Deerfield Tire Treadlines

By Gavin S. Palmer and Deerfield Tire (originally published in the Windy City BMW Breeze)

As many of our club members are aware, tire technology is always being improved. Thinking back a few years, many new BMW owners would remove the run-flat tires and replace them with conventional tires the minute they drove their new car off the lot. The general feeling was that run-flat tires offered a harsh uncomfortable ride, and compromised handling. But times are changing as run-flat technology develops, as the following news release provided by our friends at Deerfield Tire demonstrates: Bridgestone Innovative 3rd Generation Run-Flat Technology Featured As Original Equipment On Toyota’s New Sienna Minivan.

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) is pleased to announce that its Turanza EL400 Run-Flat tires featuring the company’s latest “3G RFT” technology will be fitted as standard equipment on select models of Toyota’s new 2011 Sienna minivan. Buyers who opt for the Sienna AWD model will appreciate this latest innovation from Bridgestone. Like earlier Run-Flat tires, this new tire still provides peace of mind thanks to a reinforced sidewall that allows the tire to be driven up to 50 miles at speeds up to 50 mph after a complete loss of air. As an enhancement to earlier Run-Flat designs, however, this latest innovation from Bridgestone provides a more comfortable ride which is comparable to that provided by traditional touring tires.

“Premium technology for the whole family makes the Bridgestone brand and Toyota the perfect combination,” said Mike Martini, President, Original Equipment, U.S. & Canada Consumer Tire Sales Division, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO). “We are proud Toyota has chosen to equip its All Wheel Drive version of the next generation Sienna with a Bridgestone Run-Flat tire featuring our new 3G RFT technology.”

The Toyota Sienna AWD is the first vehicle in the world to be fitted with this new third generation Run-Flat technologies which offer better ride comfort when compared to earlier versions of Bridgestone Run-Flat tires.

Features of TURANZA EL400 RFT

The Turanza EL400 RFT incorporates two new technologies which control the heat generated when running at low or zero pressure: “COOLING FIN” to cool tire sidewalls and “new sidewall reinforcement rubber” to reduce heat generation.
The Turanza EL400 RFT for the U.S. market is an all-season tire which offers better ride comfort while still providing the safety and environmental benefits of Run-Flat technology.
As environmental awareness grows worldwide, automakers are accelerating the introduction of lighter and smaller vehicles. In response to this trend, Bridgestone is confident that its third generation Run-Flat tires will be a significant contributor to the eventual elimination of spare tires. The company believes that the greater use of Run-Flat tires will enhance driver safety and is more environmentally friendly. For detailed information of applied technologies, please see the information below.

Run-Flat Tires (RFT)

Run-Flat tires are operable up to a specified distance at a specified speed even at zero tire pressure. This enhances safety by allowing the driver to find a safe location if there is a loss of air pressure. Run-Flat tires help reduce vehicle weight, improve fuel mileage, save resources and enhance design flexibility since spare tires can be eliminated. “RFT” is a registered trademark of Bridgestone Corporation. Run-Flat tires can operate safely at a speed of up to 50 mph for a distance of up to 50 miles under normal conditions at 0 psi (kPa) (based on ISO technical standards). The distance of 50 miles up to which Run-Flat tires can operate at 0 psi (kPa) is determined under test conditions based on ISO technical standards. Please refer to the car manual for the actual distance the vehicle can travel.

Third Generation Run-Flat Tires (3GRFT)

When Bridgestone began its mass production of Run-Flat tires in 1987, the ride was considered by some drivers to be hard compared to normal tires due to their thick and hard sidewall structure. In 2005, Run-Flat tires advanced to the second generation featuring enhanced ride quality through the improvement of sidewall-reinforced rubber. With the adoption of “heat controlling technologies,” third generation Run-Flat tires achieved thinner and softer sidewalls. This has enabled ride comfort comparable to that of traditional tires. Third generation Run-Flat tires are also lighter than earlier Run-Flat designs. These “heat controlling technologies” also enable the development of Run-Flat tires in a wider range of sizes.

Although the most effective measure to improve ride quality of a sidewall-reinforced Run-Flat tire is to make the sidewalls thinner and softer, such a structure generates more heat when the tire is operating at low or zero pressure since the flexing action at the sidewalls becomes more intense. Conquering this heat generation issue was the major challenge in our efforts to improve ride quality while maintaining/enhancing Run-Flat durability.

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