Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. is working to improve tire aerodynamics technology which controls the air flow around tires in motion. The tire maker says its latest research has resulted in advances in reducing drag and lift, which ultimately could lead to the development of tires with better fuel efficiency and safety characteristics.
The most recent advances follow Yokohama Rubber's rolling resistance research. Since 2010 the company has used aerodynamic simulation technology, and in December 2012, Yokohama Rubber developed a technology for placing fin-shaped protuberances on the inner sidewall of the tire in a radial or spoke-like pattern to reduce the aerodynamic drag inside the wheel wells.
The tire manufacturer also conducted a large-scale parameter study in collaboration with a team led by Professor Shigeru Obayashi of Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University. This study led to new knowledge about the optimal placement of fins on the tire surface in order to enhance tire aerodynamics.