This article investigates tyre manufacturers' claims to have built tyres with 20% less resistance to motion, saving drivers up to 5% of their petrol costs. Rolling resistance arises because tyres deform as they roll along the road, and this requires energy. The two main types of tyre deformation are: (1) flattening of the tyre tread against the road; and (2) minute indentations in the tyre caused by tiny irregularities in the road. Tyre manufacturers face the challenge of reducing rolling resistance in the tyre material, without reducing the tyre's grip on the road; both these qualities are linked to high viscoelasticity. It is possible to do this by making different parts of the tyre from different materials. Polymer chains, mixed with silica instead of carbon, form a material that is elastic at the low frequencies of tyre rotation, but viscoelastic at the high frequencies produced by skids. Such a material was developed by Rhone-Poulenc in France and released to tyre manufacturers, but it is liable to static, which can cause a fire hazard, because silica does not conduct electricity. Ways have been found to make these tyres more conductive, and, eventually, there should be tyres with even lower rolling resistance.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    IPC Magazine Limited

    King's Reach Tower, Stamford Street
    London SE1 9LS,   England 
  • Authors:
    • MULLINS, J
  • Publication Date: 1995-5-27


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 31-3
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 146
    • Issue Number: 1979
    • ISSN: 0262-4079

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00712359
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 24 1995 12:00AM