New Continental whitepaper gives insight into tire testing

New Continental whitepaper gives insight into tire testing

The Continental whitepaper also sheds light on the development and use of current test methods for the manufacturer.

Continental’s Tires Group Sector summarized what test procedures look like at Continental Tire in its new whitepaper “Tire Testing.” The company said the paper provides insights into the almost hundred-year history of tire testing at Continental and sheds light on the development and use of current test methods and provides an outlook on the future of testing.

“We cover around 25 million test kilometers with new tire models every year. That is the equivalent of going around the earth 625 times. Extensive testing is crucial to assessing the performance of our tires. And also to ensure high quality and safety,” Martin Welzhofer, head of global tire testing at Continental Tires, said.

In the whitepaper, a distinction is made between objective and subjective tire tests. Objective tire tests include laboratory tests, but also extensive braking tests on wet, icy, snowy and dry roads. Subjective tire tests are test drives to determine the road performance of the tires. Continental adds the tests are carried out by professional test drivers on its worldwide test tracks. The company tells us stability and handling of the vehicle with the respective tires are analyzed on different surfaces at differing times of the year, on straight sections, in curves and at high speeds.

This type of test also looks at the tire’s rolling noise, Continental said. Because even if the tire shows nothing unusual in automated tests under laboratory conditions, disturbing noises can occur that become noticeable only when driving. The whitepaper provides detailed insights into both types of tests and the influencing factors.

Thanks to digitalization, Continental said an increasing numbers of test procedures in the tire development process can be automated and virtualized. Continental laid a building block for automation back in 1968 with the first driverless test vehicle. Today, digital testing methods in particular play a major role in the company’s tire development, it said.

The driving simulator at the Contidrom test site near Hanover, Germany is the best example of this, according to Continental. The high-tech system is a driver-in-the-loop simulator (DIL), which calculates the exact driving dynamics parameters of the tire and the respective test vehicle. Thanks to its high level of movement, the company said its simulator can provide its test drivers with subjective driving impressions that are comparable to tire tests on a real test track.

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