Toyo Tire announced it has developed its own “Mobility Aerodynamics” (aerodynamic simulation) technology through the application of aerodynamic flow simulations. The technology will be effective in designing tires that can further reduce fuel consumption and increase electric vehicle range.
Toyo Tire’s new “Mobility Aerodynamics” technology can predict the aerodynamic characteristics of tires and vehicles under rolling tire contact patch conditions. The company says they combine tire pattern designs and tire use conditions when a vehicle is in motion (primarily the load on the tires and the vehicle’s speed) with conditions of various wheel and vehicle shapes, after considering how tire shape deforms under those conditions.
By combining the various conditions, mobility aerodynamics will create an advantage for Toyo Tires when proposing ideas suited to achieving the aerodynamic characteristics required by vehicles developed by manufacturers for improved fuel consumption and extended range.
Complex tire, including individual tread patterns, were combined with those of actual vehicles and wheels. Tire deforms caused by differences in applied load, speed, running attitude angle and other factors were considered in order to develop techniques for aerodynamic characteristic simulations. The breakthrough represents an advance never seen in the industry before.
Importance of aerodynamic characteristics
Drag force is the resistance a vehicle is bound to be subjected to when it moves. Reducing that force can result in improving fuel efficiency. Under social pressure to raise environmental performance, automotive manufacturers are striving to develop new vehicle designs that result in better aerodynamic characteristics. Meanwhile, electric vehicle makers faced with the challenge of extending the per-charge range, so improving aerodynamic characteristics has become a significant aim for them as well.
The relationship between tires and aerodynamics
As they rotate, tires on a moving vehicle keep deforming their shape while supporting the load. A rotating object has an effect on the air around it, changing the flow fields. They generated around the tire have a direct effect on the vehicle’s aerodynamic characteristics. Minimizing this effect by optimizing a cross-sectional contour of a tire profile will reduce fuel consumption. To achieve this aim, it is necessary to analyze flow fields generated around rotating tires, and then develop ways to control that flow fields.