Keep Rollin’

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Roadstone Tyre is a Korea-based company which manufactures tyres for passenger cars, light truck and sport utility vehicles. Established in 1942, the first Korean tire company developed Korea’s first V-shaped directional tires and patented nano-technology. Roadstone Tyre continues to research and develop future tire technologies utilizing cutting-edge equipment to ensure safety, value and performance with an environmentally gentle approach.

On a recent dealer conference, we spoke to Sungbae Lee, Nexen’s Deputy G.Manager of the Quality Assurance Team, about Roadstone Tyre’s future tyre ideas.

Tell us, if you could create the perfect tyre, how would it look like?

It is not easy question. Ultimately, the features of ‘perfect tyre’ is to maximize the following basic functions of the tyres:
1. Support vehicle load
2. Transmit Traction and braking
3. Absorb road shocks
4. Change and maintain the direction of the car.

However, each performance has a trade-off relationship. For example, if the tyre increase stiffness for handling performance, it should be uncomfortable. If decreasing the Rolling resistance for fuel economy, the braking performance should relatively lower.

To overcome the trade-off performance, we are applying and developing new designs and materials.

Unidirectional, Asymmetric or Directional? What would be your design of choice?

Tyre tread patterns designed to meet driving conditions and maximize tyre performance. A symmetric tread pattern is the most common and it allow using multiple tyre rotation.

An asymmetric pattern is designed to meet the requirements of dry cornering and wet traction at the same time. So it usually adopted for the ultra-high performance tyres. The outboard side usually features larger tread ribs/blocks to increase cornering stability on dry roads by offering greater contact area. The inboard side usually features smaller independent tread blocks to aid wet and/or winter traction when driving straight ahead.

A directional (unidirectional) tread pattern is designed to roll in only one direction. It incorporates lateral grooves on both sides of the tyre’s centerline that point in the same direction and result in v-shaped tread blocks. These grooves enhance hydroplaning resistance at high speeds by pumping water more efficiently through the tread pattern.

What is the most common complaint about tyres?

First of all, ride complaints is most common. It caused by consumer sensitivity such as vibration and noise. Secondly, common complaint is external damages. Tyres are always touching the ground and move very fast so it can be damaged very easily.

What are some of the design challenges for tyres, like vehicle type, weight of vehicle, materials, construction, tread design?

To overcome the trade-off performance, there are many challenges for tyres recently. For example, the asymmetric pattern design is to increase dry handling and wet traction performance at the same time. The use of hybrid cords combines different material (like Aramid and Nylon) due to reduced rolling resistance and to improved durability at the same time. And we developed a polyurethane to equip the tyre’s inner surface to reduce tyre noise.

On average, how long will it take for a prototype tyre to reach production?

It depends on the development difficulties. Commonly, it takes one or two years for a concept tyre to reach the mass production stage. Our unwavering quality assurance is resulting in no product recalls – ever.

Is it true that tyres are designed around the most popular car in the target market?

Yes, we designed and tested for the most popular cars in the target markets. Comfort and tire performance directly correlate with a driver’s overall vehicle satisfaction. That is why Roadstone Tyre is part of a handful of manufacturers approved for OE fitments. Our quality and performance testing ensures the driver’s satisfaction with their tires, and are also likely to be satisfied with their vehicle!

Roadstone Tyres are represented in Singapore by YHI Singapore, for more information and range available, please visit www.yhiautomotive.com.sg.

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Always finding ways to keep his hands full, Krado loves to tinker with his car whenever he has the free time. Usually ends in tears or a multiple fluid facial.

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