In a joint project between Falken’s parent company Sumitomo Rubber Industries and Professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University, Japan, a new sensor to measure tyre wear has been developed which will help engineers to create longer lasting tyres.
This ‘Miniature Energy Harvester’ is a sustainable technique. It uses the rotation of a tyre to generate electricity and supply power to peripheral sensors installed in the tyre without relying on batteries. The technology enables the calculation of a tyre’s contact patch and wheel rotations, and harvests stress levels based on amplitude changes induced by tyre rotation. The data obtained can then be extrapolated to determine tyre wear.
At the same time, the research team has developed a technique to measure the tyre contact patch by installing several miniature energy harvesters in each tyre and reading into the data they gather. These new technologies open the door to different applications and provide information that can be incorporated into future tyre developments.