
Kumho released the information and an illustration of a laser-cut tire in connection with the International Motor Show in Frankfurt.
Jenkins said Kumho intends to mold its tread patterns in the normal way, but then add features using the laser-cutting system.