January 14, 2002

New supercomputer simulates winter tire performance in snow

Mississauga, Ontario – Bridgestone Corporation has announced that it is now designing winter tires with computer simulation technology. The computer technology is used to analyse specific tread patterns in powering, stopping, and in turning a vehicle in slippery winter conditions.

Snow Simulation

Bridgestone began applying its supercomputer capabilities in 1999 to simulate tread performance and how water is dispersed to prevent hydroplaning. Tread patterns are an important factor in vehicle handling on snowy surfaces. Tire designers have long sought tools for visualizing the action of tires in motion on snow and ice. Bridgestone’s new technology provides those tools and furnishes a scientific basis for optimizing tread designs for winter driving.

The new technology simulates the action of the various tread patterns as they compact and grip snow. Tire designers can view a simulated tread pattern in motion on a snowy road, these simulations even allow for quantifying the shear forces that arise between the tread grooves and the snow. Bridgestone’s snow simulation technology reduces the need for expensive and time-consuming cycles of prototype fabrication and analysis in tire development. Of equal importance is the technology’s ability to simulate different kinds and amounts of snow, which helps achieve better all-around performance.

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