Webinar translates tire rolling resistance ratings into fuel savings for consumers

Tire expert provides guidance for interpreting tire rolling resistance ratings for a range of tire types to predict better fuel economy.

fuel savings for consumersMeasurement of tire Rolling Resistance (RR) is becoming increasingly important as various rating/labeling systems are established in different parts of the world. ISO 28580 test method for single-point RR measurement has become the basis for these rating systems. In 2012, Smithers Rapra was contracted by NHTSA to be the National Rolling Resistanace Alignment Lab in the U.S. and since that time Smithers Rapra has consistently met the requirements under ISO 28580 to be the national reference lab. As such, Dr. Madhura Rajapakshe, Test R&D Project Engineer at the Smithers Rapra tire and wheel laboratory in Ravenna, OH has developed a study that looks at the correlation of tire rolling resistance data to on-road fuel efficiency.

In “Tire Rolling Resistance Ratings and Real World Fuel Savings – An Expert Overview”, Rajapakshe reviewed domestic and international tire rolling resistance rating systems. He went on to explain how some of the already established RR rating systems, for both passenger and commercial tire ratings, can be interpreted to real world fuel savings and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The reliability of these rating systems in assisting consumers select fuel efficient tires and protect the environment, depends on how well the RR ratings differentiate real world fuel savings and GHG emissions.

"It is possible to come up with important numbers that help the thought process move forward and understand how ratings can be used to benefit the consumer and the environment", explains Dr. Rajapakshe. "By reducing the tire rolling resistance coefficient you can expect to see a certain percentage back in fuel savings. You can use those results to get a rough idea of how sensitive are the tire rolling resistance coefficient scale used in these rating systems."

Dr. Madhura Rajapakshe joined Smithers Rapra in 2012 and provides project management, test program development and research expertise as a Test R&D Project Engineer. He specializes in software development for whole tire assessments which gives him expertise in testing, data processing and process improvement.

The recorded webinar proceedings is now available for download. 

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