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Orjan Johansson Photo: Tomas Bergman
Örjan Johansson, professor in Engineering Acoustics at Luleå University of Technology Photo: Tomas Bergman View original picture , opens in new tab/window

New acoustic lab for testing winter tires

Published: 29 April 2020

The sound from the contact between the tire and the roadway is perceived inside the car as a source of irritation and a disturbance for coversations. Tire noise is a major part of the car's overall sound image and entails costly control measures on the part of the community.

An interesting aspect, however, is that the tire sound also provides information on grip and road conditions.

"In the future, the impact of tire noise will become increasingly important as the typical engine sound that a combustion engine produces disappears in electric cars," says Örjan Johansson, professor in Engineering Acoustics at Luleå University of Technology.

Nokian Tyres has donated a tire test rig

Researchers in the field of Engineering Acoustics have been collaborating with tire manufacturer Nokian Tyres for ten years. A collaboration also linked to a collaboration project between Luleå University of Technology and the car testing business in Norrbotten. The focus is on noise from winter tires and a better understanding of the sound generation mechanisms, the transmission path into the vehicle, the variation in tire noise linked to tire construction and specific car model. As a result of a fruitful collaboration, Nokian Tyres has donated a tire test rig that is being installed in the semi-eco-free vehicle laboratory at Luleå University of Technology.

"The idea is that the test rig will contribute to research and education at all levels and to industrial education," says Örjan Johansson.

The new equipment enables the measurement of tire noise on one of the car's tires placed on a rotatable drum. Various types of acoustic measures provide a sound and vibration environment for measuring tire noise at speeds up to 300 km/h. Measurements are made both in the car and outside the car under conditions corresponding to sound propagation in the free field. Finally, there is a particular interest in being able to vary the surface of the drum and the characteristics of the tire tires to represent different road conditions that are typical of Nordic conditions.

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