Hankook Tire is now further expanding its tire portfolio within the successful SmartFlex line with two completely new treads, the SmartFlex AH51 for the steering axle and the SmartFlex DH51 for the driving axle.
“Hankook truck and bus tires have long been in the premium category globally and have therefore been used for some time now by many well-known and leading vehicle manufacturers as original equipment worldwide,” says Sanghoon Lee, President of Hankook Tire Europe. “As a company, we place a high value on the sustainability of our products, and therefore our newly developed smart treads fulfil our aspirations for ensuring sustainable and future-proof tires, and of course also in conjunction with significantly increased customer benefits.”
Like all modern Hankook truck tires, the two new treads can be regrooved thanks to the latest technologies and are of course retreadable. In addition, the Hankook SmartLife Premium casing, in combination with the Hankook Premium retreading, ensures an increase in tire life of up to 250 percent and thus an even further increase in resource conservation and cost efficiency.
“As a premium tire maker, the focus of our tire development is always on premium quality and long service life. In addition, permanent operational safety and achieving the highest possible performance are also decisive criteria,” explains Guy Heywood, Marketing Director Truck & Bus Tires at Hankook Tire Europe. “Intensive testing has shown that, compared to competitors in the premium category, both new SmartFlex products achieve significantly higher performance standards in the lifetime performance chapter, even when the tire are 2/3 worn, for example in terms of braking distance on wet roads as well as grip and safety in a wide range of road conditions.”
The base compound of both patterns of AH51 and DH51 was consistently designed for efficiency. The increase in the proportion of low-damping materials contributes significantly to the reduction of principle viscoelastic power loss throughout the tread, therefore less energy is lost, and fuel efficiency is improved. The sidewall compounds were also freshly developed for the new SmartFlex generation. Hankook developers have placed a considerable emphasis on significantly increased resistance to crack formation and material fatigue. Thus, the overall resistance of the SmartLife carcasses used on AH51 and DH51 has been further enhanced compared to the predecessor treads. The new DH51 tire also has a distinct feature in its notch-tough tread compounds, where special high-performance resins improve the resistance and durability by increasing the molecular weight of the polymers used, thus contributing to an overall higher mileage performance.
The wide tread blocks of the SmartFlex AH51, which can also be used as an all-position tire, are equipped with additional supports (T.W.E.S. – Tread Wear Equalised Stepper) in the outer grooves and significantly increase the tread stiffness in conjunction with its broad tire shoulder ribs. They ensure particularly even wear across the entire width of the tire. This results in further improvements in mileage and rolling resistance.
The SmartFlex DH51 has a wider contact patch than its predecessor, which increases traction while improving mileage and rolling resistance. Special sipes on the shoulder blocks, which naturally are under stress on drive axle tires, help to reduce cracking even during peak loads. In addition, they support tread drainage to further increase traction performance.