Kumho is exhibiting examples of a brand new laser etching process at the Frankfurt Motor Show (September 15-27) – technology that is set to transform the way the company designs its tread patterns.
Mass production tread patterns can be a compromise – part functional and part aesthetic. In the future, Kumho plans to design its treads in two stages. The functional requirement, free of compromise, will be moulded in the normal way. Any additional attributes or design features will then be etched onto the surface as required.
Said Roger Jenkins, managing director of Kumho’s Birmingham-based European Technical Centre: “The new laser technology will allow us far more freedom at the design stage and the ability to experiment with any number of patterns and surface finishes. In the future, the process could also provide production tyres with a variety of short-term gains – such as special surfaces for use in motorsport or driving on low friction surfaces etc.”