Calspan and Tekscan to demonstrate new tire testing technology

Boston, MA – Calspan has instrumented its powerful flat track tire testing machine with Tekscan’s High-Speed TireScan™ pressure mapping sensors to measure tire contact patch pressure distribution in highly dynamic operating conditions on the machine’s flat roadway. On May 19, 2022 at Tire Technology Expo in Germany, the two pioneers in tire testing and pressure measurement will share results and explain how this technology changes the game for tire testing.

For years, the only way to get this type of data involved testing either at very low speeds, or on a drum test machine. The limitation of these approaches is that they aren’t representative of real-world conditions. As Calspan Director, Research & Development Mateo Gladstone notes, “The tire contact patch is markedly different on a curved drum compared to a flat surface. But by performing the measurements on our flat-belt tire test machine, we can accurately, repeatably and efficiently measure the contact patch in real-world situations. Thanks to this new technology we can for the first time make the connection between contact patch behavior and real-world tire performance, which ultimately help our customers develop better tires. SInce Tekscan’s ultra-thin and flexible pressure mapping technology goes in between surfaces to capture pressures where other imaging and sensor technologies can’t, it was the natural fit for Calspan’s tire test machine.”

Henning Olsson, Senior Director, Technology, Calspan, states, “Our team of tire experts has been using the dynamic contact patch pressure data to develop new and innovative analysis and modeling methods that help solve some of the most challenging problems in tire dynamics.” Camilo Aladro, Product Marketing Director, Tekscan, adds, “Tekscan was keen to partner with Calspan on this project. We knew that instrumenting our sensors and electronics onto a belt moving at such high speeds would pose some unique challenges initially, but the motivating factor for us was the knowledge that if we could make it work, the tire market would have access to game-changing testing capability and insights. It’s exciting for the future of the tire industry.”

Calspan and Tekscan are pleased to take this jointly developed technology to the marketplace to support the development of the next generation tires for electric and automated vehicles. This capability is a world first and will allow Calspan to continue to use the best tools available to provide top service and precise data to their customers. It also reflects Tekscan’s ongoing commitment to provide the most advanced pressure mapping technology that can offer insights to validate and enhance product design, manufacturing, and quality.

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