TOKYO (Aug. 3, 2005) — Using what it calls third-generation computer simulation systems, Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. has developed technologies that “provide significantly greater range and accuracy in tire design.” That has enabled the company to create tires, it said, that offer “a sophisticated balance” of factors such as riding comfort, stable handling and minimal noise and vibration.
The Tokyo-based tire maker said the new technologies consist of its “highly accurate” Multiscale Simulation and Multi-performance Map—which displays information on thousands of optimal design proposals.
Multiscale Simulation employs biomechanical principles that clarify the relationships between the mechanisms of the human body, the different sizes of individuals and organs and cells, Yokohama said. Although tires have traditionally been considered at a single level, the company said the new technology “enables simulations for multiple scales—including for polymers and other micromaterials, structures and other macro tire characteristics, and tire installment on vehicles.”
This enables, for example, predictions of physical properties based on combinations of compounds and of frictional coefficients for compounds used on paved roads—even the smoothest of which actually have considerable surface variations, it added. As a result, the tire maker “can make more realistic performance predictions for vehicles based on more accurate wear forecasts of font and rear tires and other factors.”
For the Multi-performance Map, Yokohama said it applied a multi-objective genetic algorithm “that imitates the genetic evolution of living organisms and allows the simultaneous pursuit of many optimal solutions.” Tires have many performance requirements, forcing manufacturers to decide which to prioritize or sacrifice, the company noted. “So, while there are several possible solutions to ensure an optimal performance balance, traditional optimization technologies have only offered a single optimization recommendation.”
The Multi-performance Map technology computes thousands of optimal solutions and resulting design information, then displays the data on a map. That makes it easy from the design concept stage to identify an optimal balance of riding comfort, safe control and low noise when comfort is optimized, Yokohama explained.
While traditional tire design involves repeated modifications to shape, structure, materials, pilot production and performance assessments—and gauges tire performances at the test production stage—Yokohama said the end result of its new technologies are greatly shortened development cycles.