TREAD PATTERNS

The tread pattern decides many important properties of the tyre. Some being rolling resistance, directional stability, steering control, braking, acceleration, water dispersion and so on. Some tread patterns are discussed below. Typically, more the tread depth less the braking distance and more the fuel consumption as rolling resistance increases. Another important feature is the rolling resistance which is measured in terms of the energy the tyre consumes when it revolves and deflects. More rolling resistance meant more energy consumption and less rolling resistance meant reduction in wet grip performance. Replacement of some quantity of carbon black in the tread compound with silica has enabled reduction of rolling resistance, better winter performance and better wet skid properties all at the same time. As stated grip and rolling resistance are contradicting requirements to be satisfied. Technically speaking, grip deals with the distortion in the tyre at high frequencies – or in other words on the degree of unevenness on the road and the number of small stones it hits on the road. Good grip is given by rubber compounds which absorb high levels of energy (high hysteresis compounds). On the other hand, rolling resistance is affected by low frequency distortion – or in other words the deflection of the tyre as it revolves. Low rolling resistance needs compounds which absorb less energy (low hysteresis compounds). The genius behind adding silica is that by doing so tyre engineers have created a compound which has high hysteresis at high frequencies and low hysteresis at low frequencies. Rib treads – Tread patterns are in the form of parallel circumferential groove (Here, circumference denotes that of the tyre). The tyre has good lateral resistance so it has good directional stability and steering control. Rib pattern is good for sustained high speeds due to less resistance to forward motion (or less rolling resistance) and so less heat generation. But the tread pattern has poor acceleration and grip on wet roads. Used in paved road surfaces and bus or truck steer axles. Lug treads – Tread patterns are in the form of grooves perpendicular to the circumference of the tyre. The lug tread pattern has excellent braking power

industrial vehicles and dump trucks. Block treads – The pattern consists of independent blocks divided by circumferential and lateral grooves. Asymmetric tyres should always be placed the right way around. The circumferential rib treads in the centre give good directional control while the shoulder lug tread gives good braking and driving power. . Used in high-speed passenger car tyres. Block patterns give good steering control on snow covered and wet roads and water dispersal properties. Used on dirt roads. Used in high performance and motor sport tyres. The higher plane surface area on the outer side are better suited for high speed cornering due to greater contact area which also helps reduce tread wear. Used for both paved and dirt roads and as both rear and front wheels of trucks and buses. Asymmetric treads – These tread patterns try to optimize the opposing properties of dry grip and water dispersal. They give good traction and braking properties and have good stability on wet roads (which means good water dispersal). Must be mounted in the direction of tread pattern.and traction. rear wheels of buses. The tread pattern on the inner side has more grooves giving better grip on wet roads. Directional treads – This pattern is characterized by lateral grooves on both sides of the tyre pointing in the same direction. Rib-lug treads – This is a combination of rib and lug treads. Because of smaller tread blocks tyre wear is more. Has very high rolling resistance and is the main reason why it is not suitable for high speeds. They are designed to rotate in one direction only so that many properties get optimized. Used for winter tyres.