DURHAM, N.C. — Tire sensor and data management company Tyrata Inc. is claiming it has achieved repeatable results in tracking "millimeter-scale" changes in tread depth in a variety of OEM passenger tires using its IntelliTread treadwear sensors.
IntelliTread sensors use wireless signals to track changes in tread depth. When commercially available, the sensors will signal when it's time to replace tires or report information about uneven and often dangerous tire wear conditions.
Tyrata said it achieved its repeatable test using Hankook- and Firestone-brand tires. Sensors mounted to several sections from each tire produced predictable and repeatable responses when the tread was removed, 1 mm at a time.
Durham-based Tyrata claims this technology breakthrough will open up the development of production-level packaging and on-vehicle integration and testing as the company moves forward toward commercializing the IntelliTread technology.
"With these recent results, Tyrata has demonstrated significant progress in moving from our early bench-top technology demonstrations towards real-world application of our sensors inside of a tire," Tyrata CEO Jesko von Windheim said.
"By demonstrating reproducible measurements in various consumer tires, we've achieved a major milestone in the development of our technology. Our next goal is long-term, in-tire testing."
IntelliTread sensors determine tread depth using proprietary sensor and electronic technology mounted inside the tire, Tyrata said.
When a voltage is applied to the sensor, an electrical signal passes through the tire; as the rubber wears down, the signal changes. Sensor electronics use these signal changes to determine the tire's tread depth, which can then be transmitted wirelessly for further analytics and/or displayed to the consumer.
Tyrata, in collaboration with Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering and Nicholas School of the Environment, said its sensor technology uses carbon nanotubes (tiny cylinders of carbon atoms one-billionth of a meter in diameter) that can track millimeter-scale changes in tread depth with 99-percent accuracy.
The company's goal is to develop the technology to the point where the sensors will be able to signal when it's time to replace tires or reveal uneven tire wear conditions.
Among the company's backers is Dealer Tire L.L.C., the Cleveland, Ohio-based tire distributor, which agreed in February 2018 to provide an undisclosed amount of funding to the startup.
Organizations interested in collaboration opportunities or for tire evaluations may contact Luka Lojk at [email protected] or 704-593-8418.