yokohama tyre aero tech

Yokohama Rubber has announced a groundbreaking advance in tyre aerodynamics technology, which it says could lead to the development of new tyres that will raise fuel efficiency as well as increase vehicle safety. The new development supposedly controls the air flow around tyres in motion, helping to reduce both vehicle aerodynamic drag and lift.

The latest advancement follows on aerodynamic technology the tyre maker came up with in 2012, where fin-shaped protuberances were placed on the inner sidewall of a tyre in a radial or spoke-like pattern to reduce the aerodynamic drag inside the wheel wells.

Now, things are moving a step further – the company says it has come up with a design to control aerodynamic flow throughout the vehicle body, accomplished by using a new fin shape and placement technique that places the fin protuberances at angles near a tyre’s shoulder.

yoko tyre aero tech flow

Aerodynamic flow patterns for a normal tyre (left) and for an aerodynamic tyre with new fin pattern

The fins on the tyre’s outer sidewall help to reduce vehicle aerodynamic drag (when on the upper part of the tyre during its rotation) and vehicle aerodynamic lift (when on the lower part of the tyre during its rotation).

Aerodynamic simulations at different parameter values were done on computer to determine the impact of changes and placement, and the current study has led to new knowledge about the optimal placement of fins on a tyre’s side surface to enhance its aerodynamic properties.

The company says that the latest breakthrough will enable more optimal placement and shaping of dimples and fins on road-going tyres for better performance in areas beyond raising fuel efficiency. The new aerodynamic tyre will be shown at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show later this month.