Tyres are a type of product that can be hard to understand when you first begin to research them. It turns out that they’re a lot more complicated than just being black, round blobs of rubber. Not all tyres are created equally, and the differences between tyres can have a big impact on your driving experience overall.
One of the more recent areas of focus in tyre engineering has been in improving the environmental impact of tyres and contributing positively to better environmental outcomes for drivers. Fortunately for drivers, one of the most effective ways to do this is to manufacture fuel-efficient tyres that not only help reduce the environmental impacts of driving, but also help save money at the fuel pump!
Fuel-efficient tyres are sometimes referred to as low (or reduced) rolling resistance tyres as this is the most common way to provide better fuel-efficiency. Rolling resistance is (as the name implies) the amount of resistance there is to rolling the tyre around its circumference. This resistance is generated by a combination of the road surface, the tyre’s surface, gravity, and load.
When we can reduce the amount of resistance a tyre has to roll, then we increase the efficiency with which that tyre can be made to roll. In other words, the easier it is to get your tyres rolling, the less fuel it takes.
In most cases, reducing the rolling resistance of a tyre involves the careful engineering of a mixture of natural and manufactured rubber compounds to ensure the tyre retains the strength, durability and grip characteristics it requires, while also reducing the overall resistance. These characteristics exist in a related matrix, and so adjusting any one of them will have an impact on the others. For example, reducing rolling resistance may also require a (smaller) reduction in handling in order to provide a better gain in fuel efficiency.
As part of the ongoing research and development that goes into tyres, manufacturers are constantly experimenting with different compounds, tread patterns, and combinations, all in pursuit of creating the best tyres possible. Sometimes this makes it hard to compare different tyres and to understand how they might perform.
If you have any further questions, our friendly team of tyre experts are only a live chat or phone call away!