The interfacial phenomena between tread rubber compounds and rough surfaces are responsible for most of the behavior of a tire on the road. A new device was developed for the investigation of these phenomena in the laboratory. The device consists of a fully instrumented road wheel on which a simple geometry specimen is driven. The possibilities offered by this device are to perform tests at constant slip or at constant torque on both wet and dry surfaces, with complex cycles. The machine allows the measurement of slip, tangential forces, and temperature on the specimen, and computer software adds the possibility of applying Fourier analyses on force, road wheel speed, and specimen speed data. Other possibilities offered by the road wheel are to change the road surface, the load on the specimen, and the water rate. The description of a complete experiment is detailed in the paper showing the correlation of data with actual tire performances.

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