RTM Friction Testing

Rotation traction measuring, also called RTM testing or friction testing, is a reliable method for evaluating the friction characteristics of tire tread materials in a controlled laboratory environment. The test specimen is pressed against a constantly rotating wheel, which mimics an asphalt road surface, at free rolling conditions. RTM friction testing data is incredibly valuable for tire developers working to improve abrasion resistance, braking performance, energy efficiency, and overall tire tread performance.

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When developing tire tread compounds, a common challenge is striking a balance between performance requirements, such as wet traction, rolling resistance, and tread wear. Optimizing one of these performance attributes often requires trade-offs in another area, which requires tire developers to find the “sweet spot” as they strive for a certain tire performance profile. Understanding how changes to the tread compound impact traction, especially on wet roads, is vital to solving these challenges. An RTM friction tester, also called a dynamic friction tester or surface friction tester, can subject tread compounds under development and actual tread samples to dry, wet, or icy road conditions, without having to invest in on-vehicle testing at a proving ground. 

ACE Laboratories is equipped with a Ueshima Rotational Traction Measuring System.

Applications for the Ueshima RTM Friction Tester include:

Traction measurement, such as acceleration and braking.

Rolling resistance measurement.

Cornering force measurement.

Technicians can customize the slip angle and ratio, load, and speed of the rotating road wheel. The Ueshima RTM Friction Tester can also recreate dry, wet, and icy road conditions, giving tire OEMs access to more traction data from a single source. The temperature and relative humidity of the testing chamber and the temperature of the water used to simulate wet road conditions can be controlled individually, allowing for more extensive customization when testing tire treads.

While most RTM friction testing is conducted with sandpaper as the abrasive material, molds can also be used to create asphalt, concrete, and other substrates. This is valuable for both the tire and paving industries, since substrate manufacturers can use RTM friction testing to evaluate the effects of substrate formulation and material changes on a control tread compound.

RTM Friction Testing from ACE

ACE Laboratories has expanded our dynamic testing lab to support the ever-changing needs of our valued customers. Our RTM friction testing services are complemented by abrasion and FPS testing, flex fatigue, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), and other rubber and tire testing services. Our dynamic testing experts have years of experience in the tire and rubber industries and can provide insight and support throughout the product development and validation process.


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