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Atracon HPCC: Future of tyre testing

Atracon HPCC: Future of tyre testing

Future tyre homologation testing will include tests with tyres at various wear conditions, especially those for classification of tyres to establish their rating of environmental friendliness. It requires buffing of the tread to reach the target contour to not wear the tyres on the road. Plenty of disadvantages come along with this method. The polymer chains of the rubber are ripped while the knives of the buffing machine chip the rubber off the tread and heat is introduced into the tyre, both heavily affect material properties. The tyre surface is unrealistic rough after buffing, and it is easy to understand that all this will influence your testing results. The buffing process in addition is time consuming and issues rubber abrasion, which is dangerous for the operator’s health. However, this common treatment is accepted because there was no alternative up to now – but this is past! Today we are entering a new era to prepare such tests.

Altracon has introduced their new High-Pressure Contour Cutter (HPCC) recently at the Tyre Technology Expo 2019. It is a water jet cutter specially designed to shape your test tyres tread-contour. A laser-based full-automatic tread wear scanner determines the actual tread condition of the tyre and also ensures an exact achievement of your target contour. The data management system stores the full life-cycle of the tyre with measurements before and after specific tests at various grades of generated wear/ mileage. The HMI is state of the art with an easy to operate graphical user interface.

Cutting is done in a close safety chamber, which complies with CE safety standards as a matter of fact.

The process doesn’t implement any heat into the tyre and leaves a perfect, smooth cut surface, a premium cut, providing a realistic surface just like worn on the road. The high pressure of the beam disjoins the poly-mer chains without destroying or affecting the elastic characteristics of the rubber. This leads to the fact that grip and elastic properties stay unaffected for a perfect, reproducible and objective test result. The cut waste is directly flushed into the waste water basin, where it is separated from the waste water for removal. This also safeguards a clean workplace and best environmental protection. Finally the waste is consisting of the pure rubber material, which makes its removal low cost. In addition, the cutting process doesn’t issue any exhaust or risk of fire, which is a relevant safety improvement compared to usual buffing processes.

HPCC is available in two sizes, coming in a save and compact housing as stand-alone machine. HPCC800 will take PC and LT tyres up to 800mm diameter, while HPCC1400 is suitable to take all tyres up to 1400mm diame-ter. Cutter for bigger tyres are available on request. They use the same technology but require a different set-up.

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