Continental has introduced its ContiFlexStud technology to a mass production product. The studs, which are said to greatly improve the active safety and performance of winter tires, are now being produced exclusively for the company’s IceContact 3 winter tire in sizes from 17in upward.
Tires of this dimension are typically found on larger, heavier vehicles that require higher levels of grip in harsh winter conditions. ContiFlexStud technology is said to deliver greater comfort and a marked reduction in road wear.
“Conventional studs were never able to fully penetrate the ice on the road surface because their rigid aluminum jacket prevented this happening,” explained Marco Gellings, head of winter tire development at Continental.
“Our rubber-jacketed ContiFlexStuds enable the carbide pins to bite deeper into the ice. As a result, each of these new studs delivers around 7% more grip on ice – which means a major gain in active safety.”
In addition, the studs are vulcanized into the tire during production, virtually excluding any subsequent stud loss. Winter tires equipped with the studs are said to provide more mileage and the more flexible studs generate tire/road noise that is much more pleasant than with conventional aluminum-jacket studs.
As the studs can adapt more flexibly to the rough road surface, they are said to cause 20% less road wear than conventional studs. Futhermore, as rubber is far more resistant to wear than aluminum, the wear of the studs themselves is reduced.