Streamlining tyre design

Bridgestone Corporation announced today that it has begun using computer technology for simulating tyre performance on nearly any kind of road surface.

The new technology, dubbed Comprehensive Road Surroundings Simulation (CROSS), reportedly promises to raise efficiency in developing optimal tread patterns. It allows for the simulation of tyre behaviour on unpaved and-off road surfaces in all weather conditions.

CROSS is said to incorporate a breakthrough in analysing terramechanics, which is the behaviour of soil under loads. Bridgestone uses a supercomputer to predict the movement and response of soil as it is compacted under a rolling tyre.

Bridgestone says that this will streamline work in optimising tread patterns on tyres for four-wheel-drive vehicles, earthmoving equipment, agricultural machinery, all-terrain vehicles, and other vehicles that operate on unpaved surfaces.

Off-the-road settings present a vast range of surfaces for vehicles to negotiate, from hard stone in mine pits to soft mud in fields. Tyre manufacturers have needed to rely on repeated field testing to evaluate the performance of different tread patterns on those surfaces.

The new simulation technology of CROSS is said to significantly reduce the amount of field-testing required in tyre development, and it also lets engineers simulate a greater range of surfaces than would be available for field-testing.