RAVENNA, Ohio—Smithers Rapra has upgraded the tread wear testing equipment at its Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna, expanding its ability to provide accurate and cost effective testing for passenger, light truck and commercial tires.
In a news release, the firm said that the upgraded machine can induce tread wear that reflects a combination of city and highway driving, while also developing custom drive profiles that would match a particular vehicle condition or course.
The firm also said it uses Starrett's Circumferential Tread Wear Imaging System (CTWIST) laser profilometer to gage tread loss throughout the test.
Standard reporting includes a full scan of the tread, and documentation of irregular wear, wear rate and average tread loss across a meridian.
"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," James Popio, Smithers Rapra vice president—North America, said in a statement. "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."
Indoor testing, according to Smithers Rapra, is more accurate when compared with road testing as all facets of the test can be controlled. Additionally, it allows researchers to conduct tests that would be cost prohibitive or difficult to perform on roadways.
Smithers Rapra operates laboratories in North America, Europe and China, providing testing services for the plastics and rubber industries.