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Better Energy Use: Improving Tyre Energy Efficiency

Better Energy Use: Improving Tyre Energy Efficiency

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12/19/2011

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28
POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA
DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012
sacri
cing traction. Engineers aredesigning tyres that allow de
ection to the extent required to maintain tyrecontact when hitting road bumps, whileminimising deformation to decrease RRwhen driving on smooth roads.It has been found that tyres with greater tread depth generally have greater RRdue to the additional rubber and othermaterials. Although tyre makers couldoffer new products with reduced treaddepth, the bene
 t from RR decreasewould be offset by the need to replace tyres more frequently.Based on current projections the numberof cars on the planet is expected to go upfrom one to two billion in 20 years. Theenergy used by the transportation sectorwill double by 2050. An analysis by USNational Academy of Sciences says thenet energy usage by tyre would accountfor 5 to 7.4% of the total energy loss fora passenger vehicle with an internalcombustion engine. This highlights the importance of taking measures tominimise tyre energy losses.
Labelling advantage
Tyre ef 
ciency rating and labelling arean important
rst step in improving 
F
OCUS
BETTER ENERGY USE
Improving tyre energy ef
ciency could help reduce global fuelconsumption from passenger vehicles by as much as 5%. Thisis the major
nding of researchers at the Washington DC-based International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). EdPike and Anup Bandivadekar say ef
ciency could be achievedthrough better tyre management practices
esearchers at the Washington DC-based International Council on CleanTransportation (ICCT) say that tyres arean often-overlooked factor in passengervehicle energy use. They say that readilyachievable improvements in tyre energyef 
ciency could reduce global fuelconsumption from passenger vehicles byas much as 5%.Ed Pike and Anup Bandivadekar told
Polymers & Tyre Asia
in an interview that there are two pathways for reducing fuelconsumption through better managementof tyres. “By adopting a tyre ef 
ciencyrating and standards programme, the rolling resistance (RR) of all tyresin the
eet can be reduced by nearly15% over the next decade. This has apotential to reduce fuel consumptionof all vehicles on road by up to 3%.” Inaddition, implementation of tyre pressuremonitoring systems (TPMS) on all newvehicles can ensure that tyres stayin
ated at appropriate pressure.For a tyre in
ated to pressures between24 and 36 psi, each drop of 1 psi leads to a 1.4% increase in its RR therebyundermining fuel ef 
ciency. Variousestimates in the US and Europe indicate that somewhere between 25% and 50% of vehicles on road have under-in
ation of up to 25%. The widespread implementationof TPMS could contribute to immediateelimination of under-in
ation andreduction in fuel consumption by 1-2%.Unfortunately, vehicle users are not fullyaware of the advantages of proper tyrein
ation. “The global adoption of tyreef 
ciency standards, labelling as wellas TPMS will result in a net impact of 3-5% on fuel consumption,” Pike andBandivadekar said citing studies.The ICCT, which grew out of aninternational meeting of air qualityregulators and experts during a meeting in the Italian city of Bellagio, made manyground-breaking decisions on motorvehicle technology and transportationfuel. It was attended by specialists fromChina, the European Union, France,Germany and the United States.There was “unprecedented” consensusamong them on the principles of forward-thinking and progressive policieson transportation fuel use. What isinteresting is that the tyre energy gainscould be achieved through presentlyavailable technologies that could bequickly adopted.Reducing tyre under-in
ation, either viamanual pressure checks or pressurechecks induced by TPMS is not only alow-cost alternative to improve tyre energyef 
ciency, but properly in
ated tyres willalso improve the safety performance of allvehicles on the road.
RR improvement
RR occurs as tyres deform during rotation. The portion of the tyre that isdeformed is subjected to compression,bending, and shearing forces within therubber material that makes up the tyre.Studies by the US National ResearchCouncil have shown that improving theRR of replacement tyres by 10% will helpslash fuel consumption by 1-2%. Thereis no compromise on safety as it hasbeen included in all tyre RR labelling programmes and standards, which aredesigned to encourage improvement andprevention of future backsliding.Now technologies are available forimproved design and materials suchas silica, which can reduce RR without
PTA News Bureau
R

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