Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., has built and open an indoor ice-surface testing facility at its Tire Test Center of Hokkaido.
Yokohama Upgrades Testing Capacity for Winter Tyres
Yokohama completed the installation work at the test centre, which is in Asahikawa, in November 2020.
At about 100 meters long, the facility is one of the largest of its kind in Japan. It allows for setting the temperature of the ice surface anywhere between –10°C and 0°C (14℉ and 32℉) at a room temperature of 5°C (41℉). It supports tyre testing of studless snow tyres at reliably precise temperatures throughout that range. In addition, it has given Yokohama new capacity for testing on ice in early winter. That lengthens the seasonal span over which Yokohama can conduct brake-testing on ice and broadens Yokohama’s R&D calendar. The company can thus undertake a greatly expanded scope of ice-surface testing for studless snow tyres, studded tyres, and all-season tyres.
The Tire Test Center of Hokkaido was opened in December 2015 to expand Yokohama’s tyre testing capacity in line with the global expansion of its tyre business, and to introduce more sophisticated evaluation methods. That globalisation necessitated increasingly advanced testing of a growing number of winter tyre sizes. Yokohama tests winter tyres for passenger cars and for trucks and buses at the centre. It also tests summer tyres at the centre during the months from spring to autumn. Yokohama opened the indoor facility for ice-surface testing in January 2018 to test winter tyres at precisely controlled surface temperatures.
In addition to the Tire Test Center of Hokkaido, Yokohama operates the Yokohama Test Center of Sweden for winter tyre testing. The Hokkaido test centre handles testing for a global portfolio of winter tyres, while the Swedish centre conducts additional tests to confirm the suitability and performance of tyres to be sold in continental Europe, Russia and Northern Europe.