Bridgestone Corp announced in late July 2017 that it will release a winter tire with noise reduction capability 31% higher than that of the previous model Sept 1, 2017.
Bridgestone aimed at improving "comprehensive" tire performance with the new product. In addition to the enhanced noise reduction capability, the company increased economic efficiency by improving abrasion resistance by 22% and on-ice braking capability by 10%.
The new product, "BLIZZAK VRX2," is the latest model of the "BLIZZAK" series, which Bridgestone has been selling since 1988. This is the first time in four years that the company has remodeled the product.
"It is becoming difficult to satisfy consumers with winter tires specialized in braking capability," said Keita Ide, vice president and officer, Consumer Tire Development, Bridgestone. "Consumer needs are shifting to noise reduction capability and abrasion resistance."
To respond to consumer needs, Bridgestone improved noise reduction capability, abrasion resistance and braking capability for the new winter tire. Especially, the company focused on noise reduction capability and improved it by 31%.
The key to the improvement of noise reduction capability is the changed shape of the tire groove on the supporting (grounding) surface. In general, the rubber of winter tires is softer than that of summer tires, reducing low- and middle-frequency-band (about 160-200Hz) noise.
On the other hand, winter tires generate a large amount of noise in the higher frequency band. It is because their transverse grooves (vertical to the tire rotation direction) are larger than those of summer tires.
22% higher abrasion resistance
This time, Bridgestone changed the size and arrangement of transverse tire grooves, which generate high-frequency-band noise, and succeeded in reducing road noise that makes passengers feel discomfort.
The company also improved abrasion resistance by 22%, compared with the previous model. The cause of tire (rubber) abrasion is slippage between tire and road surface.
Improved rigidity of grooved block
For the improvement of abrasion resistance and product life, it is important to improve the rigidity of the grooved block, which consists of grooves on the supporting surface, and the adhesion to the road surface. With the new product, Bridgestone succeeded in increasing rigidity in the rotation direction of the block and preventing tire slip.