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Created by supercomputer: The new Falken Sincera SN832 ECORUN energy-efficient tyre

Tyre engineers in Japan have for the first time, employed a super computer normally used for climate simulation, together with the SPring-8 Materials Research Centre and its synchrotron radiation facility, to create a new energy-efficient tyre.

These powerful simulation tools, offering the ability to analyse at sub nano level, the effects of compound and construction, form part of Falken’s new 4D NANO Design process. 4D NANO Design has enabled Falken to develop the Sincera SN832 ECORUN tyre with a 22 percent reduction in rolling resistance compared to its predecessor. A further 27 percent reduction in braking distances has led to the new tyre receiving an A rating for wet weather grip, becoming the first Falken tyre to achieve the highest grade.

By combining the SPring-8 materials research centre and its synchrotron radiation technology and the Japanese government’s Earth Simulator super computer to simulate the real world conditions that a tyre experiences, Falken was able to identify how and where heat would be generated and how to minimise it. This is crucial as temperature build up results in higher rolling resistance which ultimately reduces fuel economy. For example, SPring-8’s scientists created a new compound by bonding polymers into ‘functional groups’ with silica. These groups restrict the movement of the elements and the subsequent rise in temperature. The dispersal and reaction of both the bonding and chemical reaction of these groups was simulated at sub nanometre (there are one million nanometres in a millimetre) level to prove the technology. Falken’s resultant calculations suggest the fuel saving benefit could be as much as four percent over its previous SN828 tyre.

In addition to the compound innovations, the Sincera SN832 ECORUN features a more circular cross profile, distributing load more evenly with the driver experiencing more precise handling and better directional stability. Stiffer outer shoulders with wide and straight lateral grooves improve resistance to aquaplaning, increasing the lateral aquaplaning score by 32 percent over that of the SN828.

“To create a step performance gain in a tyre is not easy,” says Markus Bogner, sales and marketing director, Falken Tyre Europe, GmbH. “Being part of Sumitomo Rubber Industries, the sixth largest tyre maker, Falken can access some of the best innovations out there. The four key areas of the 4D NANO DESIGN; Research, Simulate, Extraction and Performance feed into our materials development and simulation process and use some of the most powerful research and simulation tools on the planet. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach.”

Japan’s Earth Simulator is one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. It has a theoretical peak performance of 131TFLOPS and is typically used to model large scale climate change or to research the effects of tsunamis and earthquakes. SPring-8, the world's largest third-generation synchrotron radiation facility, produces light that is about one billion times more brilliant than conventional X-ray sources and is used by scientists for a wide range of research projects.

The Sincera SN832 ECORUN will be available from Spring, initially in 19 dimensions across 13”-15” sizes and a T speed rating, highlighting that advanced technology need not be the sole reserve of ultra-high performance (UHP) tyres. It will be suitable for cars such as the Ford Fiesta, Nissan Juke, VW Touran and Fiat 500.

Motorsport has for many years formed the basis for the technology and development of FALKEN High Performance Tyres and their exceptional driving properties.

FALKEN racing tyres have demonstrated their quality and performance in some of the world’s most challenging racing series. These include the American Le Mans Series and the legendary Nürburgring 24-hour race. By systematically evaluating the experience gained in motor racing, new findings are gathered which flow straight into series production. This results in outstanding products that fulfil the highest quality standards and have been succeeding for years in international competitions. Falken Tyre Europe offers a comprehensive product range which includes all-season, summer and winter tyre lines for passenger cars, heavy goods vehicles, light trucks and SUVs.

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