It’s summer. You have a car, a soul, and a desire to crank some Boston*. But, as you step on the gas and raise the volume to sun’s out classics like “Amanda,” you encounter the evil, unavoidable whirrrsssshhhhhh.
The sound of tires rolling over tarmac isn’t just the rare force known to diminish the power of Tom Shulz’s fretwork. It’s a leading contributor to noise pollution, which has been linked to public health impacts like hypertension, stress, hearing loss, and faster onset of dementia. Europe (of course) has even considered taxing noisy tires.
To that end, Bridgestone recently debuted the Turanza QuietTrack, a tire engineered to mute the cement symphony. Thanks to redesigned treads that rethink how the rubber interacts with the road, Bridgestone engineers say the tire will make it easier for people—especially those in electric vehicles—to relax, chat, and let everyone enjoy some “Peace of Mind.”
Before getting into the specifics of this rubber donut, let’s go over the problems it’s made to solve. Your vehicle’s sound profile comes from three sources: the roaring engine, the humming tires, and the rushing wind. As explained in the US Department of Transportation’s Little Book of Quieter Pavements, engine noise (which includes the transmission) dominates at low speeds, up to about 20 mph. Wind becomes the major factor once you’re clocking Nascar speeds. Everywhere in between, tire noise is the problem. The faster you go, the louder it gets, until not even closed windows can protect your ear drums.
“Tire noise” is a catchall term encompassing roughly nine types of sound, according to the DOT’s Little Book, like the tiny thud of individual treads on the pavement and the tinny vibrations of the tire’s sidewall. The loudest, and thus most important, ones are called cavity noise and pattern noise. Cavity noise is what’s known as a resonance phenomenon, a fancy way of saying the air is bouncing around inside the tire. As the tire rolls, this air compresses against the wheel, generating a low hum that sounds like a downtuned lightsaber. Cavity noise has a low frequency relative to other tire racket, and its long wavelengths make it good at moving through solid objects—like your car— and into the cabin. Most noise-reducing tires have strips of foam lining their inner circumference, which dampens the problem. But it’s the higher frequencies that are dangerous to human health and happiness.
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Bridgestone's New Tire Makes Driving Electric as Quiet as It Should Be have 538 words, post on www.wired.com at June 5, 2019. This is cached page on Auto News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.