Aramid technology is enabling stronger, safer tires for both consumers and commercial operators.
Potholes are something that many of us, as motorists, try to routinely avoid. When you hit one at speed, the damage can be significant, from a compromised tire to broken suspension and sometimes even worse.
In fact, pothole damage can prematurely end the life of tires, something that Nokian Tyres is keenly aware of.
The Finland-based global tire manufacturer has long recognized how extreme weather can impact road conditions and tire performance and approximately five years ago introduced Aramid into tire design and construction.
Similar to Kevlar used for bulletproof vests, Aramid technology is used to reinforce the tire sidewall; allowing it to absorb the impact of a pothole or frost bump over a much larger area than with traditional radial-ply tires.
According to Steve Bourassa, Director of Products for Nokian Tires, Aramid was seen as the ideal material to use and not only is it used to reinforce the tire via fibre cord cut into the sidewall but is also scattered throughout the compound of the tire itself.
“Think of it like using fibreglass to reinforce construction materials,” he says.
Steve also notes that besides extra strength and energy absorption, incorporating Aramid into the tire’s design and composition does not add weight to the tire. Additionally, he says, that chemically, that Aramid is quite neutral, “so we don’t have to change the recipe for the tire compound, and it doesn’t have a big impact on longevity or tire wear.”
And, because Aramid is introduced into the base compound as well, it results in a safe, sturdy reliable tire that both commercial and consumer customers can have confidence in.
Although Aramid was first introduced into Nokian Tyres’ commercial vehicle applications, the big news in 2021 was the launch of the Nokian Tyres One all-season passenger vehicle tire with Aramid technology.
Designed for crossovers, SUVs and cars, it complements the Nokian Tyres One HT light truck tire, introduced last year and together, both these tires cover more than 90% of light vehicle passenger and commercial applications ranging from sedans, to crossovers, to body-on-frame SUVs, pickup trucks and even vans.
Better handling, better traction
Other attributes of the Nokian Tyres One include a symmetrical, non-directional tread pattern designed to promote even wear, functional siping to improve traction in wet or slushy conditions, sturdy shoulder blocks to maximize handling and a centre rib designed to improve steering response.
Additionally, functionalized synthetic rubber and silica further assists traction and boost rolling resistance in order to reduce fuel economy—a welcome consideration for many consumers.
With the Nokian Tyres One and its Aramid technology, the company has also introduced its first Pothole Protection warranty program.
According to Wes Boling, Marketing Manager at Nokian Tyres, the warranty is designed to illustrate the company’s confidence in the Nokian Tyres One and essentially allows customers who purchase the warranty to replace a tire free of charge if is damaged as a result of road hazards such as potholes.
Although terms and conditions apply, the end result, along with the Nokian Tyres One itself is to provide a safe, strong, value-driven tire that delivers quality performance and piece-of-mind for customers, no matter the type of vehicle or conditions they drive-in.