Smithers enhances global tire and wheel testing capabilities through expansion of Suzhou, China lab

Smithers Rapra has invested in expanded tire testing capabilities at Smithers Rapra’s Tire and Wheel testing lab in Suzhou, China.

The introduction of six new testing machines will improve the laboratory’s ability to serve clients in the global tire and wheel marketplace.

The new testing equipment gives the Suzhou lab a 35 percent boost in capacity and broadens testing capabilities by adding several key testing techniques, such as:

  • Cleated tire and wheel endurance testing
  • Wheel impact
  • Salt spray
  • Tire air permeation

“Since the opening of our Suzhou lab in 2012, we have strived to evolve and grow with our local clients to support them with world class testing technology and service,” said Nat Leonard, President, Smithers Rapra. “This lab expansion is the latest example of our strategy to grow in line with the kinds of testing our clients request of us. We will continue to invest in new technologies and capabilities to meet the needs of the global tire and wheel industry.”

In addition to the updates to Smithers’ Suzhou facility, the company expects to complete a building expansion and the introduction of a new Flat-Trac® CT Plus machine at the Smithers Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna, Ohio in 2018, in partnership with six tire companies who funded the investment. This expansion will enhance existing force and moment capabilities with higher wheel torque and the ability to test a wider range of tire sizes. The opening of a new event center, new track surfaces, and two rental buildings at Smithers’ Winter Test Center in Brimley, MI, is scheduled for early 2018 as well.

Smithers Rapra operates laboratories in North America, Europe and China, covering a wide variety of testing and consulting services from material chemistry and product durability testing, to tire, wheel and winter testing. Smithers’ global network of ISO 17025 accredited tire test laboratories perform a wide variety of SAE, ASTM, ISO, UNECE and EC tests supporting raw material suppliers, tire manufacturers and automotive OEMs. For more information about Smithers Rapra visit

About Smithers Rapra

Smithers Rapra has been a trusted partner of the rubber and plastics industries for over 90 years. Our business is built around delivering a complete portfolio of rubber and plastic testing services to support a wide range of industry sectors including tire, automotive, polymer products, oil and gas, medical device, pharmaceutical, transport, packaging, industrial, and consumer products. By integrating science, technology and business expertise, Smithers adds value throughout the life cycle of our clients’ products. Please visit

About The Smithers Group

Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, The Smithers Group includes Smithers Apex, Smithers Avanza, Smithers Pira, Smithers Quality Assessments, Smithers Rapra, and Smithers Viscient. Each Smithers Group company provides technology-based services focused on a defined market. As a group, the diversity of market sectors and technologies provides stability and a platform for long-term growth. By integrating science, technology and business expertise, Smithers’ goal is to add value throughout the lifecycle of our clients’ products, by utilizing testing, consulting, information, and compliance services. All Smithers companies are known by their clients as Trusted Providers of Innovative Solutions. For more information, visit

You can reach the Smithers Rapra North America office at:

425 West Market Street
Akron, Ohio 44303
Telephone: 330-762-7441

You can reach the Smithers Rapra Suzhou Laboratory at:

Building #6A, 668 Fengting Road, Weiting, Suzhou Industrial Park
People’s Republic of China
Telephone: 0086 189 1357 0866