Tyre manufacturer Falken has released a new design that could cut cabin noise levels by as much as four decibels and drive-by noise levels by up to 10 decibels.
The patented Silent Core technology was developed in collaboration with Falken’s parent company Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI). It uses a layer of ether-polyurethane foam applied to the inner surface of the tyre to damp vibrations and resonance in the air trapped within the carcass.
Left unabated, these vibrations travel up through the suspension and into the cabin, where they’re heard as the characteristic tyre drone. Advances in powertrain design and aerodynamics mean this is often now the single biggest contribution to cabin noise, so any form of attenuation is useful.
While Falken is not alone in using a foam core to damp these oscillations, the company’s successful patent application suggests its approach differs somewhat from other manufacturers. The construction is described as a ‘double-hump’ shape, which may contribute to the acoustic properties.
The manufacturing process is now said to be mature enough for series production and the Silent Core tyres are undergoing a pilot phase with a well-known automotive manufacturer. Falken reports that its testing to date has shown no adverse effects on performance or tyre life.
“Silent Core is a very simple yet extremely effective solution to the reduction of drive-by and cabin noise created by the tyre,” said Andreas Giese, product planning manager at Falken Tyre Europe. “We’ve received a significant amount of interest from automotive manufacturers about this new technology, which is cheaper and easier to implement than electronic technologies. Initial reports from the pilot test are positive and we’re looking forward to seeing the Silent Core technology progress.”