Crain News Service report
AKRON (March 17, 2015) — Smithers Rapra will hold a webinar on March 18 on evaluating tires for fuel-efficiency for fleets, the first installment in 2015 of its annual webinar series.
The segment, titled “Using On-Road and Laboratory Testing to Evaluate Fleet Tire Options for Maximum Fuel Efficiency,” begins at 11 a.m. on that day. It will cover two methods that can be used to evaluate multiple tire options for fleet fuel efficiency: road fuel tests and laboratory rolling resistance testing.
Dustin Stricker, maintenance manager for R.E. West Transportation, will discuss the first commonly used evaluation technique by reviewing a recent case study on road fuel tests. Madhura Rajapakshe, Smithers Rapra's research and development test engineer, then will present an overview of laboratory rolling resistance testing and how it measures the values needed to develop conclusions from the data.
Smithers Rapra — which tests rubber, plastics and composites for several sectors including tire, automotive, polymer products, and oil and gas — evaluated the same tires used in the road test in order to compare the methods.
“Fuel prices and a greater awareness about the role tires have in improving fuel economy have spurred interest in rolling resistance evaluations,” Ron Arthur, general manager at the Smithers Rapra Tire and Wheel Test Laboratory, said in a statement.
“A tire's rolling resistance impacts fuel economy through a combination of heat loss, aerodynamic drag and the friction between the tires and road surfaces. Understanding the various methods to evaluate the many tire options that are available to fleets is critical to making fuel efficiency improvements.”
Messrs. Stricker and Rajapakshe will cover several topics during the one-hour webinar, including real-world, on-road fuel testing and how to ensure actionable data; various influences that affect fleet fuel efficiency; lab testing and rolling resistance studies; lab testing types and methods; and impacts testing might have on various industry segments.
A short question and answer session will be held after the presentation.
Mr. Rajapakshe, who joined Smithers in 2012 as a tire technology research associate, is responsible for project management, test program/proposal development, and research expertise in tire rolling resistance, durability, tread wear, traction, and footprint mechanics for a multitude of clients in the government, raw materials, fleet, tire and vehicle manufacturing industry sectors.
More information about additional webinars by experts from Smithers Rapra is available on the company's website.