To realize 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 tires 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 tire and road surface. Through this frictional force, the tire can prevent the vehicle from sliding. The tires braking performance is also an important factor directly related to the safety of the driver. The tire’s performance can also be enhanced through the tires 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 tires. When a car is racing down a wet road and the tire 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 tire, preventing contact with the pavement, which can lead to a highly dangerous situation. A tires reaction to wet roads is dependent on three aspects: the proportion of rubber in the tire, the groove pattern on the tire, and the contact contour of the tire.
When mixing in rubber, the interaction between the two main materials, silica and rubber, is maximized so that the tire draws water particles into the grooves on the tire’s surface. This allows water to be dispersed on the road and the tire to stay in contact with the road surface.
Hankook is continuously developing tires 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 tire pattern. Hankook also utilizes Dynamic Profile Control Technology, which analyses and recreates the shape of the tire to minimize shape changes while driving at high speeds.
Hankook uses a variety of simulation tests to verify how tires 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 tire safety on snow-covered roads is tire rubber compounding and silica, which is used for our winter tires. This prevents sliding on wet surfaces and reduces rolling resistance. In addition, rubber for winter tires is mixed in special proportions so that tires can maintain flexibility even at -7 degrees Celsius, without solidifying.
On winter tires, a zigzag pattern called kerf maximizes the friction between the tire and snow, enhancing safety and improving car handling. The traditional kerf for tires is two-dimensional, but Hankook added another vertical shape producing a 3-Dimemsional groove pattern. This 3D kerf improves tire 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 tire.