Goodyear and Sandia National Laboratories, the high-tech lab operated for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, have marked 25 years working together to create more advanced computational mechanics used in the development of high quality vehicle tires this month.
“You might wonder how national defense systems relate to tire engineering,” said Susan Seestrom, Sandia’s chief research officer. “But a tire is a complex system – one of the most formidable challenges in computational mechanics – and that’s something Sandia knows well.”
The joint work allows Sandia to enhance its software toolkits and improve its capabilities for mission applications while simultaneously addressing Goodyear’s proprietary challenges.
“It is remarkably complicated to model and simulate tire performance, let alone under varying temperature, pressure and wear conditions,” said Chris Helsel, Goodyear’s chief technology officer. “Our computational work with Sandia is a continuous source of competitive advantage for Goodyear, helping us design and deliver high-performance products and services in a digital economy.”
The company credits its work with Sandia for reducing new product development times, improving manufacturing methods, and lowering both technical and operational costs, all contributing to a competitive advantage in a complex industry.
Sandia and Goodyear signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) in 1993, back when technology transfer from the national labs was in its nascent heyday.
A wide range of lab technologies have played a role in the Sandia-Goodyear CRADA, including advanced computational mechanics, sophisticated geometry and meshing, computational simulation and verification, structural and tire dynamics, and much more.