AKRON—Testing firm Smithers Rapra has completed a realignment of its tire and wheel testing laboratory in Ravenna, Ohio, that will bring it in line for global tire rolling resistance standards.
The company said the effort qualifies the laboratory for the measurement of tire rolling resistance with the Global Network of Reference Laboratories defined in No1222/2009.
The correlation extends Smithers Rapra's capabilities as an independent tire test facility for United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulation No. 117, which the company said provides requirements for maximum tire rolling sound emissions, minimum wet grip performance and the maximum rolling resistance for tires that are imported into the European market.
“Expanding our ability to test to the R117 standards at our U.S. lab provides our global customers with a network of certified Smithers Rapra laboratories to test their tires,” said James A. Popio, vice president and general manager of Smithers Rapra.
He noted that the company's testing laboratories in Ravenna and Suzhou, China, can now service customers that manufacture tires for the European market.
The fully correlated Smithers Rapra Tire and Wheel Test Laboratory now allows European approval authorities' and their clients to state rolling resistance data for European type approval, conformity of production (CoP), and the EU labeling requirements that are increasingly being adopted globally. Testing to the R117 standard can be performed on C1 (passenger car) and C2 (light truck) tires, Smithers said. Tires that meet the ECE R117 standard are clearly labeled with a sticker to make consumers aware of key tire performance characteristics so they can make informed purchase decisions.
R117 corresponds to the ISO 28580 specification that is commonly used for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay verification, which is used to qualify truck tires for fuel efficiency used by fleets.
Smithers said its 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 OEMs.
Smithers Rapra provides rubber and plastic testing services to support a wide range of industry sectors including tire, automotive, polymer products, oil and gas, medical device, pharmaceutical, transport, packaging, industrial and consumer products.
Akron-based Smithers Group includes Smithers Apex, Smithers Avanza, Smithers Pira, Smithers Quality Assessments, Smithers Rapra and Smithers Visicient, with each company providing technology-based services focused on a defined market.