To realise the highest level of satisfaction in performance, riding comfort, safety, and eco-friendly driving, our goal is to continually advance our technological capability to produce tyres that perform optimally under all conditions.
Safety: Driver peace of mind with protective technology
The most important thing to protect a driver’s safety is the friction between the tyre and road surface. Through this frictional force, the tyre can prevent the vehicle from sliding. The tyres braking performance is also an important factor directly related to the safety of the driver. The tyre’s performance can also be enhanced through the tyres materials, its firmness, shape, and the pattern design imprinted on the surface which comes in direct contact with the road.
Weather particularly affects the sliding and braking performance of tyres. When a car is racing down a wet road and the tyre grooves cannot adequately disperse water, hydroplaning occurs, making it difficult to control the vehicle.
When hydroplaning occurs, a water layer forms between the road surface and the tyre, preventing contact with the pavement, which can lead to a highly dangerous situation. A tyres reaction to wet roads is dependent on three aspects: the proportion of rubber in the tyre, the groove pattern on the tyre, and the contact contour of the tyre.
When mixing in rubber, the interaction between the two main materials, silica and rubber, is maximised so that the tyre draws water particles into the grooves on the tyre’s surface. This allows water to be dispersed on the road and the tyre to stay in contact with the road surface.
Hankook is continuously developing tyres that maintain an optimal grip force through research in groove patterns and contact contours. The company is continuously searching for ways to protect the driver and passengers on wet roads and has developed technologies such as Stone Ejection Technology, which prevents small pebbles and stones from burrowing into grooves by creating a step-like layer on the groove of the tyre pattern. Hankook also utilises Dynamic Profile Control Technology, which analyses and recreates the shape of the tyre to minimise shape changes while driving at high speeds.
Hankook uses a variety of simulation tests to verify how tyres react to water on the road. We are also equipped with hydroplaning test sections on straight and curved tracks at our G’Trac proving grounds.
The main factor in tyre safety on snow-covered roads is tyre rubber compounding and silica, which is used for our winter tyres. This prevents sliding on wet surfaces and reduces rolling resistance. In addition, rubber for winter tyres is mixed in special proportions so that tyres can maintain flexibility even at -7 degrees Celsius, without solidifying.
On winter tyres, a zigzag pattern called kerf maximises the friction between the tyre and snow, enhancing safety and improving car handling. The traditional kerf for tyres is two-dimensional, but Hankook added another vertical shape producing a 3-Dimemsional groove pattern. This 3D kerf improves tyre performance on not only snow or ice covered roads, but also on wet or dry roads which has a positive effect on the friction, braking and grip of the tyre.