New manufacturing technology delivers improved ride and weight to solve many of the issues associated with run-flat tyres. Owners of cars fitted with run-flats could benefit from new manufacturing technology, which produces lighter, more compliant tyres to deliver a more comfortable ride. Through the adoption of an innovative tyre production process, known as NEO-T01, Falken’s new FK453 high performance run-flat tyre, suitable for cars such as the BMW 3 and 5 Series, offers excellent driving performance, high levels of comfort, improved safety and low weight.
The NEO-T01 manufacturing process developed by Falken’s parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, the fifth-largest tyre manufacturer in the world, uses a new assembly method that provides improved quality control. These computer-controlled systems could theoretically produce results within a tolerance of just 0.01 mm. By combining these with upgrades in compound and construction, engineers have improved uniformity at high speed by up to 70 percent and reduced weight by 10 percent compared with conventional run-flat tyres.
As well as the new production process, the Azenis FK453 run-flat features a dimple-sidewall. These indents dissipate heat to enable the tyre to drive at least 80km at 80km/h while at zero tyre pressure, allowing drivers to reach a safe destination where the tyre can be replaced. This distance can be achieved through novel construction of the sidewall, which allows the FK453 run-flat to achieve this run-flat performance despite being 20 percent more compliant than competitors, thereby maintaining ride comfort and countering a criticism made of other run-flats to date.
In wet conditions, the Azenis FK453 run-flat benefits from large, lateral tread grooves, which improve water dispersion, leading to a reduced risk of aquaplaning. This technology also helps to achieve an ‘A’ rating for wet grip – the highest possible standard – under the EU Tyre Labels.
“We have developed a run-flat that eliminates the negative features that are sometimes associated with this type of tyre,” says Falken Product Planning Manager Andreas Giese, “Together, with advances in construction and manufacturing, we believe this is truly a next-generation run-flat tyre.”
The Azenis FK453 run-flat will initially be available in 245/45RF18 96Y and 275/40RF18 99Y sizes from summer 2014, making them ideal for the BMW 3 and 5 Series. Further sizes will be released in 2015.