AKRON (May 10, 2012)—Smithers Rapra has been chosen as the national tire alignment laboratory for the Tire Fuel Efficiency Consumer Information Program.
The Smithers Group operation was picked by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is in charge of the TFECIP. That program's mission is to educate consumers about the effect of tires on automobile fuel efficiency, safety and durability.
A required element of the program is a rating system for replacement tires, Smithers said. For fuel efficiency, TFECIP rates each tire's rolling resistance, or the force required to make the tire roll.
In March 2010, NHTSA issued a final rule specifying International Organization for Standardization specification 28580 as the test procedure used in rating tires for TFECIP. ISO 28580 requires the establishment of a reference laboratory and a reference test machine for quality control.
Smithers' lab and its rolling resistance machine will be used to “align” data from different testing labs and equipment that is submitted to NHTSA for TFECIP ratings to Smithers' data, using batches of predefined tires, the company said.
The contract is for two years.