Ravenna, Ohio — Polymer products testing company Smithers Rapra has upgraded the wheel-testing capabilities at its Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna to handle wheels with rim diameters up to 24 inches.
"Recent trends toward larger wheel sizes on SUVs and trucks have created a need for testing of larger diameter wheels," Jim Popio, vice president - North America, said.
"This new machine addresses the shift in the wheel market by accommodating 24-inch wheels and using more sophisticated data controls in product analysis for our clients."
The new equipment will allow Smithers Rapra to test wheels up to 24 x 13 inches with a machine load rating of 5,000 ft/lb., the firm said. A programmable logic controller computer manages the load and speed applied during testing periods, while monitoring the deflection.
Smithers Rapra did not identify the equipment supplier nor its investment in the equipment, which is designed to generate repeatable wheel testing to meet exact specifications.
Prior to this, the largest wheels Smithers could test were 17-inch rim diameter, the company said.
Tests conducted by Smithers can help OEMs and aftermarket manufacturers understand the life and performance of the wheel better, allowing them to assess their liability positions and warranty potential more accurately.
Smithers Rapra expanded the Ravenna center last year, adding 10,000 square feet of floor space to accommodate an MTS Flat-Trac CT Plus Tire Test System.