Tokyo –Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd, has made new advances in tire aerodynamics technology that control the air flow around tires in motion.
According to a Yokohama press release on 15 Oct, the new technology could reduce vehicle aerodynamic drag and lift. Its application could lead to the development of new tires that raise fuel efficiency and increase vehicle safety.
The technology, it said, controls aerodynamic flow throughout the vehicle body by using a new fin shape and placement technique that puts fins at angles near the tire’s shoulder.
“The fins on the tire’s outer sidewall help to reduce vehicle aerodynamic drag when on the upper part of the tire during its rotation while suppressing vehicle aerodynamic lift when on the lower part of the tire,” the release explained.
As for the optimal placement of the fins, the Japanese tire-maker said it conducted a joint study with professor Shigeru Obayashi of Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University.
Yokohama has been focusing its research on aerodynamics technology on the reduction of vehicle air drag, including the use of aerodynamic simulation technology since 2010.
In December 2012, the company developed a technology for placing fin-shaped protuberances on the inner sidewall of the tire in a radial or spoke-like pattern to reduce the aerodynamic drag inside the wheel wells.