A laboratory test method has been developed which allows the evaluation of diverse properties of tire tread compounds on the same sample. The laboratory test instrument consists of a rotating abrasive disk against which a rubber sample wheel runs under a given load, slip angle and speed. All three force components acting on the wheel during the tests are recorded. By changing the variable values over a wide range practically all severities encountered in tire wear are covered. The well-known fact that compound ratings depend on the road testing conditions is verified. Most compounds are only significantly distinguishable against a control over a limited range of testing conditions. Using a road test simulation computer program based on the laboratory data shows that not only ratings correspond to practical experience but also calculated absolute tire life times do. Tests on surfaces of different coarseness and sharpness indicate that sharp coarse surfaces give the best results with road tests, which of necessity are mostly carried out on public roads of differing constitution. The abrasive surface can be wetted with water at different temperatures and hence either the friction force at a locked wheel or the side force at a slipping wheel can be measured over a wide range of temperatures and speeds. At small slip angles the side force is dominated by dynamic cornering stiffness of the compound, at large slip angles by the friction coefficient. In this case, too, good correlations to road experience exist over a limited range of testing conditions. Low water temperatures and low slip speed settings in the laboratory produce side force ratings, which correlate closely with ABS braking on the road High and higher slip speeds give ratings in close agreement with locked wheel braking on the road. A heatable/coolable disk enables traction measurements on ice and newly abrasion measurements on surfaces at elevated surface temperature. Ice surface temperatures between −5 °C and −25 °C are possible. Friction measurements show that the difference in compound rating between summer and winter compounds is maintained over the whole temperature range. New investigations show not only a differentiation between different winter tire treads qualities but also an excellent correlation between tire and laboratory results. As a new topic side force measurements on dry surfaces highlight the correlation to dry handling of tires. The tire tread compound contributes to this performance through its shear stiffness and its friction coefficient. The shear stiffness contributes to the response of the tire in directional changes. The friction coefficient determines the maximum force, which can be transmitted. A simple operation possibility for evaluation of determined side forces is demonstrated. In addition to antecedent investigations the rolling resistance of the rubber wheel can be measured over a range of loads and speeds with the slip angle set at zero. Again for these new results good correlations are achieved with practical experience. In particular, the dependence of the rolling resistance on the velocity and loads are pointed out. Ultimately a good correlation between tire test and laboratory test results was demonstrated.

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