Dunlop SP WinterSport 3D grips with '3D sipes'

Oct. 17, 2006

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s Dunlop brand SP WinterSport 3D winter performance tire features "3D sipes," knife-edge-thin grooves cut into the tread elements to enhance grip for performance and ultra-performance sports cars, according to Tony Freund, segment marketing manager for Dunlop North America.

The new directional tire has the company's Active Traction Sipe System which incorporates three types of sipes, each designed for changing weather conditions. It also has a new-generation, silica-rich winter tread compound, he said.

At lower speeds, the 3D sipes in the shoulder area open up, providing more biting edges for gripping traction in snow and icy conditions. At higher speeds or under higher loads, these same sipes lock together and close up for shoulder rigidity, creating a solid footprint for excellent handling on dry roads, he said.

The central block -- with its pulling sipe design -- helps provide traction and braking on ice and snow, he added. In the intermediate blocks, high-amplitude sipes help deliver enhanced lateral stability and control in wet and slushy conditions, he said.

Ben Hyder, customer contact engineer for Dunlop, said the SP WinterSport 3D also features Dunlop's Multi Radius Tread (MRT) technology, which appears in its SP Sport Maxx ultra-performance tire and in race tires used in the German Touring Car Championship race series.

MRT technology delivers even pressure across the tire's footprint and a larger contact patch to help provide optimum dry handling capabilities. Improved pressure distribution across the footprint also facilitates a smooth transition from straight driving through all stages of cornering, Hyder said.

JointLess Band technology, with up to three layers of spiral wound cap ply, helps maintain the tire's ideal shape at highway speeds. The technology allows the fabric cap ply to be positioned for optimal footprint shape for improved handling and treadwear, Hyder said.

A new cool reactive silica mixing process helps give the tread compound flexibility at low temperatures. This allows the tread elements to bend and grip on icy and snow-covered roads. The result, Hyder said, is firm traction at all temperatures and speeds.