New Bridgestone Tire Development: Faster, tougher, more flexible
The Agricultural tire development group at Technical Center Europe (TCE) recently developed and tested an innovative Bridgestone VT-TRACTOR. The tire was created at TCE which plays a leading role in materials research, tire design, the manufacture of prototypes, and all forms of indoor testing. Interestingly, the engineers, chemists, technicians and support personnel at TCE have three main roles:
- Design and development of tires for passenger, commercial van, truck, bus and agricultural vehicles, to meet European customer requirements;
- Process and equipment design for the nine Bridgestone manufacturing plants in Europe;
- Quality systems to meet ISO-9000, QS-9000 and ISO-14000 requirements
Recently, a dedicated 3-metre diameter drum that allows all size ranges to be validated indoors before exposure to the field was introduced at TCE. This tool provides the proof of testing capability of the Technical Center Europe. VT-TRACTOR performance (indoor, outdoor and field) was confirmed by 200 tires tests. To the outstanding characteristics of the Bridgestone VT-TRACTOR belong to the use of VF standard and the Narrow Rim Option (NRO) technology. The main VT-TRACTOR feature is the VF standard. VF describes a pneumatic tire structure in which the casing is more resistant than that of the corresponding standard tire. Operation at lower pressure in the field is the consequence. It also allows the vehicle to carry more load on the road, which means making fewer transport cycles. Change from the field to the road at higher speed is now possible, since the load capacity is now independent of speed and there is no need to adapt inflation pressure.
Another advantage is the fact that the tire is fitted on standard rims. Usually VF Tires require wider rims making necessary the purchase of new rims when switching from standard to VF tires. The introduction of new experimental standard: NRO (Narrow Rim Option) enables VF tires that would normally require a wider VF rim to also be fitted on a standard rim.
VT-TRACTOR tire was introduced on European market in autumn 2014.