The radial ply construction is inherently more suited to provide better traction and cornering capability than the older bias construction. Since it also provides a better wear resistance, some of this advantage is traded off to obtain still higher wet traction through a more open tread design. Compounds for high traction require high hysteresis, which in principle means a high rolling resistance. Since, however, the frequency range operative in adhesion friction is much higher than the one responsible for rolling resistance, compounding both for high adhesional friction and low rolling resistance is possible at least in principle, not by changes in glass transition temperature, but by changes in portions of the relaxation spectrum. A cap and base construction is a compromise which is used successfully today. Modern tread pattern design assists traction by sophisticated block and block/rib design combinations. This, in turn, allows more flexibility in compound formulation. By carefully balancing traction, wear, noise, and rolling resistance, modern tire design, both for passenger and commercial tires, has advanced substantially in all these criteria.

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