Posted: Feb 18, 2015
Tyres have evolved a lot since the first tires were put on a car. The biggest development was probably the pneumatic tyre, but after that you have addition of winter tyres, studded tyres and unique thread patterns to ensure highest friction and ability to push away water from the road surface in order to avoid hydroplaning.
Most of the research of tyres today is either in different rubber compositions or the different patterns. The development of the thread structure has increased friction so much that today the non-studded winter tyres are quite close in performance as the studded tyres. Introduction of sipes, dimples, ribs, blocks and grooves into the pattern. This gives you the optimal combination of friction and performance on multiple surfaces. The big tyre manufacturers spend a lot of money in making changes in the patterns and testing them under severe conditions to obtain the most optimal pattern. Some low cost producers will instead just make a copy of the pattern. This might look the same, but it is not guaranteed that the right rubber composition or the exactness of the pattern is correctly copied. The easiest condition to handle is smooth black asphalt, then your slicks are perfect, but when you deviate from that condition there is a whole new ball game. Then you can add water, ice, snow, and cracks in the surface, gravel and other conditions into the mixture, conditions that can be quite common. During these conditions you need to rely that your tyres are in shape to handle it without jeopardizing the safety of the passengers in the car.
Also make sure that your tyre is well taken care of and have them checked a few times per year for potential damages to the pattern. You also need to check the tyre pressure as this affects the performance of the tyre and its contact with the road. In addition a faulty pressure can increase the roll resistance, which has a direct impact on fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. So choose wisely and you will stay safe and take care of your tyres and you will save money and the environment.
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