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Conti Expands Uvalde Test Site

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Continental Tire the Americas has inaugurated a new wet and dry test surface at its providing grounds in Uvalde, Texas. Work on the $3.5 million Vehicle Dynamics Area began last September and involved transporting more than 88,000 tons of material and over 700 truckloads of rock to the site.
A bird's-eye-view of CTA's Uvalde proving grounds
The end result is a 640,000-square-foot area that provides several test options to simulate real-world driving scenarios, safely allowing for tire and vehicle stability tests “at the limit.” The track surface is intended to reflect the average asphalt surfaces motorists encounter while simultaneously allowing a high degree of differentiation between different tires. The irrigation system installed for wet testing uniformly distributes water across the surface’s entire width and is adjustable from 1.3 to 2.8mm.

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The new facility was inaugurated by Thomas Neddenriep, Continental’s head of tire evaluation, PLT Tires. During the inauguration ceremony, Neddenriep stressed that “tire testing is simply not possible without the ability to conduct the testing under realistic conditions. We continue to rely on products that are tested at the highest level, offer maximum safety, driving pleasure and environmental consciousness. This continues to require that testing be conducted under conditions that best reflect the demands placed on the tire under real world conditions.”

The Texas testing location is important to Continental as it can perform year-round testing, independent of the uncertainties offered by Northern Germany’s weather. In addition to heavy use by other Continental divisions and the Automotive Industry, the Uvalde location is regularly frequented by automotive and tire journalists and is used by police and other local organizations for driver and safety training. The expansion ensures that all types of tire tests – with the exception of standard winter testing – can be performed in Uvalde. (Tyres & Accessories)

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