The National Tire Research Center (NTRC) is now expanding its testing capabilities to include outdoor surfaces and vehicle measurements.
Working with a tire OEM, NTRC recently conducted measurements of seven different tire constructions on 14 different road surfaces, all in a span of two days. This outdoor testing was conducted on the Virginia Smart Road, a 2.2-mile, two-lane closed test track located in Blacksburg, Virginia at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI).
The test bed features 14 different roadway constructions that represent the majority of US roadways. In-cabin noise measurements were taken across these surfaces at three different speeds and two directions of the road, with three samples collected from each speed and direction. The three samples were then averaged and reduced to include overall db(A) and a frequency analysis for each tire construction on each road surface, providing the tire OEM with an array of comparisons.
Overall, these comparisons showed that different tread patterns were louder on certain roadway construction than others and that single surface measurements could be misleading to tire designers.