Ostersund, Sweden — Continental AG is developing a rubber-coated tire stud that it claims can deliver greater ice grip while reducing the negative impact on dry road surfaces.
Conti claims the rubberised spike — which could be market-ready within three years — can deliver up to 7% greater grip on ice while reducing road wear by as much as 20% and cutting down on noise generated by a spiked tire.
Developed by Conti engineers in-house, the rubberised stud features a flexible rubber body moulded around the metallic spike, a design element that Conti claims allows the spike to penetrate the ice deeper than a stud without the rubber shielding.
This in turn generates higher forces and added grip, as does the rubber-on-ice contact.
Conti's work on this and other stud design improvements of the last few years was aided by its 2008 acquisition of Tikka Spikes Oy, a Tikkakoski, Finland-based producer of tire studs, a company spokesman said.
Conti discussed this development at its recent "Vision Zero goes North" TechnikForum in Ostersund, where it also unveiled a pair of winter tires developed for the 2018-19 winter season — the Winter Contact TS 860 S and Viking Contact 7, neither of which is slated for sale in North America.
Nokians claims its new stud concept helps to optimise braking, acceleration and cornering on icy and snowy roads.
The new spike design comes on the heels of the disclosure last year by Nokian Tyres PLC of a "functional stud concept" that plays a key role in the company's newest Hakkapeliitta winter tire range.
The new stud concept, which involves "dedicated, tailored" studs for the centre and shoulder areas of the tread surface, helps to optimize braking, acceleration and cornering on icy and snowy roads, Nokian claims.
Juha Pirhonen, vice president of research and development for Nokian Tyres, said the new stud concept balances "longitudinal and lateral grip with eco-friendliness" thus allowing drivers to remain safe even if the weather and grip level change suddenly.
The studs in the centre area feature a bevelled body and a wider pin, which allows them to penetrate deeper into the ice than before, resulting in improved braking grip and lateral grip, Pirhonen said.
The studs on the shoulder areas feature a triaxial hard metal pin designed to withstand lateral forces, he said. When cornering in a vehicle, the grip edge of the stud will always encounter a maximal section of the driving surface, enhancing lateral grip.