Falken’s parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI), has developed a new technology that utilises artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the properties of rubber. The AI detects structural changes, caused by load and wear, and its effects on performance throughout a tyre’s life cycle. This breakthrough also has applications for improving tyre safety.
Tyres are typically produced from a range of materials, such as rubber (both natural and synthetic), reinforcing filling substances (silica and carbon black), as well as various chemicals and additives. Tyre properties are derived from the complex interaction between these materials. As these properties evolve with mechanical load, understanding the effects between the elements on tyre life was until now, extremely difficult.
In a bid to gain a better understanding, the ‘Tyre Leap AI Analysis’ was developed by SRI in collaboration with Professor Miki Haseyama from Hokkaido University in Japan. Real-world data along with advanced image processing, such as electron microscopy, are used to analyse the internal structure. By comparing images of old and new tyres, Tyre Leap AI Analysis can predict changes to materials and structure will change performance with high levels of accuracy.