Kumho laser-etched tread. Click image to enlarge
Frankfurt, Germany – Kumho has exhibited a brand-new laser etching process at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which it said is set to transform the way the company designs its tread patterns.
Mass production tread patterns can be a compromise between functional and aesthetic properties, and in the future, Kumho plans to design its treads in two stages.
The functional requirements, free of compromise, will be moulded in the normal way. Any additional attributes or design features will then be etched onto the surface as required.
“The new laser technology will allow us far more freedom at the design stage and the ability to experiment with any number of patterns and surface finishes,” said Roger Jenkins, managing director of Kumho’s European Technical Centre. “In the future, the process could also provide production tires with a variety of short-term gains, such as special surfaces for use in motorsport or driving on low-friction surfaces.”